admin Posted on 6:40 am

How to benefit from sharing workbooks in Excel

Shared workbooks are a great feature of Microsoft Excel. You should set up ‘shared workbooks’ if the participation of many people is required to complete a project. This feature allows you to collaborate with other members of your team quickly and easily. In short, a shared workbook is set up to allow multiple users on a network to edit it simultaneously. In fact, the computer can view the data at the same time. For example, the boss may need to know the status of a project. Many times, if the same group is working on multiple projects, they may also need to know the status of each other’s progress.

How do you set up the shared workbook? One person on the team can create a template or standard workbook where data from different people can be entered based on their expertise. In a tour operator scenario, one person will enter airfare, another will arrange accommodation, and yet another will finalize local sightseeing in a taxi or bus. Once the workbook has been properly formatted, the workbook is saved to a shared folder on the network that is then available to everyone working on the project.

Since some Excel features can be used or viewed but not changed once the workbook is shared, the workbook author must ensure that features such as data validation, charts, conditional formatting, merged cells, hyperlinks, scenarios, PivotTable reports, worksheet protection, and macros are carefully incorporated and configured before implementing sharing.

Now for the cool thing: if two users edit the same cell in a shared workbook worksheet, a conflict resolution window appears and you can decide which changes you want to accept. Also, every time a team member saves the shared workbook, she gets an update notice. She can also highlight or track changes automatically.

As you can see, you work on a shared workbook just like you would any workbook with the main benefit that the shared workbook improves team productivity by using their expertise on a project and you can see who is working on the workbook at any time.

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