3 Reason Why You Should NOT Share an Excel Workbook

As a follow-up to our last post on why you should Share an Excel workbook, this post will cover some of the main reasons why you should not Share an Excel workbook. Sharing is a very valuable function in Excel, but in some situations, it is better to simply turn the Sharing off. While Sharing does open up many opportunities for collaboration with your team, it also restricts many key functions in Excel.

1. You Need to Insert an Object

One of the shortcomings of the Sharing function is that it disables many critical functions. You’ll find that once you share an Excel workbook, most of the options on the Insert Tab are disabled. So, this means that you can’t do things such as insert shapes, pictures, or even hyperlinks. In effect, when you Share an Excel workbook, your options are limited mostly to simply entering data into the spreadsheet. If you need to insert an object in a Shared workbook, you will first need to disable Sharing, insert your object, and then re-enable Sharing.

2. You Need to Create a Pivot Table

Creating Pivot Tables (or Charts) is also disabled when you Share an Excel workbook. You will still be able to view and manipulate Pivot Tables that you created before you enabled Sharing. However, you won’t be able to create any new ones. So, before you Share an Excel workbook, you need to make sure that you don’t need to create any additional Pivot Tables.Why not to share an Excel Workbook

3. You Need to Import Data

Another function that is disabled when you Share an Excel workbook is the suite of Data Import options. Once the file is Shared, you won’t be able to pull data into Excel directly from text files, databases, the Internet, etc. You will still be able to use the Copy/Paste functions, however, depending on the type of data that you’re working with, this may create more problems than it solves. So, if you have a large volume of data that you need to pull into a spreadsheet, import the data before you enable Sharing.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Share an Excel Workbook

Knowing how to properly Share an Excel workbook is a valuable skill, particularly in the modern office environment. However, it is also important to know when to Share an Excel workbook. Many people know how to share Excel files, but many do not know the best way to take advantage of all the Sharing functions. Once you know how and why to Share an Excel workbook, you will be able to take advantage of the flexibility that Sharing offers.

1. Collaborate on a Group Project

The most common reason to Share an Excel workbook is to enable collaboration on a group project. Sharing allows multiple people to go into the file at the same time to make and save changes. So, with Sharing enabled, your project team can all work in the workbook at the same time without having to wait for each other to save and exit the workbook (avoiding that dreaded “Read-Only” status). When you Share an Excel workbook, your team can work faster and more efficiently.

2. Create a Data Tracker With Multiple Editors and Viewers

You can also easily create a multi-user data tracker with Sharing. If you need to create some sort of running log or tracker where multiple people need to get into the file and log changes, Sharing an Excel workbook makes this quick and easy. So, if you have a couple customer service reps who need to log new sales orders as they come in, you can simply setup your log, click “Share”, and then your reps can each easily log their own orders in the tracker without having to stop and ask the other people to get out of the file. Sharing also enables each of the reps (and their managers) to see the other reps’ orders in real-time, so they can easily redistribute the volume if one of them becomes overwhelmed. Sharing makes creating a log or other real-time data tracker fast and easy.Share an Excel Workbook

3. Avoid the Confusion of Read-Only

Sharing an Excel workbook also enables you to avoid the confusion associated with the “Read-Only” status. So, if you want other people to be able to view the contents of your Excel workbook and would like to avoid a cascade of pop-ups every time someone new opens the file, you can simply Share it. This will allow your users to go straight to the content of your file without having to click through multiple pop-ups warning them that other people are in the file. You can then secure the content of your workbook with the appropriate permissions.

Share an Excel Workbook and Extend Your Knowledge

Sharing an Excel workbook is a great way to take advantage of the flexibility of Excel and make the program more responsive to your team’s needs. But learning why you should Share an Excel workbook is just the first step. Sign up for our free newsletter to learn even more valuable Excel skills. Plus, you’ll also be the first to receive exclusive discounts on our training classes.