Microsoft Excel users will soon be able to add co-authors to protected Excel files. With the new co-authoring support, users will be able to share and collaborate securely with the use of passwords. Sharing your Excel workbook with your colleagues to co-author works in real-time. Changes update immediately on any device you are using. And in some versions of Excel, you will see other people’s selections in different colors.
Before this update, Microsoft allows Excel users to add co-authors on regular files. However, if you are working on sensitive and confidential files with password protection enabled, the feature is not applicable. You can’t use both as you will have to remove the protection to use co-authoring. Now, it is possible to have protection and collaboration in place at the same time.
The update will be available on the Microsoft Excel app for desktop and Excel online. No mention of when it will be launched on Excel mobile apps yet.
Microsoft is constantly updating the features on its Office apps as well as Microsoft 365 making them safer and efficient to use. The co-authoring support in protected Excel files has been on Microsoft’s radar since a lot of users have been requesting for it to be available. It seems that Microsoft listens to its users. The new capability has recently been included in the Microsoft Roadmap. Based on that record, it is still in development and the initial release date for this feature is June 2021.
How to Share your Workbook and Add Co-Authors to Protected Files in Excel
To enable co-authoring, you need to save your Microsoft Excel workbook to OneDrive or SharePoint Online library.
- If your Excel version supports co-authoring, a “Share” button appears in the upper-right corner of your workbook.
- Select “Share” and Choose the cloud location (OneDrive or SharePoint) to upload your file.
- Set permissions by selecting the dropdown button. You can appoint someone who can edit or just view the shared workbook.
- Enter the email addresses of your co-worker (separate each with a semicolon.)
- You can also add an optional message.
- Hit the “Share” button to notify the users.
- You can also share your Excel workbook through a link. Just click “Get a Sharing Link” at the bottom of the Share pane and share it through another medium.
Right now, if you try this on, you will be notified to remove the protection on your password-protected Microsoft Excel workbook first before you can enable sharing. However, when the new feature is released, you will be able to use co-authoring either way.