How to Share Documents over SkyDrive or SharePoint

As your mother undoubtedly told you, there’s no excuse for not sharing. That’s certainly true with Office 2011. You can share your documents all those old passé ways—disc, thumb drive, or email. But now, there are some new options in the mix. SkyDrive is Microsoft’s version of your Mac’s iDisk. It’s a web server out in the clouds where you can store documents. If your coworkers also use SkyDrive, they can view and edit your document according to the permissions you’ve given them. The other advantage of saving your document to SkyDrive is that you can access a single document from different computers, say, your office and home computers.

Note: You need a Windows Live ID and password to use the SkyDrive option. If you don’t already have an account you can learn about the options at

  • Choose File→Share→Save to SkyDrive.

    If this is the first time you’ve tried to save an Office document to your SkyDrive, a window appears where you need to enter your Windows Live ID (the email address you used to sign up) and your password.

    If you’ve already used the SkyDrive from Office, you’ll bypass the sign in process. The Save As panel opens in your Word document, as shown in Figure 8-13, where you provide a name and other details.
  • Type a filename in the Save As box.

    You don’t have to choose a file format or give your filename any special .docx extension. Word and SkyDrive know what type of file you’re creating.
  • Click the name of the folder where you want to save your document.

    Word saves the document in the SkyDrive folder you select.

Figure 8-13. Saving a file to your SkyDrive online folders is easier than saving it to your computer. All you have to do is provide a name and choose a folder to hold the file.

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You’ll probably want to double-check to make sure your file made it to SkyDrive. If you’re sharing the file with others, you’ll want to let them know that the file is online and available. To do that, follow these steps:

  • In your web browser, go to

    The first web page has lots of promotional details regarding SkyDrive and Windows Live tools. If you don’t have a Windows Live account, you can sign up from here. It doesn’t cost any money, just a bit of your Apple/Mac soul.
  • In the upper-right corner, click Sign In.

    The Sign Up and Sign In window appears.
  • Type the email address you used to sign up to Windows Live and click Sign In. Then, provide your password.

    The next window looks like more Windows advertising, but you’re almost on a page with tools.
  • In the upper-left corner, click the Windows Live.

    The next page has menus across the top with links to Microsoft online tools: Hotmail, Messenger, Office (web apps), Photos, and MSN.
  • Click Office→Recent Documents.

    The Office Recent Documents page shows all documents that you have access to. These may be yours or they may be documents that others have shared with you. Your documents are divided in to Personal and Shared groups. You can make folders in either category and choose who gets to peek inside those folders. Your saved document is in the folder where you saved it.
  • Move your cursor over the document name.

    Menus appear over the document with options to Edit in browser, Open in Word, or More.
  • Click More→Share→Edit Permissions.

    The menus don’t work like your Mac, you need to click rather than just point to open the submenus.

    A new page appears where you can set the sharing permissions for the file. The choices at the top let you share items with friends (contacts you’ve added to your Windows Live account), which is fine for less specific things like vacation photos. For serious business, you’ll want to use the bottom portion of the page where you can choose specific people.
  • Type in the name or email address of the people you want to see your document.

    If you’ve added email contacts to your Windows Live account, you can click “Select from your contact list” and choose from those contacts.
  • For each colleague, choose their permission level: Can view or Can edit, then click Save.

    A new page appears where you can send a message to your colleagues to let them know the file is available for their viewing or editing.

There’s a lot more you can do with SkyDrive and the other tools that Microsoft offers on online. 

Figure 8-14. Once your file is saved on SkyDrive, you can choose exactly who you want to view and edit the file. If you store contacts in your Windows Live account, it’s simply a matter of checking the names of your colleagues.

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Sharing with SharePoint

If you work in an medium to large office with a lot of Windows PC types, there’s a good chance that your office uses Microsoft SharePoint server software so that you can work collaboratively on Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other Office documents. In the past, Mac users were second-class citizens when it came to Office and document sharing. With Office 2011, you’re more of an equal partner.

To save your Word document to a SharePoint site, follow these steps:

  • Choose File→Share→Save to SharePoint.

    A panel similar to the one in Figure 8-13, appears where you can choose a location to save your file.
  • If this is the first time you’re saving to a SharePoint site, click the + button and type in the address (URL) for the site.

    If you don’t know the address, you can get it from the pocket protector types who manage your company computers.
  • In the Save As box, give your document a name.
  • Choose the SharePoint library where you want to save the document.

    You can choose the location you just added or one of the locations under Recent Locations or Shared Locations.

Once your document is saved in a SharePoint folder, you (or a colleague) can open from Word. Choose File→Open URL. In the box that appears, type the full name (URL) for the document—that’s the path and the document name.

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