Until now, sharing spreadsheets within a Microsoft Teams meeting has been a fairly one-sided experience. You share your screen, and everyone else watches while you navigate through the workbook and update the content. But what if your group could use that meeting time more efficiently to get the work done together? Building on what we’ve learned and the evolving needs of today’s workplace, we’ve created an enhanced collaboration solution for working on Microsoft Excel workbooks—Excel Live—empowering your group to collaborate in real time within your Teams meetings.
In October we’ll begin rolling out to general availability after first announcing Excel Live for Public Preview at Microsoft Inspire in July 2022.
"This feature really improves the overall ability to work together in the ‘now.’ Meaning, we can collaborate in real-time and get things done during the Teams meeting instead of someone just presenting.”
“This feature is just plain fantastic and everyone who tried it was blown away.”
“This is an awesome feature during a meeting. Usually, we just share a screen and one person drives, but in this new model, we were able to all work together seamlessly.”
"OMGosh...this is phenomenal. I can’t tell you how many times I have been working with a teammate on data in an Excel file. One person is looking up the info while the other is the only one that is able to update the data. YEAH!!"
— Excel Live early users
How it works
Click the Share tray in Teams. Scroll down to Excel Live, where you’ll see a list of your recent Excel workbooks.
An image of a Microsoft Teams meeting on Windows desktop demonstrating how to access Excel Live from the Share tray.
Select the workbook you want to share. You’ll be asked to give edit access to the file with meeting participants. Choose Share.
An image of a Microsoft Teams meeting on Windows desktop demonstrating how to share an Excel file by selecting the workbook and clicking the Share button.
After sharing access, everyone in the meeting can now edit the Excel file directly from the meeting screen in Teams.
An image of a Microsoft Teams meeting via Attendee View demonstrating how meeting participants are able to edit the Excel spreadsheet from the meeting screen.
The Teams meeting window now becomes an interactive canvas for all participants to work together. Participants can follow the presenter, interact, edit the workbook, then sync back to the presenter — without ever leaving the meeting screen. Participants don’t even need to have Excel running on their device.
You may want to look at the data your way during the meeting, so Excel Live supports Sheet View, which allows everyone co-editing the workbook to create customized views to sort or filter information (without disrupting others’ view).
The workbook loads for each participant at the optimal zoom level considering device size and what is being presented, with flexibility to adjust zoom as needed. Meeting participants can collaborate with confidence in the worksheet during the meeting and rely on Show Changes to manage edits made to the workbook.
You can also access the Excel Live experience from within Excel for the web. Click Share, then Work TogetherinTeams.
An image of a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet demonstrating how to access the Excel Live experience by clicking on Work Together in Teams from the Share menu.
Excel Live is also available for participants joining a Teams meeting from mobile and tablet devices.
An image demonstrating the Excel Live experience in a Teams meeting on a mobile device.
An image demonstrating the Excel Live experience in a Teams meeting on a tablet device.
Make your Teams meetings more engaging and productive with Excel Live
The feedback we’ve received from the Excel Live early users has been great, with some users even referring to Excel Live as the “missing piece” that would bring Teams together while enhancing productivity and efficiency. They also noted how Excel Live would be useful especially for project groups who want to co-create, review, and revise workbooks together while in the same Teams meeting — getting more done in real time without file swapping or long email chains.
Other advantages of Excel Live as cited by early users include:
Simplifies collaboration by eliminating the need to switch between programs
Promotes inclusiveness and encourages contribution among participants
Saves time spent after meetings trying to capture and consolidate content
Drives productivity and efficiency by sharing and actioning feedback in real time
Excel Live leverages Excel web and Teams app framework for interactive app experience. Built on office collab platform with new syncing infrastructure that supports real time co-authoring and collaboration.