How to Share Worksheets in Excel 2013 - dummies

How to Share Worksheets in Excel 2013

By Greg Harvey

Excel 2013 makes it easy to share your spreadsheets with trusted clients and co-workers. You can use the options on the Share screen in Backstage view to e-mail worksheets or send them by Instant Message to others who have access to Excel. If you have Microsoft’s Lync online meeting software installed on your device, you can present the worksheet to the other attendees as part of a Lync meeting.

And if you save your workbook files in the cloud on your Windows Live SkyDrive, you can easily share the worksheets by inviting co-workers and clients to open them in Excel on their own devices or, if they don’t have Excel, in their web browser with the Excel web App.

How to share workbooks via SkyDrive

To share Excel workbooks you’ve saved on your SkyDrive, you follow these steps:

  1. Open the workbook file you want to share and then choose File→Share (Alt+FH).

    Excel opens the Share screen with the Invite People option selected.

  2. Click the Type Names or E-mail Addresses text box and then begin typing the e-mail address of the first person with whom you want to share the workbook.

    As you type, Excel matches the letters with the names and e-mail addresses entered in your Address Book. When it finds possible matches, they are displayed in a drop-down menu, and you can select the person’s e-mail address by clicking the name in the list.

    To find e-mail addresses in your Address list and add them to this text box, click the Search the Address Book for Contacts button. To share the workbook with multiple people, type a semicolon (;) after each e-mail address.

  3. (Optional) Click the Can Edit drop-down button and select Can View option on the menu to prevent the people you invite from making any changes to the workbook you’re sharing.

    By default, Excel 2013 allows the people with whom you share your workbooks to make editing changes to the workbook that are automatically saved on your SkyDrive. If you want to restrict your recipients to reviewing the data without being able to make changes, be sure to replace the Can Edit option with Can View before sharing the workbook.

  4. (Optional) Click the Include a Personal Message with the Invitation text box and type in any personal message that you want to incorporate as part of the e-mail with the generic invitation to share the file.

    By default, Excel creates a generic invitation.

  5. (Optional) Select the Require User to Sign-in Before Accessing Document check box if you want the people with whom you share the workbook to have to log in to a Windows Live account before they can open the workbook.

    Don’t select this check box unless you’re giving your log-in information to the recipient(s) of the e-mail invitation, and don’t give this log-in information to anyone that you don’t trust completely.

  6. Click the Share button.

    As soon as you click the Share button, Excel e-mails the invitation to share the workbook to each of the recipients entered in the Type Names or E-mail Addresses text box. The program also adds their e-mail addresses and the editing status of each recipient in the Shared With section at the bottom of the Share screen.


All the people with whom you share a workbook receive an e-mail message containing a hyperlink to the workbook on your SkyDrive. When they follow this link, a copy of the workbook opens on a new page in their default web browser using the Excel web App.

How to get a sharing link

Instead of sending e-mail invitations to individual recipients with links to the workbooks you want to share on your SkyDrive, you can create hyperlinks to them that you can then make available to all the people who need online editing or review access.

To create a link to a workbook open in Excel 2013 that’s saved on your SkyDrive, you select the Get a Sharing Link option on the Share screen in the Backstage view (Alt+FHL).

To create a view-only link that doesn’t allow editing, you click the Create Link button to the right of the View Link option that appears on the Share screen under the Get a Sharing Link heading. To create an edit link that enables online editing instead of a view-only link, you click the Create Link button to the right of the Edit Link option in its place.

Excel displays the long and complex hyperlink for sharing your workbook under the View Link or Edit Link heading. The program also displays a list of any of the people with whom you’ve already shared the workbook indicating that anyone with a view link can view the workbook or with an edit link can edit it under a Shared Links heading.

How to post links to social networks

In Excel 2013, you can now post a view link to any workbook saved on your SkyDrive whose data you want to share with your friends and followers on any of the social networks.

To do this, open the workbook saved on your SkyDrive that you want to share. Then, select the Post to Social Networks option on the Share screen (Atl+FHN). Excel then displays the names preceded by check boxes for each of the social networks to which you are a member under the heading Post to Social Networks on the right side of the Share screen.

You then select the check box for each social network to which you want to post a link to your workbook on your page for your friends and followers. If you want to add a message about the worksheet you’re sharing, you enter it below in the Include a Personal Message with the Invitation text box. Then, you click the Post button.