Historically when you need to share a document with someone, you email it to them as an attachment. SharePoint Online stores the files in a central company Document Management System and instead of emailing a copy for them to edit and send back, you can send them a link to the file so that you can co-work on the same file at the same time. There will be no more version discrepancies or lost copies. This blog will show you how you can share these document links from the various places you will work with a document within SharePoint.
Share directly from the file
If you are already editing the file or have it opened, you can find a Share button in the top right of your screen. Click Share to open up a Send Link panel. Then, you can type in your colleague's name or email address, add a short note to them and click Send to complete the internal sharing.
The Share button will appear in any up-to-date Office applications, both in the desktop applications or when editing files in a browser. If you are in Word/Excel/PowerPoint and you do not see the Share button in the top right corner, it may be because the file is not saved into SharePoint or OneDrive, or because the Office application's version you are using is older than 2013.
Once you send your file link to the receipient, they receive an email that looks like the below, they can then click the link and it will take them directly to the file in the browser to view or edit.
Share from a SharePoint library in a browser
Alternatively, if you know what file you want to send, you do not have to open the document, you can select that document in the SharePoint library, click Share at the top menu or the share button to the right of the item. Both ways open the same Send Link panel which allows you to enter the recipient's email.
Share file folder links
If you need to share a whole folder with someone, you can tick the entire folder and share it too, just like before when sharing a single file from the library. Select the file folder you want to share and click Copy link at the top menu. A sharing panel with a sharing link will pop up.
Optional: You can click on the below highlighted arrow (>) to change whom you want to share the document with. Select Specific people under Link settings and click Apply.
Now a link is generated for you. You can copy and paste it to wherever you want, such as an email or a website.
Share from a library synchronised to your desktop
If you have the library synchronised to your desktop, you can right-click the file in file explorer and click Share from there too. A familiar Send Link panel will pop up where you can choose the recipient to share the file with.
Share multiple files at once
If you need to share multiple documents in a library or from different folders, you can do this by either copying each of the file links from SharePoint and manually pasting them to your recipient via chat or email, or you can do this from Outlook with these steps:
SharePoint and its sharing feature make your team's life easier. Read our other blog posts to find out more on how you can utilise SharePoint to collaborate more efficiently.