Web Apps – Accessing Shared Documents

Documents shared on SkyDrive can be reached by several routes. This post describes some of these methods.

Publicly shared documents

For documents that users share with everyone, you can reach their “Office” from their Spaces page by clicking “…. profile” and then clicking “Documents” under the site owner’s profile picture. You do not need to be signed into your account. Here is an illustration:



The top picture shows part of the “Instructor L.” Spaces page. The “Instructor L.’s profile” link gets to the profile page. From there “Documents” steps “into the Office”. Note the message in the colored box: “You may be able to view more information …”. When you sign in you can see more information on your friends pages.

Documents shared by friends – people in your network.

To see documents shared by a member of your network go to your profile page. Wave 4 brought with it some layout changes, so first a bit of navigation update. I added www.live.com to my favorites bar. So I can get to my Windows Live home page by just clicking that tab (if not signed in it gets to the sign in page). See the red arrow in the illustration below. From the home page click the tiny “profile” under your name (upper right). If you have the Bing bar click on your name or profile picture on the right end, you get an option to sign out or to go directly to your profile page (see right side of first picture below). Just to complete the nav update: If the “Home” link is not shown in the top bar, just point to image for a little drop-down menu with navigation options.

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Now back to seeing friends shared documents. On your profile page you can see the profile pictures of some of your friends. Each time you come to this page a different set of your friends is shown.

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To get to a friends profile, point to the profile picture of your friend. A drop-down menu opens where you can click View profile. On your friend’s profile page click Documents below the profile picture.

Specific Documents shared with you

When a friend shares a document or a folder with you an automatically generated e-mail can inform you of that. Such an e-mail may look like this:



Just click the View folder link and it takes you to the document or folder (you may have to sign in first).


If the owner of the document or folder set the permission to “view only” you will only be able to open the document in the Web App “Reading view”.


Viewing recent shared documents

In your own Office page you can see recent documents, both yours and those shared with you. Here is such an example:


When you point to an item in the recent list the description line changes and shows options. In the illustration above the options for “Welcome-local” include “Edit in browser”. That option is missing for documents that are shared as “view only”.

If you cannot locate a shared document, request that the owner send you a link to the document. That will generate an e-mail like the one illustrated.

Keep in mind that if the owner has stored a document inside a folder or subfolder, sharing can only be done for the primary folder. All documents inside that primary folder are shared. To share just a single document, that document must be located inside the owners Office – right on the floor as I like to say.

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About Ludwig

Lending a helping hand where I can. . . My motto: If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
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