Microsoft Excel Shortcuts – How to set up a shared workbook

Microsoft Excel 2003 has become the spreadsheet of choice for more than 80% of corporate businesses around the world. One of the clear advantages of using Microsoft Excel 2003 over other spreadsheet programs is the ability for multiple people to enter information on the same spreadsheet. This feature in Microsoft Excel is called Shared Workbooks and we’ll cover how to configure this capability in this article.

If a user attempts to open a workbook that is already open, they typically receive a message saying that the file is locked by a certain user and that they would like to open the file in read-only mode. However, he can open a shared workbook by following these steps. First open the file you want to share, then once the workbook is open go to the Tools menu and choose Share Workbook from the dropdown menu.

The Share Workbook dialog will appear. To enable sharing, simply click once on the Allow Sharing checkbox, so it has a checkmark. Once you do this, other people will be able to use your Excel workbook while you work on it.

However, there are some other parameters that can be set at the same time. For other options, just choose the Advanced tab. There are three basic parameters that you need to consider. The first is how long you will store the history in your file.

Microsoft Excel allows you to store more than 32,000 days of changes in your Excel file, however, there is a catch. All of that information is stored in your file and consequently your file will grow exponentially. Most organizations generally work on a maximum of 30 days and that is the default, however the value entered simply depends on your workbook requirements. You can choose the second option which says, Don’t Keep Change History. This simply ensures that the changes are not persisted.

A second option that is available is the Update Changes option. This function simply allows you to define how often spreadsheet changes are updated. The most common item that users use is Update every 15 minutes. What this does is force a save and leak the data to all users. One point to consider is that if your workbook is relatively large and you are working on a slow computer, you may want to increase that time to 30 minutes.

The last area of ​​concern is the Save Changes feature. This defines whose changes will override whose. There are two options available which say, Ask me what changes win and Saved changes win. The option you choose really depends on the type of workbook you have created.

The final issue to consider is if someone turns off the Share Workbook feature. If this happens, when you try to save your workbook, you will be prompted to save it somewhere else or you will lose your work. This is one of the disadvantages of the Share Workbook feature.

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