Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Sharing Your Workbook.

Sharing Your Workbook

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 10, 2014)

Excel allows multiple people to access a workbook at the same time, if desired. This can be very handy when a workbook is in active use or development, and there are multiple people in your department who all have a hand in the process. You can share a workbook in this way:

  1. Load the workbook you want to share.
  2. Choose Share Workbook from the Tools menu. Excel displays the Share Workbook dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Share Workbook dialog box.

  4. Choose the Allow Changes check box.
  5. Click on OK.

This is the simplest way to share access to a workbook. There are other options available in the Share Workbook dialog box that should be examined, however. Notice that the dialog box also lists the users currently accessing the current workbook. It should go without saying that when you first share a workbook, you are the only user that will be listed in the dialog box. However, if you again display the Share Workbook dialog box at a later time (such as when you are thinking of turning sharing off), there could easily be multiple users listed.

Notice, as well, that the Share Workbook dialog box also contains an Advanced tab. This tab is where you can specify how changes should be handled by Excel.

The whole idea behind sharing a workbook among multiple users is that Excel tracks any changes made and then at a later date you merge together everyone's work. The Advanced tab is where you indicate how you want Excel to prepare for this future time. Here you can specify how changes should be tracked, when changes should be updated, and what to do if Excel detects a conflict between changes specified by two or more users.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2916) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Sharing Your Workbook.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Modifying Windows Startup Services

Windows takes advantage of many different operating system components called services. Most of the Windows services are ...

Discover More

Nudging a Table

When laying out a page, you often need to move objects around to get them into just the right position. Word allows you to ...

Discover More

Two Page Numbering Schemes in the Same Document

Word is great at numbering pages if you only need a single, consistent numbering scheme through the document. If you need two ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Working With Multiple Workbooks

Need to do work in more than one workbook at a time? For many, this ability is a necessity. Excel allows you to easily work ...

Discover More

Opening a Workbook with Two Windows

If you open a workbook and notice that Excel displays two windows for it, this has to do with how the workbook was saved. ...

Discover More

Tying Workbooks Together

If you work with multiple workbooks at the same time, you might wonder how to tie them together so they open and close and ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 - 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.