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  • DriveHQSupport_
  • (642 posts)

Microsoft Excel had a great feature for Workbook Sharing (collaboration), Track Changes, and Compare & Merge Workbooks. This feature is very useful when multiple users need to edit the same Excel file.  The Excel file can be saved on DriveHQ cloud file server (or a local file server). If the Excel workbook is not shared, when a user opens the file, it will lock the file. Other users can open the file for read-only access. (This is the regular file-locking feature).

Older versions of Excel support "Share Workbook" feature in the Review tab. Please see the screenshot below:

Share Workbook Feature in Microsoft Excel

After you share the workbook, multiple users can edit the same Excel file at the same time. Changes made by two users can be automatically merged (unless there is a conflict).


In the latest version of Excel 2016, Microsoft chose to hide this feature. Instead they try to push for the cloud-based co-authoring feature. The co-authoring feature has an advantage in real-time collaboration, but it also has a huge disadvantage: it only supports files stored on OneDrive. If you open an Excel file on a local drive or a network drive, you cannot directly share it. The file must be uploaded to OneDrive and then shared to other users.


As mentioned, the "Share Workbook" feature is still available in Excel 2016. To un-hide this feature, you just need to Customize the Excel Ribbon or Customize the Quick Access Toolbar. To do so, you need to:


(1) Click the File menu in Excel, then click  Options -> Quick Access Toolbar (or Customize Ribbon)

(2) Select "All commands" in the "Choose commands from" drop-down.

(3) Select "Share Workbook (Legacy)" in the list and click Add. Do the same for "Track Changes (Legacy)", "Protect Sharing (Legacy)", "Compare and Merge Workbooks" 

Please see the screenshots below:

Customize the Excel Quick Access Toolbar:

Customize Excel Quick Access Toolbar


4/6/2018 11:03:45 AM

  • DriveHQSupport_
  • (642 posts)
Subject: (Continue) Excel 2016: Enable Shared Workbook, Track Changes, Compare and Merge ...


Customize Excel Ribbon

Customize Excel Ribbon

Note: if you customize the ribbon, you will need to create a New Tab or New Group. Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar is slightly easier.

Click Ok to close the dialog. You can see the newly added buttons in the Quick Access Toolbar (or ribbon):

"Share workbook" button in Quick Access Toolbar

Click the "Share Workbook" button as shown below, it will pop up a dialog as follows:

Share workbook (legacy) in Excel 2016


The dialog is similar to the older versions of Excel. You just need to check the checkbox of "use the old shared workbooks feature instead of the new co-authoring experience."




(1) The first time you use "Share Workbook" feature, you might need to set the Trust Center -> Privacy Options as shown below:

Set Excel trust center privacy options

(2) If you have many users (employees) who need to customize this feature, you can automate it. Microsoft has a support page on that. While it is for Office 2010, it is likely to work for Office 2016.

(3) If you use DriveHQ's cloud drive mapping service, please map your cloud drive as a "Local" drive. If a drive is already mapped as a WebDAV drive, you can click Repair and select Remap as a "Local" drive.  A mapped "local" drive is more compatible with Microsoft Office 2016.


4/6/2018 11:34:57 AM

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