Sharing Excel 2016 Workbooks Saved on Your OneDrive

By Greg Harvey

You can share any of your Excel 2016 workbooks via OneDrive in the Cloud. To share Excel 2016 workbooks from your OneDrive, you follow these steps:

  1. Open the workbook file you want to share in Excel 2016 and then click the Share button at the far right of the row with the Ribbon.

    Excel opens the Share task pane on the right side of the worksheet area.

    If you’ve not yet saved the workbook on your OneDrive, this Share task pane contains a Save to Cloud button that, when clicked, takes you backstage to the Save As screen where you can choose the OneDrive folder where you want it saved.

    Once the workbook’s been saved to the Cloud, the Share task pane contains the Invite People option selected.

  2. Click the Invite People 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 his or her 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 the immediate left of the Can Edit drop-down list box) and then use the options in the Address Book: Global Address List dialog box. To share the workbook with multiple people, type a semicolon (;) after each e-mail address you add to this text box.

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

    By default, Excel 2016 allows the people with whom you share your workbooks to make editing changes to the workbook that are automatically saved on your OneDrive. If you want to restrict your recipients to reviewing the data in a read-only version without being able to make changes to the file, 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 into 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 who isn’t in your inner circle or isn’t someone you trust completely.

  6. Click the Share button in the Share task pane.

    As soon as you click this Share button, Excel e-mails the invitation to share the workbook to each of the recipients entered in the Type Name or E-Mail Addresses text box. The program also adds the e-mail address and the editing status of each recipient (Can Edit or Can View) 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 OneDrive. When they follow this link (and sign into the site if this is required), a copy of the workbook opens on a new page in their default web browser using the Excel Online web app. If you’ve given the user permission to edit the file, the web app contains an Edit Workbook drop-down button.

When the user clicks this button in Excel Online, he or she has a choice between choosing the Edit in Excel or Edit in Excel Online option from its drop-down menu. When the user chooses Edit in Excel, the workbook is downloaded and opened in his version of Excel. When the user chooses Edit in Excel Online, the browser opens the workbook in a new version of the Excel Online, containing Home, Insert, Data, Review, and View tabs, each with a more limited set of command options than Excel 2016, which you can use in making any necessary changes and which are automatically saved to workbook on the OneDrive when you close Excel Online.