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Need to be able to restrict users to only editing with Excel Online

Create a new share option that is "Edit in Excel Online". Limiting users to only editing online would prevent a lot of locked out issues when collaborating with a large number of people.

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Ben shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

22 comments

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  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I couldn't agree with this more. This is one major struggle our team is having. Would love to be able to share ONLY via the online so no lock out issues.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    A Microsoft advantage over G-Suite is the full featured desktop applications but this lockout issue is making it a disadvantage.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    i need a function that allows other collaborators to edit, such as highlight or add new info, however i do not want them to be able to delete anything in the file.

  • Ria commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Ben, thank you for sharing. This is very useful request, please incorporate it! THX. Ria

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I really appreciate the choice. I have many cases with duble excel versions and it´s generate lot of problems in a team....

  • Volker commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Would be really important to avoid conflicts in files. Yes, the newest excel offline versions are better in it but too many people still have older versions installed.

  • Ed Hansberry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @tim - they are not locking the offline file. Excel for PC and Mac both support collaborative editing with the online version now, as do the iOS and Android versions.

    This wasn't true 60 days ago, but MS rolled that out for Excel in Office 365 just recently.

  • Tim Garza commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Until this feature is added, users should be warned that they are locking the offline file.

  • Ed Hansberry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @tom - I know of no way to force Excel online use, but you could be creative with a formula. The Function INFO() doesn't work in Excel online, so if you put that in a file, like =info("Directory") Excel desktop will return the user's directory, but Excel Online will report #Value!. Wrap that in an ISERROR() function, you could have a warning at the top of the file.

    =IF(ISERROR(INFO("Directory")),"","Please close this file in Desktop excel and use Excel Online. Thanks.")

    That will be blank in Excel Online, but show the warning in Excel desktop. Add some red conditional formatting for even more attention.

    That said, Excel in the Fast Ring currently supports real time collaboration, so hopefully this will be temporary for you. But I don't know when Excel in the Current or Deferred channels will get this new feature that is in beta right now.

  • Tom Phelan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree completely with others below. The value of the collaboration functionality is lost in many scenarios because of the likelihood that one user will open the document in desktop excel and lock everyone else out. I would love to put up an excel document with a small checklist of three items for each of 120 staff to simply access and tick off when they have completed each item. There's no way that will work smoothly without being able to restrict them to using excel online. Does anyone have any idea how else I might achieve this instead?

  • Ed Hansberry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hubert - just create a single cell watch window. Excel Online will mandate the file be opened in Excel. It won't even try.

  • Hubert Hof commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Conversely I would like the option to enforce 'Edit in Excel'.
    If I have a complex spreadsheet I do not want users to edit the file online as functionality I rely on to work is not supported online - potentially corrupting the data in the sheet. And I certainly do not want a copy created leaving the original untouched. I cannot readily find an existing post for this consideration, so I will create one.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    - ensuring unsavy users can access/make quick changes without checking docs out by accident!

  • Bill Hoag commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Our team collaborates on some Excel docs online and these particular docs we always edit online. A doc option to only allow editing online (and better yet, editing mode instead of read mode by default) would be very helpful.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The way I "encourage" users to use the online mode is to manually change the url to have "action=edit" at the end, rather than "action=default"

    There is a similar item here that might be worth voting for as well:
    https://excel.uservoice.com/forums/274580-excel-online/suggestions/9147922-ability-to-open-excel-online-in-edit-mode-by-defau

    Hilariously it looks like this dodgy forum has a max url length of 125 and doesn't support MS sign in, just google and FB

  • Drew commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    My students were working on a project remotely when one of them opened the file in a local excel program, thereby blocking the other students.

    It would be nice if I as the master user could disable work offline so this would not happen

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