It is commonplace nowadays for any business to use Excel as their preferred tool to input, manage, and share work. While some users continue to share files as email attachments, this can quickly result in too many downloaded versions of the same file. Not only can this be confusing to know which download is the most up-to-date version, but it can also cause issues with collaboration and productivity.
Luckily, the most recent versions of Microsoft Excel (2010, 2013, and 2016) allow you to collaborate with others while working on a single version of your current spreadsheet. This article will explain how to share an Excel file on Mac for multiple users, how to protect a shared Excel workbook, and how to make the Excel file editable for multiple users.
If you want to be able to share only parts of your files, you should consider Sheetgo. In addition to sharing whole files, you can share parts of your files and manipulate the data by filtering, merging, or splitting it. This allows you and your team to work collaboratively without sacrificing privacy. To learn more about this, check out this post on how to transfer filtered Excel data between workbooks using Sheetgo.
How to make an Excel file shared?
Excel allows you to share/save your workbook to a local network location where other users can access and make changes to it. As the owner of the Excel file, you can keep full track of changes by accepting or rejecting them.
Let’s look at a step-by-step on how to share your Excel files with others:
- 1. Click on the “Share” button to the far right of your Excel toolbar.
- 2. As instructed in the pop-up window, you can either “Move” or “Copy” the file. Unless you wish to maintain a local copy, then select “Move” as shown below.
- 3. Once you select your preferred option, you can change the name or not. Since we chose “Move”, we have kept the original file name.
- 4. Below the “Name” field, you have the “Place” drop-down menu. This will allow you to choose between OneDrive or any other previously created local or shared folder.
- 5. To explore more places to share the file, click on “Other”.
- 6. In the new window, you can also choose to “+Add a Place” in case you would like to share your file to more than one OneDrive folder or shared local folder.
- 7. At this point, you can also choose to connect OneDrive for Business or Sharepoint.
NOTE: OneDrive provides a files experience on all devices via web, mobile, and the desktop (Windows PC or Mac OS). OneDrive for Business is part of Office 365 (including the Sharepoint server) and grants company employees with personal storage managed from a central location. Sharepoint can act as a platform for portals, news, business apps, etc. For more information on the advantages of each, read this Microsoft Support entry.
- 8. Let’s use the standard OneDrive and click on “Choose Location”.
- 9. Complete the sharing process by selecting “Upload”, next to “Move” option.
- 10. Just to be sure, check that the “AutoSave” is “ON” in the top-left corner of your Excel file.
- 11. You can also “Send a Copy” as an email attachment, at the very bottom of the pop-up window.
- 12. Select the file format you would like to attach.
- 13. Click on “Email as Attachment”.
- 14. Alternatively, select the upload icon next to “Email as Attachment” to upload to one of the options shown below.
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How to protect a shared workbook
Although Simultaneous collaboration on an Excel shared workbook, can be useful, you may want to protect your workbook from certain actions to avoid any accidental setbacks. These could include users reverting changes, turning off the change history, or even removing the spreadsheet from shared use.
- 1. Go to the Review tab of your shared Excel workbook and click on “Protect Workbook”.
- 2. You will be prompted to enter a password.
IMPORTANT: Note that this feature protects your workbook from being moved, deleted, hidden, renamed, etc., and the steps followed are similar to what is explained in how to password protect an Excel file. However, changes can be made to individual sheets. In order to protect specific data, you need to go to Review > Protect Sheet. For a full step-by-step illustration of different methods and levels of protection, read our article on how to lock cells in Excel.
Now you know how to protect your Excel from removing track changes or changing history features. This is a good way to keep track of any modifications in case you want to revert or undo any editing made to the shared Excel workbook. Moreover, it’s the only way to resolve any conflicting changes in a shared Excel file.
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How to make an Excel file editable by multiple users?
You can either specify the users that can edit or simply make the whole Excel shared workbook editable by not following the “Protect Sheet” process. This way, anyone with access to the shared workbook (on OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or Sharepoint) will be able to make changes to the file without the owner having to accept or reject their changes.
To allow specific users to edit:
- 1. Go to the “File” tab and select “Share”.
- 2. Or click on the “Share” button to the far right of the Excel window and select “Invite People”.
- 3. Then, simply type in the email address of users you want to allow to edit and make sure you leave the “Can Edit” box ticked. When you are done, click on the “Share” button.
So far, we have shown how you can manage to edit and share options locally. Although this would also require that you are online, you can make these changes directly via OneDrive.
As you can see below, it allows users to “Open” the spreadsheet in the browser or desktop.
Once a project or task is finished, you might want to unshare the Excel file to safeguard the work that has been done so far. This is as simple as clicking the “Unshare Workbook” appearing in the “Review” tab. If you cannot view this feature, then you can move the shared file to a local folder.
How to share parts of your file automatically
If you’re looking for a way to share parts of your files while keeping others private, look no further. Using Sheetgo, you can share specific worksheets without sharing the whole workbook, whether it’s on Google Drive, Sharepoint, Dropbox, or OneDrive.
- 1. Choose the source workbook and select the worksheet you want to share.
- 2. Choose the destination file or let Sheetgo create a new one. Below, I have selected a workbook that the user has access to, but you can easily create and share a new workbook.
- 3. Automate your connection so that the other users have up-to-date data to work with.
Now you know how to share an Excel file or workbook and how to make it editable by multiple users. Whether you are working on Windows or Mac OS, you need to make sure that you apply the editing features before sharing the Excel file, since shared workbooks do not have all the features that Excel desktop has. Please remember that as you are sharing your Excel workbooks online, you must have access to a local network at all times – if not, you may risk losing important edits and changes to your Excel files.
Alternatively, you can sign up for Sheetgo for free to automate data transfers and access more advanced features, like sharing only parts of your files, including Excel, Google Sheets, and CSV/TSV files.
Prefer to collaborate on Google Sheets? Take a look at our article on how to password-protect a Google Sheet to control the changes made to your spreadsheets by other users.