How to Save & Share Microsoft Word Documents

Instructor: Sebastian Garces

Sebastian has taught programming and computational thinking for University students and has Master's degree in Computer and Information Technology

In this lesson, we are going to learn the different ways to save and share documents in Microsoft Word. We will learn how to work on real-time collaboration and cloud-based syncing, allowing for multiple people to work at the same time effortlessly.

Saving and Sharing Documents

In this lesson, we are going to use Microsoft Word 2016. If using a different version content presented here may differ. The steps shown here have been done on a Mac and could be slightly different when doing the same steps on a PC.

We are going to cover the different ways to save a document and how we can select a location on our computer or a cloud-based location. Also, by saving documents online, this will let us share and work real-time with other people without worrying about multiple file copies or information lost.

Saving a Document

To save a document in Microsoft Word, we have two options, locally or in the cloud. Both options start in the same way, we go to the File menu and click on Save.

Save Menu
Saving Menu in Word

Saving Locally

Saving our document in the local system is the default option. After we click save, we will be prompted with the Finder or File Explorer, and we will choose where to save the file.

Note that, when saving locally, we can choose the file format as well. This is done in case we need our document to have some compatibility with older Microsoft Versions or with other programs. Also, this is one of the ways to convert our document into a PDF file.

Different File Formats
File Formats in Word

Now, we just need to click save, and that will be it, our file is ready.

Saving Online

Saving our document online is the best way to take advantage of the new Microsoft Word features, starting with the auto save. To save our document online, we need to click on Save in the File menu and find the Online Locations button.

Saving Online
Save Online Menu

This will open a new window where we can add three different types of online services: OneDrive, OneDrive for Business and SharePoint. OneDrive is the personal cloud-based file storage and management by Microsoft. We can get this service for free with our Microsoft email account. OneDrive for Business is the same service as OneDrive, but with more storage capacity. We can access this one if we have access to an Office 365 subscription. Finally, SharePoint, also included an with Office 365 subscription, is a teamwork platform that also lets us store documents and edit online.

Saving Online on a PC
Online Services in PC Version

If we don't have an account synced with Microsoft Word, we need to add one to save online. We can click on Add a Place and use our credentials. Once we have a linked account, we can navigate through the folders or create a new one, to finally select where to save our file.

Online Services
Online Services in Word

Note that we can also select a different file format when saving online, but this can affect some functionalities of Microsoft Word, so keep in mind to always use the default file format.

The first thing that happens is that Microsoft Word will let us know that the Autosave is on. We don't have to worry about data loss anymore.

Autosave is On
Autosave Feature

This way, everytime we make a change to our document, it will start saving. We can notice this on the top bar next to our document name.

Status Bar
Save Status in Document

Sharing Documents

There are a couple of ways we can share documents to collaborate with other people. Some of these ways are more tedious but work, some others are effortless and really cool to try.

Standard Sharing

The first and most known way of sharing is when we save our file locally on our computer, and we send this by some medium to a peer, friend, co-worker, etc. This medium could be email, a USB drive, social media. If we are going to use this method, we need to turn on the Tracking Mode in Word. This way, we can easily identify the different changes done by other people:

Track Changes is On
Tracking Changes

Tracking Changes
Tracking Changes in the Document

Real-Time Sharing

The other way we can share documents is real-time sharing. This way, people won't get a copy of the document, but a link to access the online version of the document, letting you and others edit the document at the same time. The way to do this is to find the Share option at the right top menu, here we are going to find different sharing options:

Share Menu
Share Menu in Word

Sharing Options
Sharing Options in Word


This will let anyone with the link to the document read and edit. We don't have to use specific email addresses, we can just share the link.

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