6. Sharing Documents


Learn how to share documents via Outlook or OneDrive.

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Lesson Goal

Explore different ways we can share our document with collaborators.

Sharing a document in an email

If you use a non-Microsoft email client, you’ll have to compose a new message there and manually attach the document.

If you’re using your Outlook email address, which comes with Microsoft Office, you can share a Word document as an attachment without leaving Word. To do this, click File in the Ribbon and choose Share in the toolbar to the left.

This opens the Share window. At the bottom, we have two options for sending a document as an attachment. We can send it as a Word document or as a pdf.

Clicking either option will open a new email Window that will be familiar to Outlook users. This will already have the document as an attachment. We just need to fill out the remaining details and hit send.

Sharing with OneDrive

From the top of the Share window, we can click OneDrive. If we click this, it will open the Share pane to the right of the inerface. Here we can type the names or email addresses of friends or colleagues who also have access to OneDrive.

If we click the portrait icon to the right, we can open our address book. This will contain a list of people from your organization.

Below, we can see a list of people who have access to the document. At the top we should see the owner, and beneath we’ll see other users who have access.

The advantage of sharing a document via OneDrive is that all collaborators can work simultaneously on the same document. This prevents multiple copies that need to be combined into a single document.


In the previous lesson, we learned how to add comments to our document to give supporting information to other authors and reviewers. In this lesson, we'll explore different ways we can share our document with collaborators. There are lots of ways to share a Word document. As with any other file, we can use conventional methods like saving it on a Flash drive or attaching it to an email.

We can also use the file sharing functionality built directly into Microsoft Office.

We'll start with a simple integration between Word and Outlook.

This is a quick method for sending the word document as an email through Outlook.

We'll click the Share button in the ribbon to open the Share window.

At the bottom of this window, we have two options for emailing the document as an attachment.

We can choose to send it as a Word document or a PDF.

PDF files are effectively read only as they have limited editing capacity.

When sharing documents with a collaborator for edits or to add comments and suggestions, you should send it as a Word document.

When sharing with someone who won't or shouldn't edit the document, send it as a PDF.

We'll choose to send it as a Word document but note that the process is the same for both file types. This opens a new mail window that will be familiar to Outlook users.

Since I'm using Office 365, we're sending an email from the address associated with my Office account.

For older versions of Office, you may need to set up Outlook on your computer if you have not yet done so.

This is a simple email, so I'll add the recipient's address.

The subject field contains the document name. So, we'll leave that.

I'll leave a short note in the main body of the email and then hit Send.

This method is useful when sending a document to an account not associated with Microsoft Office.

Note that we've just given the recipient a copy of the document. If they make changes, they'll need to send their updated version back to us. This can lead to multiple copies in different versions.

This is even more complex when multiple people are collaborating because it can lead to different versions from each collaborator.

Integrating all these versions can be very tedious.

Fortunately, OneDrive offers a better alternative when sharing files with other Microsoft Office users.

OneDrive is a cloud storage space that comes with Office 365.

By adding a file to OneDrive, we can access it from any computer.

We'll open the Share window again and this time, we'll click OneDrive.

This opens the OneDrive sharing options.

To share, we'll type in an email address.

Once we've selected the collaborator, we can choose the access rights.

In this case, we only want specific people to have access to the file and we want to allow them to edit.

We can add a note but this is optional, so we'll just click Send.

Sharing a document via OneDrive is better because it doesn't create a new copy like sending an attachment.

We have one copy in our OneDrive and we're giving our collaborators access to this file.

This means that multiple collaborators can make changes even simultaneously.

Note that this only works if the file is stored in the OneDrive folder.

Although this is an online folder, Windows users can find this folder from their file explorer. Let's stop the lesson here. In the next lesson, we'll examine how other collaborators can make suggestions to the document.

Perfecting Your Document
Reviewing & Sharing


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