3 Way to Share Microsoft Word Documents
When collaborating on a Microsoft Word Document with your collegues, sharing the document as updates are made or reviews are required is a continuous part of the collaborative process.
There are a number of ways to share a Word Document, although still commonly used, the old email back and forth is a method that has since been outdated by some easier and frankly cooler systems designed to make sharing simple.
In this post, we will talk you through 3 better ways to share your Microsoft Word document and leave you to decide which is best for your team.
1. Use a Dedicated Sharing and Collaboration Tool
With so many of us facing the same issues when trying to share and collaborate on Microsoft Word Documents, dedicated tools such as Simul Docs were built with sharing and collaboration in mind.
With Simul, you can easily share your Word document with your team while Simul manages the version control for you. Upload your document to Simul Docs, and then share it with your team either via email, a direct link, a shared cloud system or any of the other sharing options Simul offers and let them know you are ready for their edits or notes.
Once your colleague makes a change to your document, a new version will be created and saved. You will be alerted that someone in your team has made an update to the document and you can continue collaborating together while Simul manages the version control on your behalf.
When you have reached a final version and would like to share the document outside of your team, or as a PDF to a client, colleague or company simple select the method that best suits your client to receive the file (dropbox, email, direct link, cloud shared drive etc) and click send as a PDF. Within seconds you have shared your document with someone outside of your team.
The only downside in using a dedicated sharing tool built for collaboration is the additional cost. Most tools charge a fee per month or per user and while often a small fee, this may not fit within all companies budgets.
On the plus side, these tools make working together in word easy. You will never have to send documents back and forth again, leaving you with a clean inbox and peace of mind that no changes, updates or edits will be missed. Plus the version control is managed for you, it really is collaboration made easy.
2. Use a Shared Cloud Storage Drive
If you are in a team of more than 2 people it is likely you are using some form of shared drive to save and store your files. Whether that be a Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive or another amazing Cloud storage system.
Shared Drives allow you to save and store all of your documents in one place. Each team member then has remote access to your files, without having to email them back and forth. You can edit a Word Document, update the version number and save it back onto the shared drive for the rest of your team to open at any time.
On the plus side, shared drives provide you with one centralised spot for all of your documents, saving you emailing them back and forth. They offer easy access to people outside of your organisation and are a cost effective way to store and share files.
The downsides to using a Shared Drive is that you still need to notify your team that there is a new version saved in the Shared Drive for them to review. This doesn’t have to mean an email message, it could be a ping on Slack or your IM System, so while it’s not as clunky it is still a two-step sharing process.
The other downside is there is no version control. Your shared drive can quickly end up looking like a mess of file names and numbers, while your team get creative adding _Final_updated_FINALFINAL to the end of your document without actually knowing if that is the final version or not.
A messy shared drive may almost be as painful as a cluttered email inbox?
3. Use an Intranet Tool
Intranet tools such as Microsoft SharePoint have sharing features built-in that make sharing your Word Document easier.
Sharepoint makes sharing your documents easy, its in its name after all!
You can click ‘Share’ at anytime and then select how you would like to share your document. Once you’ve selected your sharing method simply type in the names of the people you wish to share with and their editing rights and click ‘Share’.
Wooloa, just like that your document has been shared with whomever you selected and they will be notified that the file is ready for them.
The best part of Intranet Tools such as Sharepoint is it does exactly as it is supposed to, makes sharing your Word Document easy. You can share to a specific shared drive, or directly via email at the click of a button and the sharing feature comes included in your existing Microsoft 365 subscription.
The drawbacks to Intranet tools is that it does require that Microsoft 365 subscription. If you are not on Microsoft 365 you will need to pay the annual feel to sign up and start using Sharepoint.
To sum it up…
There are a lot of different ways to share your Microsoft Word Documents. Now that you are armed with all of the information available we suggest you look at your organisation and consider other factors that will assist you in making the right decision.
Purpose-built sharing tools are amazing but do come with a fee. Although the fee can be minor this may be outside of your financial capabilities at this time.
Your team may already be used to working on your existing Shared Drive, Dropbox or Google Drive system and it could be as simple as some re-training on how to best use the shared system or doing a deep cleanse of the files and processes you already have in place.
Do some research and chat with your team leaders.
Don’t dismiss the option of a new sharing tool too quickly, they are purpose-built to solve this very problem and most, such as Simul Docs offers a free trial or test period so you can try before you buy.
Get Started For Free
It's free to collaborate on 1 document, and paid plans start at just $15 per month.