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How to get Office 365 document sharing to actually work

Galen Gruman | July 12, 2016
Office 365, Office 2016, and OneDrive have finally come together across Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and the web -- but you still need a guide to making it all work

You know how in the movies the monster lopes along yet always somehow catches the screaming girl who's running away from it? That's been the story of Office 365, Microsoft Office, and OneDrive, the three pillars of Microsoft's attempt to move its productivity suite into a collaboration tool, both across users and across devices. But now, after years of progress and piecemeal rollouts, Microsoft has finally pulled together the pieces into a cohesive package and delivered on the original collaboration promise.

Well, mostly -- the tools still have gaps, but the main issue is deadly practical: It's not obvious how to use them together, so many users can't capitalize on the collaboration promise, though they now have the tools to do it.

Office 2016 makes it very easy to share documents, whether for collaboration or library purposes, such as making a manual available to your team. Office 2016 also makes it easy for individuals to access documents stored in their OneDrive cloud storage accounts from multiple computers, tablets, and even smartphones.

If you install Microsoft’s OneDrive app, you can access your documents -- any files, in fact -- from any application, not only Office 2016 ones, from any of your devices. You can also share those files with anyone using the OneDrive Online web app -- again, whether or not they are Office 2016 documents.

No doubt, Office 365 offers a lot of collaboration and work-from-anywhere potential. But it’s not always clear how to tap it.

Welcome to InfoWorld's comprehensive Office 365 sharing how-to. The following guide will help you and your employees take full advantage of the Office 365 plan you've paid for. Here, for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android, I break down how to use the sharing tools available in Office 365, Office 2016, and OneDrive.

Get the entire Office 365 document-sharing how-to in our handy Office 365 Document Sharing Deep Dive PDF download. Or read each section in your browser:

Note that Windows 10 screenshots are used throughout this guide unless the tools work differently on other platforms. Microsoft has made many of the features common across Windows 7 and later, OS X Yosemite and later versions of MacOS, iOS 8 and later, and Android 5.0 Lollipop and later, as well as via the major browsers.

 

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