Many people and companies use Microsoft Excel datasheets to store data. It often starts as a quick document to share information, but the data of the file is growing and more information is added. More sheets, more calculations, more important and crucial content for the company.
And then you want to share this document with your colleagues, because the data and its calculations are so great. And the best part is that you don’t need to contact your IT department to set up a complex database, that would only take away your baby and lesser your flexibility.
But you run into the problem that a worksheet can be opened by one user at the same time but you need to work with multiple users on this datasheet. Or maybe you use the data of this Excel document to show this data in real-time on an information screen. Our DataPoint add-on for PowerPoint is a tool that is often used for real-time information screens in companies, factories or on the work-floor. So, whether it are colleagues or it is DataPoint reading out the information, multiple users or connections are needed on this single user document.
In older versions of Excel, it was possible to share a workbook so that multiple users or processes could access the data. But since Excel 2016 Microsoft has stopped supporting this sharing option. The shared workbook feature is no longer available on the Review tab.
Microsoft has removed this great feature because they have (what they call) a better option for that. Microsoft wants to move us to co-authoring for this. This means that you have to upload your document to OneDrive or SharePoint Online. But some companies don’t want to make use of these services, or make their operations depending on the availability of an internet connection. Good news for such users and companies. You can bring back that shared workbook for Excel 2016.
There are 2 options to bring back the Share Workbook functionality back to the Excel ribbon or menu. One is that you add its button to a new group at the Review tab and the second one is that you add it to the Quick Access Toolbar.
To bring it back to the Review tab
In Excel click File, Options, Customize Ribbon. At the Choose commands from combobox, select All Commands. Then, from the list of commands, locate ans select the option Share Workbook (Legacy). At the right side, click the Review tab and click the New Group button. Then click the Rename button and name it e.g. Shared workbook.
Now click the Add button in the middle to bring that Share Workbook (Legacy) command to this newly created Shared Workbook group.
Click OK to close and look at the Review tab again. A new button is added to bring back the shared workbook functionality as before.
To bring it to the Quick Access Toolbar
In Excel click File, Options, Quick Access Toolbar. Go to Choose commands from combobox, select All Commands. Then, from the list of commands, locate ans select the option Share Workbook (Legacy). Click Add button or add the command to the list of commands that are already available at the Quick Access Toolbar. Click OK to close and the new Quick Access Toolbar. This will now look like this.
You could even have the Share workbook command available in the Review tab or the Quick Access Toolbar.
How to use the Share Workbook (Legacy)
Click the Share Workbook (Legacy) button either from the Review tab or either from the Quick Access Toolbar. Go to form and check the option Use the old shared workbooks feature instead of the new co-authoring experience and click OK.
You can now open this same Excel document by multiple users from different locations. Note that DataPoint connections reading out the information for your information screens, is also a second connection to your Excel, even when you expect to be alone.