How to Have Multiple Users Use One Sheet in Excel

By Jenna Foote

The ability to share a workbook in Microsoft Excel is useful for people who are collaborating on the same project. It allows users to monitor the progress of a group project and directly input their information into the same spreadsheet. The owner of a shared workbook can control what information is ultimately included and can stop sharing the workbook once all the data has been incorporated.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Excel software (Excel 97 or later for PC users; Excel 98 or later for Mac users)

Sharing in Excel 97/2000/XP/2003

Step 1

Create or open the workbook you would like to share.

Step 2

Under the Tools menu, select “Share Workbook.”

Step 3

The “Share Workbook” window will appear. The "Editing" tab shows all users who currently have the workbook open (you should see your name in the list). Click the box to allow other users to access the workbook simultaneously.

Step 4

The "Advanced" tab allows you to adjust the options for sharing, such as how long changes are tracked, how often they are updated and what happens when information conflicts. Select the options you wish to implement and click “OK.”

Step 5

A message box will appear confirming you would like to save the workbook. Click “OK.” The word "Shared" should now follow the file name at the top of the window.

Sharing in Excel Office 2007

Step 1

Create or open the workbook you would like to share.

Step 2

Under the "Review" tab at the top of the page, click on the “Share Workbook” icon in the "Changes" group.

Step 3

As with previous Excel versions, the “Share Workbook” window will appear. The Editing tab shows all users who currently have the workbook open (you should see your name in the list). Click the box to allow other users to access the workbook simultaneously.

Step 4

Click on the "Advanced" tab to adjust the options. Select the options you would like to implement and click “OK.”

Step 5

If it is a new workbook, the program will prompt you to save it. Enter the file name you wish to use and click “Save.” If the workbook has already been saved, a message box will appear confirming you would like to save the workbook. Click “OK.” The word "Shared" should now follow the file name at the top of the window.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some of Excel’s features are not supported by a shared workbook. To include such features as merged cells, charts, pictures, objects, data tables, conditional formats, macros, PivotTable reports and protection features, add them to the workbook and save before sharing it.
  • All of the users on a network share can access the shared workbook. You can restrict access and lock cells you do not wish to be edited by clicking on the “Protect and Share Workbook” icon in the "Changes" group of the "Review" tab.