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Tutorial: Sharing Excel Spreadsheet Files

Looking for an easy, secure way to share Excel spreadsheets over the web or even a local area network (LAN)? BadBlue provides many powerful, new features to help you leverage Excel in ways you never thought possible. And you can do it without hiring expensive consultants, without programming, and without any hassle. BadBlue's new Excel Sharing features include:

  • Instantly share spreadsheets over the web - no programming and minimal setup
  • Password-protection - protect your spreadsheets with login-names and passwords
  • Update multiple cells at a time - a much easier user-interface
  • Multi-user conflict resolution - when two users change the same cell
  • Complete auditing and logging - you can track every change to your spreadsheets
  • Grid read and write protection by user - restrict which users can see/update which cells
  • Full chart support - even supports workbooks with charts!

    In the tutorial example, below, we'll assume we have a folder that has the shared Excel spreadsheets in it. We'll then share that folder and demonstrate how Excel "Live Views" (browser sharing over the web) work.

    Note: BadBlue Personal Edition (free download) includes a preview of nearly all of the Excel sharing features. You'll notice, however, that Personal Edition is limited in the size of the spreadsheet it will display (larger worksheets will have asterisk - *** - characters displayed). If you like how Personal Edition works and need the full capability, you can order BadBlue Enterprise Edition and get instant electronic delivery at a great price.

    Step 1

    The Manage tab (highlighted in yellow at right) is used to manage the BadBlue server. Click the Manage tab.

    Step 2

    Click the Setup Folders link (highlighted). This will let you choose the folder where the shared Excel spreadsheets are stored.

    Step 3

    Name your new shared folder (say, 'Spreadsheets'), then press the Browse button.

    Step 4

    Select any one of the spreadsheets in the folder you want to share (for example -- "My Documents\Spreadsheets" -- as shown at right). Press the Open button to finish the selection.

    Step 5

    Press the "Add Virtual Directory" button to share the folder.

    Step 6

    Note the folder has been added to the list of shared areas (at bottom, right). Press the Folders tab to test it.

    Step 7

    The newly created folder is now available to users who visit your server. Click on the folder to review the files.

    Step 8

    To share the spreadsheet in your browser, click on the Live View link (not the file name). Clicking on the file name downloads the file, which you may not want to allow. See the instructions, below, for restricting file downloads and only allowing "live views".

    Next steps

    4  For end-users of Excel sharing: see the Excel Sharing General Use tutorial.

    4  Excel Sharing FAQ: for general questions regarding Excel sharing.

    4  For advanced Excel Sharing: see the Advanced Excel Sharing help.

    4  For password protection help: see the Password-Protecting Files tutorial.
    Reminder: if you want to allow users to update spreadsheets (not just view them), remember to click the Allow updates checkbox at step 6 of this tutorial.
    4  To allow only Live Views - and no downloads of the spreadsheets:
    1) Click on the Manage tab
    2) Click on the Setup Search tab link
    3) Change the Live View settings to "Allow only Live Views"
    4) Press the Save Changes button

    You'll need to exit BadBlue from the system tray and restart it for this change to take effect.

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