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How to Share Your Excel Workbook

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  • 0:01 Sharing Excel Files
  • 0:31 Send as Attachment
  • 1:27 Send as PDF
  • 4:10 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karen Sorensen

Karen has a Bachelors in Communications. She has 25 years of experience in Information Systems, Adult Learning and Virtual Training.

Whether you are using MS Excel to develop complex company financial spreadsheets or track personal expenses, you may find yourself in need of sharing the information. This lesson will explain different sharing options in Excel.

Sharing Excel Files

There are many ways to share and collaborate on an Excel workbook. You can save your file to a shared environment, such as the Cloud or a network drive, you can print a hard copy for distribution, or you can use likely the most common way: email.

This lesson will focus on the email component of the Share feature in Excel. We will review the different email options and look at the steps to sharing your Excel files.

Send as Attachment

Let's start by taking a look at where to find the Share feature. Go to the File menu in the ribbon. About halfway down the list, you will see Share as one of the menu choices. Click on Share to expand the options. Then click on the Email command. You are presented with several options, but let's focus on the first choice, Send as Attachment.

The advantage of this option is that Excel will automatically open your default email program (for instance, Outlook), attach the Excel file, add the name of the file to the subject line and prompt you for additional comments. You simply need to hit send. Quick and easy.

Much easier than starting a new email, clicking on attach file and spending time to search for the exact Excel file you need to send. When you use the share/email option, Excel does all the work for you.

Send as PDF

You might have an occasion where you do not want to send the actual Excel file. Maybe you prefer that the file is protected from edits or changes or maybe the workbook is just for informational purposes. It may also be possible that you need to send the workbook to someone that does not have MS Excel.

Whatever your reason, a PDF (Portable Document Format) is a perfect option. A PDF is an electronic copy of a document. PDFs are small and easy to email. They are also easy to open and view on many computers and devices such as tablets and phones.

We have an example spreadsheet with the quarterly and year-end sales results for several company account reps:

Spreadsheet for example
spreadsheet for example

Imagine you want to send this to your team, but some may be viewing this on a device without MS Excel installed. A PDF version will do the job, and Excel gives you three different options for sending a PDF. You can see in the lesson video (at 02:28) that each option is identified using a different icon, but they all pretty much say the same thing. I know, it's confusing! Let me explain the difference.

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