[Video] Sharing Documents with Other People using Microsoft Office 365

This training video is part our Microsoft Office 365 Training Tutorials series. Click here to go to the training tutorial index page.


In this lesson you will learn:
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  • How to share a document using Word
  • How to share a folder using Sharepoint
  • How to share a folder using Onedrive for Business


Hi. I’m Ben, and welcome to this Microsoft Office 365 Quickstart Lesson on sharing content with SharePoint. One of the super powerful advantages of having your content stored in SharePoint with the Microsoft Office 365 Suite is that you can very easily share that content not only with people within your organization, but also people external to your organization. There are a couple different ways that you can share content, depending on what you’re trying to achieve. Remember that by default, all of the content in our SharePoint team site is accessible to everyone within our organization, so for this lesson, we’re going to be sharing content with someone external to our organization.

You can choose to share either an individual document, a folder, or indeed an entire document library. To start with, we’re going to share a single document, in this case, a Microsoft Word document. We can share a document using either Microsoft Word as it’s installed on your local computer or via web browser in the SharePoint document library itself.

To share a Word document using Microsoft Word installed on your computer, start by opening the document in Word as if you were going to edit it. To do this, click on the File menu and then click on Open. Click on the name of your SharePoint team site. Mine’s called Grassroots IT. I’m going to browse down here to the Grassroots IT Team Site option, which will bring up the normal File Open dialogue box. I’m going to browse through the various folders that are stored up there until I find the document that I’m interested in. Then I click on Open to open up that document within Microsoft Word.

Next, I’m going to go back to the File menu, but this time I’m going to come down here and click on Share. There’s quite a different range of sharing options available in here, but for the purpose of this demonstration, we’re going to click on the Invite People button. Next, type in the name or the email address of someone that you would like to share this document with. I’m going to share this particular document with my mum. Once you’ve typed in the name or the email address of that person, from this menu across on the side here, you can select the level of access that they’ll have. “Can edit” means they’ll be able to edit the document. “Can view” means that they will have read-only access to that document.

You can type in here a customized message to go to the person, and make sure that you do tick this box here if it’s not already, to require the user to sign in before accessing their documents. This is particularly important if you’ve selected to give them can edit permissions or, of course, if a document contains sensitive information. Lastly, click on the Share button down here, and that will adjust the relevant permissions for the document. It will also send an email to the person in question with a link to the document letting them know that they do now have access.

As we noticed before, there are a number of other sharing methods available that you can access when you click on the File and then the Share option in Microsoft Word. We’re not going to go into these different options in this video, but I would encourage you to have a look yourself to familiarize yourself with what’s available now that you understand the concept behind sharing a file.

The next thing that you might want to share an entire folder of content in SharePoint. We can’t manage this type of sharing from within Word, so the next step for us would be to access the document library through our web browser. I’ve accessed this document library here using the normal method, using Google Chrome browser. I typed in my SharePoint site address at the top here, which in my case is GrassrootsIT.SharePoint.com, but yours of course will be your organization’s name followed by .SharePoint.com. I’ve logged in and I’ve navigated around through to the particular folder of content that I wish to share.

I’m going to browse through and I’m going to share this folder called Blog. To do that, what I actually need to do is I need to jump back up one level. Here we can see my document library and here is the folder in question that I want to share. I’m going to put a tick next to the folder that I want to share and I’m going to click on the Share button just above the folder listing. This is going to bring up what’s going to look like quite a familiar window, very similar to when we shared a single document from within Word.

Here, you simply type in the email address or the name of the person who you wish to share with. You can select the level of access that they’re going to have. Include a message if you want and click on the Share button to send that sharing invitation off to the person in question. You can also use the same process if you wish to share an individual file from within a folder, so for example, I could put a tick here next to this particular Word document, come up here, click on the Share button, and again, the same process applies.

As a final note, if you’re using OneDrive for Business to synchronize SharePoint content to your local computer, you can also access the sharing options from within OneDrive on your computer. To do so, simply open up Windows Explorer on your computer and browse to your OneDrive for Business folder. Locate the document or indeed the folder that you’d like to share. Right click on that particular item, select the OneDrive for Business menu option, and then click on the Share button. What this will do is in fact bring you back to the familiar web interface that we’ve seen before and pop open the standard Sharing dialogue box with which you’re now familiar. Fill out the usual fields in here, the person’s name or email address, select their permission level. Remember to keep a tick in that box that requires sign in, and click on the Share button.

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When not looking at ways to use technology to create a competitive advantage for his clients and build better businesses, Ben is a husband, busy father of boys, avid gardener, and keen runner and cyclist.

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