Edit shared Microsoft Office documents in Dropbox

Updated Jan 30, 2024

You can now co-author Office Online documents with others.

  1. Log in to dropbox.com.
  2. Click the name of a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file that's saved in a shared folder.
  3. Click the “” (ellipsis) next to the file’s name.
  4. Hover over Open and select Word for the web from the menu that appears.
  5. Ask the people you'd like to collaborate with to follow the same steps.
  6. The file will open in your web browser in Office Online; you can then edit it.
  7. When you're done editing, click Save and return to Dropbox.
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  • At the top of the page you can see your name, and the names of other people who have the same file open.
  • Changes you make will be saved automatically to your Dropbox.
  • The co-authoring feature will only work if the person you'd like to collaborate with is a member of the shared folder in which the Office document is stored.

FAQs about editing shared Microsoft Office documents in Dropbox

Can I co-author documents on desktop or mobile?

No, co-authoring does not work on Office documents accessed from your desktop, or from Office mobile. To co-author an Office Online file, two things must be true:

  • The Office file must have been accessed from dropbox.com.
  • The file must be saved in a shared folder.

Additionally, all others must access the Office files from dropbox.com as well. The co-authoring feature will not work if one user is accessing from dropbox.com, while the other is accessing from desktop or mobile.

People who access the Office file through a shared folder must visit dropbox.com and follow the steps outlined earlier in this article.

Who can use the co-authoring feature?

  • Dropbox Basic, Plus, Family and Professional: You need a Microsoft account to co-author their files online, but will not need an Office 365 license.
  • Dropbox team: You need an enterprise Microsoft account, and a license that allows editing in Office Online.

What file types will co-authoring work with?

  • .xlsx
  • .docx
  • .pptx

How do I create new Office Online files from Dropbox?

  1. Log in to dropbox.com.
  2. Click Create.
  3. Hover over DocumentPresentation, or Spreadsheet depending on the type of file you’d like to create.
  4. Click Word DocumentPowerPoint Presentation, or Excel Workbook.
  5. Log in to Office Online and create a new file. 

Important notes on creating Office Online files from Dropbox

  • When you click Create and select a file type, you'll be redirected to Office Online.
  • When you create a new file through Office Online, a link to this file is automatically saved to Dropbox for easy access.
  • You must have an Office Online subscription to use this feature.
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