Work together on Office documents

With Office it’s easy to work with others, including people who don't have Microsoft Office installed,  because you can send links to documents instead of sending file attachments, which they can review (and edit, if you let them) in Office Online. That saves on e-mail storage and prevents you from having to reconcile multiple versions of the same document.

To send a link, click Share at the top of the Office program window:

Cursor clicking the Share icon

When your friends click the link you send, the document opens in their browser.

Email inviting recipient to share a document

To edit, they click the command for editing in the Office Online program.

Edit in Excel Online on the Edit Workbook menu

To get started, store your document on OneDrive

Upload your documents to OneDrive, and then share them.

Note: If you are using Office Online for school or work, here is information specific to team libraries and OneDrive for Business.

Work with others in Office

When you are editing a file in office you might see notification that others are working in the file too. There is no special co-authoring mode and no command to begin working together on a document. You edit as you normally would, and if others are also editing the document, office alerts you to their presence, and shows you where in the file they’re working.

Word Online shows you where other authors are working in the document

People can be working in Office 2010, or Office for Mac 2011, or later.

Notes: 

  • Because Office automatically saves everyone’s changes, the Undo and Redo commands might not work the way you expect.

  • Also, in Excel, when one person changes the sort order or filters data, the view changes for everyone who is editing the workbook. So, be mindful of sorting and filtering while others are in the workbook.

Work with others in OneNote

If you make your notebook available for other people to edit, your friends can work on the notebook at the same time as you. This works well for notebooks where you are collecting information from a group of people, such as a brainstorming session or a group project. The notebook functions like a wiki where everyone contributes. You can see who did what, and you can revert a page back to a previous version if necessary.

Multiple authors working in OneNote Web App

If you or other people have OneNote 2010 or later, you can work in the OneNote desktop and mobile applications while other people are working on the same notebook in OneNote Online. You can share the notebook in OneDrive, just like Excel, Word, and PowerPoint documents, but you can also share the notebook in OneNote 2010 or later.

Click the File tab, and on the Info tab, click Invite people to this notebook, under the name of the notebook.

See Also

What is AutoSave?

View previous versions of Office files

Work together on a document in Word Online

Collaborate on Excel workbooks at the same time with co-authoring

Work with other people on a presentation

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

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