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How to Share Microsoft Office files

By Hanna Welch | July 11, 2019 |

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Still share documents via email? Check out a better way to share Microsoft Office files.

Creatives have a number of tricks and quick solutions that help their creative juices keep flowing. In addition to soothing, calming music, other quick tips for enhanced productivity include a clean, neat, and well-organised workspace and convenient personal organizer. The point is, external factors ultimately contribute, either negatively or positively, to one’s creative abilities.

Other than these factors, there is also the element of collective work, which includes collaborating on a particular project or getting feedback from colleagues or your team leader. The essence behind Office Suite is to help professionals become more productive. You can create a report on Microsoft Word and collectively work on it as a team; someone can create a spreadsheet on Microsoft Excel to help track work patterns; and finally, the brainstorming and presentation of work and other ideas can be done using Microsoft PowerPoint.

In a perfect scenario where one person can actually use Microsoft Suite perfectly and come up with all the reports, notes, spreadsheets, etc., there is no room for productivity to run out. But that is not the case. When looking for input, feedback and more ideas, most people share their documents via email. For the first couple of months, this might not be a problem, but as time goes and more disk space becomes occupied, sharing via email becomes inconvenient.

For the most part, a document shared via email is independently received by all team members who will work on it and send back the edited versions as unique files. This increases the workload for the one responsible for the document as they have to manually check all suggestions, comments and changes before creating one document that will be the final version.

This difficult work process leads to the popular search engine question on how to share Microsoft Office files within the team. There are a lot of solutions suggested online. Some of them include paying for storage space and even forming a virtual office. The possibilities are endless. One common factor amongst all the forms of sharing and storing a Microsoft document in the modern professional zone is that there is some level of security. Since most methods of backing up and file sharing are cloud-based:

  • All members of the team can create user accounts on the same platform to easily have access to shared documents around the clock. 
  • If there is additional disc space needed, the team leader can advise on how to go about getting the needed space for a seamless work process. 
  • There is a higher level of security because of the end-to-end encryption on cloud storage platforms. 
  • Most cloud storage systems, such as One Drive, Dropbox and Google Drive, come with up to 15 GB of free storage for each new email used to sign up. When in need of more space, there are packages that you can subscribe for annually.

All the platforms are somewhat similar. Search for the one that works best for you and your team, select and get the work process started. Instead of going into details of how to work together on Office documents on each individual platform, you can just learn the general process. It is more or less the same across all the platforms, of course, with the added benefit of online working being super convenient and fast to learn. Any professional who wants to collaboratively work on a certain document can have access around the clock.

In essence, to set up Office 365 file storage and sharing, from the onset, keep the documents on a network drive which is accessible by everyone in the team. Microsoft Office management is way more organised and reliable than any of your teammates. As such, if a file is stored online and shared via a Google Drive email link, everyone in the team can easily access and work on it.

If Grace from HR is working on a document online, editing it and including some comments, Mark from Finance cannot edit it at the same time. When Mark tries to open and start editing the document, Microsoft Word will report to him that the document is currently in use by Grace and present options of either opening the document as read-only or being notified once Grace has finished. The document remains locked for read/write access by others until Grace closes it on her end.

This should not be a problem because at times, team members only need to check the contents (Read Only) and not read and edit (Read and Write). As such, all team members can be invited to work on the same document, one after the other, by the team leader or whoever has control of the document. All final changes are accepted by one individual in the end, thus averting the confusion of more than one person working on the document at a time. There are no means of alerting the person who is currently working on the document to close it so you can edit it, so having a document administrator who will be responsible for giving all team members fair chances of working on their edits is how the work is regulated.

If you would like to know how to share a PowerPoint presentation, use the same method as you would for Word documents. It’s essentially the same way. Since everyone works on the document from the same platform, there won’t be a flood of emails coming from various team members bringing in their unique files. Network serves are backed up all the time. All work done on the document will be saved and backed up. Say goodbye to excuses of ‘my computer crashed.’

For the entire team to be able to work on the same document as and when needed, it’s necessary to have the latest version of Microsoft Suite. Also, all members need to be connected to the office network. With an excellent internet connection, using the same network drive, you can edit Office documents shared with all you team members professionally.

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