Microsoft is bringing one of the best features of Office to Excel on Windows. The company today announced in a blog post that it’s bringing real-time co-authoring to Excel on Windows desktops. The feature is coming to Office Insiders in the Fast Ring today, but it will be coming to all Office users in the near future.
The new co-authoring experience in Excel works just like it does on Word or PowerrPoint: you simply need to share a file from OneDrive, OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online with others. When someone else starts editing the file, you will be able to see all the changes they make in real-time, and they will also be able to view all the changes you make on your spreadsheets.
Here’s how it works:
- On a Windows PC, use Excel to open an existing file stored on SharePoint Online, OneDrive or OneDrive for Business.
- Share the file with others (must be others in the Insiders program to take advantage of Excel on Windows desktop) using the Share option in the top right and select the default “Edit” permissions. Alternatively, you can use a file on a shared file location such as a SharePoint Online document library (team site) which is already shared with your team if others on your team are also in the Insiders program.
- Team up with one or more other Insiders and edit the file simultaneously with them.
- When others join the file, you should be notified with an in-app notification and when you are using Excel on a Windows desktop, you will be able to see where they are working within the workbook.
It is worth noting that Excel’s co-authoring feature won’t work unless you are working with someone who is also an Office Insider. If you want to try out co-authoring on Excel right now, you will need to join the Office Insider program here.