We are working on a sharepoint 2013 team site. and inside the document library we have a .xls file which contain 5 tabs. so now oor users are asking if multiple users can work simultaneously on the same .xls file tabs ? Now based on the available options within the document library i did not find any thing related to this.


This depends a bit on the setup.

The filetype you mentioned is not ideal. You should check and upgrade to xlsx.

Besides that it depends on your Version of Excel. WAC (Word/Excel Online) allows you to coauthor and also the latest Versions should allow it. So if you have an office web app farm with your SharePoint it should work. If not you would need a current excel Version. Since you mention SP2013 I put current in bold ;)

A bit more information can be found here:


They keyword to search for more info would be co-authoring.

[edit] One of the key points is that not all versions of office support coauthoring of excel files. For SP2013 you need the office WAC server

Here is an overview link: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/SharePoint/governance/co-authoring-overview

Audience: IT Professionals Use the co-authoring feature in SharePoint Server or SharePoint Online to enable multiple users to work on a document, at any time, without interfering with each other's changes. Co-authoring removes barriers to server-based document collaboration and helps organizations to reduce the overhead associated with traditional document sharing through attachments. This functionality requires no additional server setup and is the default state for documents stored in SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online. Co-authoring functionality is managed by using the same tools and technologies that are already used to manage SharePoint, helping to minimize the impact on administrators. Office provides co-authoring functionality for Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Visio. If you are using SharePoint Online or have SharePoint Server configured to use Office Web Apps Server, users can also co-author documents in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote Web Apps.

Hope that helps

  • i can convert the file from xls to xlsx, this should not be a problem... now inside our on-premises farm we do NOT have office web app farm configured... so not sure what will be our current situation? second point when we talk about co-authoring this can only be done per excel tabs?or within the tabs themselves ? – john Gu Jul 6 '18 at 15:20
  • now i think there is a miss-understanding between my question and your answer, now i search for SP co-authoring in SP 2013 and i found this official link docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/governance/… but this talks about setting the versioning + check-in/check-out options.. but my question is about if there is a way to allow let say 2 users to edit the same .xls or .xlsx file at the same time, where each user will be modifying different tabs... this is not related to versioning and check-in settings – john Gu Jul 6 '18 at 15:25
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    updated post - yes it is possible, but you need to use a very current excel or use the office servers to do so – Heiko Hatzfeld_MSFT Jul 6 '18 at 17:13
  • thanks a lot for your reply and help. you have put my on the right track, now in our case we have SP-2013 on-premises withOUT WAC. and we configured the document library to open the document inside the client application,, so seems not having WAC with SP2013 will not allow me to have co-authoring for the excel sheets (regardless of any settings inside the document library) is this correct ? – john Gu Jul 8 '18 at 12:00
  • second point now on another sharepoint online farm, i i uploaded the same .xls file to test co-authoring in SP online, and i open the excel sheet inside excel online using 2 users, but i got this error "sorry we can not open the worksheet in the browser because it uses unsupported features".. so seems for our case we can not have co-authoring inside our SP2013 since we do not have WAC + we can not have co-authoring for this excel sheet inside SP online, since the excel sheet has unsupported features.. are my above 2 points valid? thanks in advance for ur help... – john Gu Jul 8 '18 at 12:03

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