How to Share Microsoft Word Documents

A shared document is one that lets two or more people can open and modify at the same time. Unlike Microsoft Excel, Word doesn't include features that let you share documents directly. However, you can share a Word document in other ways. For example, you can send a Word document in an email and allow others to review the file; link to a Word document; copy contents within a Word document and use it elsewhere; and allow specific users to edit a restricted area of your a document.

laptops with documents flying from one screen to the other
An illustration of documents transferring to another computer.
credit: faithiecannoise/iStock/Getty Images

Share by Email for Review

Step

Open the Word document you want to share.

Step

Click the "Customize Quick Access Toolbar" and select "More Commands."

Step

Select "Commands Not in the Ribbon" from "Choose commands from" under the "Customize" tab. Select "Send for Review" and click the "Add" button. Click "OK" to return to Word. The command now appears in the "Quick Access Toolbar."

Step

Click the "Send for Review" command in the "Quick Access Toolbar."

Step

Enter the email address of the person you're sharing the document with in the "To" field above the page.

Step

Type in a subject line and message. Click the "Send" button.

Link to Word Documents

Step

Open the main document you're working on in Word.

Step

Select the "Insert" tab and go to the "Text" group.

Step

Click "Object" and "Text from File." Select the Word document you want to share.

Step

Click "Insert" and "Insert as Link" from the bottom of the "Insert File" dialog box.

Step

Right click on the linked area and select "Update Field" to view any updates in the shared document

Share by Copying

Step

Open the document you want to share and highlight the text you need.

Step

Select the "Home" tab and choose "Copy" or press the Ctrl and C keys to copy the text.

Step

Open the document where the shared content goes.

Step

Place your cursor where the content should go. Press Ctrl and V to paste the content.

Share by Allowing Certain Users to Edit Document

Step

Open the document you want to share.

Step

Select the "Review" tab and choose "Protect Document" from the "Protect" group.

Step

Select "Restrict Formatting and Editing" to open the "Restrict Formatting and Editing" task pane.

Step

Go to the "Editing restrictions" section and select "Allow only this type of editing in the document."

Step

Select "Tracked changes," "Comments" or "Filling in forms." If you chose comments, select "Everyone" or "More users" to specify the users. Highlight any areas of your document you want to track or allow users to edit.

Step

Select "Yes, Start Enforcing Protection." Add a password in the "Start Enforcing Protection" dialog box and click "OK."

Step

Save the file.