Sharing vs Co-Authoring a Spreadsheet

New Contributor

Prior to migrating to Office 365, as an office, we have been sharing a specific spreadsheet which has been working fine, with its limitations.


Now we have moved across to Office 365 we have looked at the idea of co-authoring as it will allow us to be able to still have multiple users at any one time but we can also do simple things like merge/split cells, insert pictures, insert hyperlinks, etc.

I have two questions though...
1. Is there a way of co-authoring and have the file located on our server rather than a OneDrive location?

2. If the answer to the above is "No", is there a way of setting up a link to the spreadsheet at the OneDrive location and placing it in a folder on our server AND having that link open the spreadsheet in the desktop version of Excel and not the browser?

I have looked at lots of options by Googling the above issues and nothing seems to be working for me at the minute!

Thanks in advance

6 Replies


It seems you are confusing a few things.

For co-authoring your file must be saved either to OneDrive or SharePoint.

A file on OneDrive or SharePoint can be opened either with the browser or with the desktop app.



As far as I could understand the translation, you would like to work on a workbook together.

Here is some information about it:

Collaborate on Excel workbooks at the same time with co-authoring

If it is not the case and not what you are looking for, please just ignore the information.

Thank you for your understanding and patience


I would be happy to know if I could help.


Wish you a nice day.



I know I don't know anything (Socrates)

@Detlef Lewin 

OK, so Q1 is answered in the fact that you have said that I need to save the file to OneDrive or SharePoint.  No problem there.

When I save that file to OneDrive and then share it all I can do is send a link to an email address or copy the link to put it into an email to people.  Having an email with the link is not very convenient for what we need.  Is there not a way of creating a shortcut, similar to how you would create a shortcut on your desktop for a frequently used file on your server?

I tried to create a shortcut by browsing to the location of that file in the OneDrive folder, but of course if somebody else tries to open that link it is trying to access 'my' OneDrive and they get an error as below:

01-Shortcut Error.jpg

The only other way is copying the linked provided when I click the 'share' button, but then I can only create an 'internet shortcut' and that will only open the file in a web browser, and I need this to open in the Excel software.

Any ideas with this?! 

Thanks.  I do understand the basic concepts of the co-authoring, but having a specific issue.

Background:  We have a "Schedule" that is a spreadsheet, located in a particular part of our server (G:\Training Schedule\2020 Schedule.xlsx).  This file is shared in the 'old way' as a "Shared Workbook" and works well apart from the lack of some functionality.
Problem: Now that we have migrated to Office 365 I want to be able to use co-authoring (giving us the better functionality), but to do so I have to save the file to my work OneDrive account.  I'm fine with that, but I would like a link to that file in the G:\Training Schedule\ folder that will allow all staff members to be able to click on it and open the file in it's native Excel format (not browser format).    


In order to co-author on OneDrive all other team members need a permission from you. That is the link you create by clicking on the share button. There is no other way.


Work with worksheet data in OneDrive 

How to open Excel, Word, PowerPoint files from OneDrive in desktop apps 

How to Make Office Files Open in Their Desktop App by Default. 



The easiest way is to use Microsoft Teams if you have it in your subscription. That's the tool designed to share and communicate common resources by teams and group charts. From the Teams interface you may open the file in Teams interface (which is actually embedded browser), in browser and in desktop application. Everything is naturally shared.


Without Teams if you have only OneDrive interface you may find all shared files, shared both by you and with you


Any file could be opened in browser or in application if it is supported


Default behavior also could be set, at least for SharePoint libraries, perhaps for OneDrive as well.