This lesson introduces an amazing feature that's available when you open a workbook using Excel Online. And that is that several users can open the same workbook at the same time and every change that any user makes is instantly visible on the other users' screens.
Let's begin this lesson by considering what happens when you open a workbook using the normal Excel desktop application.
In this case the workbook is copied from your hard drive into the computer's memory. When you make changes they're applied to the copy of the workbook in the computer's memory, rather than the workbook on the hard drive.
That's why it's important to save the workbook on a regular basis because if you close Excel without saving the workbook you will lose any changes that you made.
The Desktop Excel Application always works like this, whether the workbook resides on your local hard disk, or on your OneDrive.
Now let's look at opening a workbook using Excel Online.
In this scenario you save the workbook to your OneDrive. And as you know, your OneDrive also includes a copy of Excel 2013 as a Cloud Application. We call this Excel Online.
When you open workbook using Excel Online, the workbook isn't copied into the computer's memory. You work with the actual workbook on the OneDrive and not a copy of it. This means that any changes are instantly applied to the workbook, making a Save button unnecessary. Because any change you make is instantly made to the actual workbook file. This new way of working provides an unexpected benefit.
If another user is working with the same workbook and is also using Excel Online, then any change made by either user will magically and almost instantly, appear on the other user's screen.
And remember, because Excel Online is a Cloud application, it doesn't care which device you're using. So you can also collaborate with users that are using Pad devices, Smartphones, Apple Macs, and indeed any device that has a supported web browser. And when any of those users make a change to the Excel workbook, every other user will instantly see the change on their own machine.
So now that you understand the concept of editing a workbook simultaneously, using Excel Online, let's move onto the lesson and see this working.
To get the most out of this lesson you'll need two devices to simulate two different users.
If you only have one device, you can still work through this lesson. To do this you'll need to open two web browser windows, and you'll need to imagine that each browser window is a different user with a different device. And that's exactly what I'm going to do in this lesson.
I'm going to share the Smartphone Sales workbook between two different users and allow them to both edit the workbook at the same time.
So the first thing I need to do is to create an Edit link and send it to each user.
In the previous lesson you created a View link, and you did that from inside Excel. For this lesson I'll do things a little differently and I'll create the Edit link from inside a web browser window.
First of all, I'll open my web browser. Now even though OneDrive does support Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Firefox, it's always a good idea to use Internet Explorer if it's available. Because Microsoft always makes sure that Internet Explorer works perfectly with the OneDrive.
Now I'm going to go to the OneDrive Web site. So I click in the address bar and type www.onedrive.com.
I need to give the usual warning here, because the Internet is always changing. And it's quite possible that, by the time you watch this video, the OneDrive site will look nothing like this. But this is how the OneDrive site looked in June of 2014. And you should be able to figure out how to complete this lesson, because the procedure will be very similar to what I'm about to do here.
So first I'll click the Sign In button and because I'm already signed into my OneDrive, I'm not asked for a username and password. If you're not already signed in you will of course be prompted for this.
Now I'll navigate to the Smartphone Sales sample file that you saved in Lesson 8-1. So I'll click on the Documents folder first.
Of course if you're using a pad device you'll tap this with your finger instead, then the Excel folder and the Practice folder, and there's the Smartphone Sales workbook.
Now I'll hover the mouse cursor over Smartphone Sales and click in the checkbox in the top right corner to select.
Now I'll click Share from the top menu bar and I'll select: Share with Anyone with this edit link. The Edit Link will enable users to both read and change the workbook.
Now this is quite a long link, so I usually click the Shorten Link button, and that makes the link shorter and more manageable.
Now I'll click on the link to select it, then right-click, and Copy.
Now let's imagine I've sent this Edit link to two different users and they're both now going to open the workbook at the same time. So I'll create a new browser tab, then I'll right click and paste the URL into the browser window, and press the Enter key. And you can see that Smartphone Sales opened using the Excel Online application.
But at the moment I still can't type anything into any of the cells on the worksheet. I need to click the Edit Workbook tab in order to enable editing.
So I'll click Edit Workbook now, and from the introduction to this lesson you'll appreciate that it's really important now that I edit in Excel Online. Because if I was going to edit using the desktop version of Excel, I wouldn't be able to use the simultaneous editing feature.
So I click: Edit in Excel Online. And you can see that the Ribbon has now appeared.
Now I need to simulate that other user. So I'll reduce the size of this window a little, then I'll right-click on the Internet Explorer icon on the bottom bar, and select Internet Explorer, to open a new instance of the Internet Explorer window. And you can see I have the two instances of the window now on the screen side-by-side.
I'm now going to open the same workbook in the left hand window. So I'll click in the Address Bar, then right-click and paste, then I'll press the Enter key, and you can see that I've now opened Smartphone Sales in the left hand window.
Once again I'll enable Edit Mode by clicking Edit Workbook on the Ribbon, and then of course, Edit in Excel Online.
I want you to notice something interesting about each window. You can see that the active cell in the left hand window is cell A1 and that's shown in blue in the right hand window. And in the right hand window the active cell is cell H5 and that's being echoed in red in the left hand window.
Now I'm going to put some text into cell H7. So I'll click on cell H7 and once again you can see that my active cell is echoed in the right hand window. And I'll type the text: Entered by Left Window user.
When I press the Enter key you're going to see this text appear in the right hand window. So I'll press Enter, now, and there's the text.
You need to realize that these two browser windows could be on any device, anywhere in the world, and both users would still be able to see each other's changes.
Now let's make a change in the right hand window.
I'll click in a cell on the right hand window and I'll type: Entered by Right Window user. And when I press the Enter key you can see that the text appears in the left window as well.
You need to also realize that there could be a 100 users all editing this workbook at the same time. And if any one of those 100 users made a change to any cell, the other 99 users would see the change almost immediately. This opens up some exciting new possibilities for collaborative working with Excel workbooks.
I'm now going to delete some of the text in the left window.
Let's delete the text the right window user entered, and I'll press the Delete key. And you can see it's also disappeared from the right hand window.
And let's delete some text in the right hand window now, and when I do you can see that it disappears from both windows.
Well I'll now close both browser windows and you've now completed Lesson 8-7: Edit a Workbook Simultaneously with Other Users Using Excel Online.