Sharing the same file across different Onedrive Folders

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Occasional Visitor

Is it possible to upload a link, and link it so its located on multiple folders on OneDrive? The purpose would be to ensure that while the file exists in multiple folders, editing it in one location would ensure that the changes propagate to wherever the file is.

17 Replies
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No, unfortunately not! A link point to one location! Why do you need the same document on several places in your onedrive? If you want several files and only update it from one location you could maybe see if you could build a flow? Like copying a file to other locations when changed or on scheduled periods! Haven’t checked if this is possible in this particular way though
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What is the logic behind having multiple files showing vs. a single file in a shared location that people know where to go edit the file?

You can create links or basically shortcuts that point to other files but you would manually have to do it. Clicking new in the folder you are in then link will allow you to paste a link to the source file.
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Our company recently migrated from Google to OpenDrive.  Google Drive does support checking the same file into multiple folders.  We adopted this practice as each department organizes their folder tree differently but in essence access in some cases the same files and artifacts.  This practice improves collaboration while still giving each team or department the freedom to organize files as they see fit.     

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Folder based file systems exist so that users can explore data when they don't know that it exists, so this is necessarily not about the situation where users already have a link to the file.

 

Hierarchical file systems where a file can appear in only one folder limit how many categories that file can belong to - a tree structure. Allowing files to appear in more than one folder allows it to have multiple categories, which may be more convenient for searchers.

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I've tried to use Shortcuts to achieve something like this, BUT the created shortcut uses the exact local file system path and not the OneDrive path, so the shortcuts don't work on my laptop for example when created on my desktop PC. It would be great if this could be fixed.

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That’s basically what right clicking a file and share then copy and anyone link if others need it or a “existing access link” for yourself. Then use this as your shortcut either in web or create a new short cut and use the URL you got.
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Hi @RaddadAY 

 

One solution that's close to what you want to accomplish in OneDrive is to create a linked document in the folder via:  +New > Link... 
This creates a linked file in Onedrive from another location. 

The Link pane provides recent documents you've opened to link to (handy), or you can provide an explicit URL to link to. Every document has a unique URL (right-click document/file use 'Copy Link' to access it). 

 

Hope this helps. 

 

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You can do this indeed. You have to save the main document into the primary folder. Then once saved right click on that file and create a shortcut. Once the shortcut to that file has been created you can copy and paste the shortcut into as many other onedrive files as you wish. This means that it does not matter which one you open and edit it in it always edits the original document.
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@Hawka2610 Thanks, yes, I know that works. But, my issue is having the short-cuts work on a different PC where the same OneDrive folders are also sync'd.

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@Chris Webb The reason for wanting to share the same file in different folders is logical. We want to share some files with different people, but not all should have access to the same files. Some materials should go to my digital marketing team and some, but not all, to my franchisee partners, because the digital marketing team must edit some of them. I don't understand why someone would ask the question of why would you want that. The question and the need is there. What we are looking for is the answer, not another person asking us to explain why. Thank you for everyone's contribution to this very important need. It also takes up more storage space to have the same multi-gigabyte folders saved in 3-4 places. As the original poster mentioned, Google Drive makes it very easy, but Microsoft makes most things difficult. 

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so, the shortcut is saved in other folders? And, when the primary is updated all of the shortcuts made from the primary are changed, too? If that is correct, then that is a decent solution. Thank you!
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Does this have to be done in the web version, or can it be done in Finder for Mac?
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When I tried this, all I got was a text file saved in the folder. How will anyone know to open that text file to open the link to an unkown file?
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@Marc_1056 Simple, asking why, helps understand the problem to offer alternative solutions by understanding the requirement. 

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I want to share a single file (as read/write) with a particular Android app, without giving that app access to my entire OneDrive. Here's where App folders come in handy. Nevertheless, I do use that file outside of the app too.

It would be great to be able to share that file inside the specific App folder for that Android app.

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@mhettenkofer. Yes, same here and I really miss that option. It would also be useful for Teams as I want my colleagues to have access to the files in Teams they do not need to be part of. If I produce documents in the large central Team but need quick access in my student Teams I want to be using the same document, not a copy.

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@Hawka2610 Is it possible to do this with folders? G-Drive also allows for shortcut links to folders, which makes for a lot less admin when needing these accessible from multiple Teams.