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How to share documents in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint

How to share documents in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint

Easily share documents with friends, family and colleagues via OneDrive and Microsoft 365

Collaboration has become an important productivity tool, especially with many people working permanently from home for most of 2020.

The release of Office 365 (now Microsoft 365) in 2011 came with a clear focus on files stored in the cloud, and now it’s easier than ever to share documents from Word, Excel, PowerPoint or any other Office application.

This process works on all the latest Office software, but there are many more tools available to Microsoft 365 subscribers.

Can anyone share Word, Excel and PowerPoint files?

Yes, although you have to be signed in to a Microsoft account and save files to OneDrive to start sharing.

The application will ask you to log in when you launch it for the first time. If not, go to File> Account. Under ‘Signing in to Office’, click ‘Sign in’.

Unless you’ve purchased the standalone version of the app, you’ll need to sign in to stop most of the features being disabled at some point.

How to share Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents

For the purposes of this tutorial, we’re using Microsoft Word on Windows, but the process is very similar to other Office applications and platforms.

Whether you’re a Microsoft 365 subscriber or not, you’ll be able to easily share Office files with friends, family and colleagues:

  1. Open the document that you want to share. If you missed the option when launching the app, go to File> Open
  2. Click on the ‘Share’ icon located at the top right corner. You should be asked to upload the document to OneDrive, and give it a name if you haven’t already1(2)
  3. Wait a few seconds for the document to upload. If you see a message about ‘feature not compatible with this format’, click ‘Yes’ to continue saving
  4. The next screen will depend on whether you have Microsoft 365. If you are a paid subscriber, you will see options to share only the link, allow everyone in your organization to access, or share only with certain people. There are various settings under this option, including whether you want to allow editing or set an expiration date / password for access.2(2)

Otherwise you will be restricted from sharing the link, so you will see a screen like this

3(2)

There she is! If you invite certain people, they will get an email with a link to access the document. Otherwise, you just need to share the link with the relevant people. Don’t worry, the layout and information are the same if you’re sharing from Excel or PowerPoint.

While you’re here, check out our articles on how to get Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for free.

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