Collaborating on the same document used to be a tedious and
sometimes painful process of distributing and then comparing returned files.
Nowadays collaborating is easy if you have access to the cloud. Specifically,
Office 2010 and 2013 make it easy to share documents on SkyDrive, where others
can view and edit the document. You can also share Office 2003 and 2007 documents by
using SkyDrive’s interface to upload files from your local system.

This article is strictly a road map from your local system to
SkyDrive by version. These instructions don’t include troubleshooting insight
and gotcha warnings. Fortunately, the potential for trouble is small — collaborating
via SkyDrive is easy and secure. I’ll use Word in the examples, but the process
is similar in all Office applications.


Sharing Office 2013 documents via SkyDrive is the easiest route
because you can do everything from within Office. First, open the file you want
to share and then do the following:

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. In the left pane, choose Share.
  3. Click Save To Cloud (on the right) and then
    click your Windows Live SkyDrive.
  4. Click your account (the default). If none exists
    yet, this is the time to work through that process — just follow the prompts.
  5. Select the appropriate SkyDrive folder (if more
    than one).
  6. Click Save.
  7. You can set access properties for
    the file. For this example, you don’t need to change anything. These options
    are application dependent.
  8. To invite others to view and edit the file,
    click Share in the left pane.
  9. The default option is Invite People; enter the
    email addresses of those you want to share the file with. You’ll want to
    explore the other sharing options later.
  10. By
    default, Office 2013 lets anyone with an invitation edit the file, and SkyDrive will
    automatically save their changes. In this example, that’s what we want, but in
    the future, take this opportunity to restrict editing permissions, if
    necessary, by choosing Can View from the Editing dropdown.
  11. You
    can add a descriptive message to the invitation, but this step isn’t necessary.
  12. Click
    Share to send the invitations and upload the file to SkyDrive.

Figure A



Figure B



Each invitee will receive an email message that contains a
hyperlink to the document on SkyDrive. All they have to do to view and
edit this particular file using Office Web Apps is click the link. Only you and
those you invite can view this document. The biggest improvement for Office 2013 users
is that you can take care of everything from inside Office (even activating
your SkyDrive account). If you decide to invite others later, click Share in
the left pane and then select Invite People; you don’t have to access your
SkyDrive account to invite new people.


Office 2010 easily uploads documents, but you’ll have to
visit SkyDrive to send invitations. To upload a Word 2010 document to SkyDrive,
do the following:

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Save & Send in the left pane.
  3. Click Save To Web under Save & Send. Word
    will display a list of your SkyDrive folders. Choose an existing folder or
    click New to create a new one.
  4. Click Save As, and Word will default to the
    selected folder.
  5. Click Save.

You must navigate to the document on and share the newly uploaded document:

  1. Access your SkyDrive account using the browser
    of your choice.
  2. Navigate to the appropriate folder if
  3. Right-click the document and choose Share.
  4. Enter the email addresses for those you want to
    share the document with.
  5. By default, invitees will be able to edit the
    document and they don’t need a SkyDrive account. Be sure to change those
    settings for future documents as necessary.

Figure C



2007 and 2003

If you’re using Office 2007 or 2003, you can share documents
for viewing and collaboration on SkyDrive. Access your SkyDrive account and
navigate to the appropriate folder. Click Upload, locate the file on your local
system, and then click Open. Once the documents are on SkyDrive, share them as
instructed in the last section.

Figure D



Office 365

By default, Office 365 saves all files to SkyDrive. You can
save files anywhere you like, but this version assumes that you prefer to work
in the cloud.


I’ve supplied the basic instructions for sharing
collaborative Office documents via SkyDrive. You’ll want to explore all the
options fully so you can get the most out of this helpful feature.