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I have a spreadsheet that I wish to share with multiple users.

When two users 'save' at the same time it only gives the option to save one of them.

I was hoping Excel would just save one of the conflicting changes to the next row.

Is there a way to do this?

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I've requested that the excel-2010 tag be added to this. –  Julian Knight Jun 22 '12 at 9:35
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4 Answers

Not too sure whether Excel has a hassle free solution for this. But I feel you can figure out some ways by referring to above mentioned answers. Certainly even Google docs has certain drawbacks as it does allow me to hide a certain column from some one who has access to edit. Well, you must be aware of CollateBox, it not only gives you the provision of sharing spreadsheets but also sharing parts of your spreadsheets. You cant give it a try, its in its beta so try working!!! http://www.collatebox.com is the link. Would appreciate your reply..

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You can switch on the "Share Workbook" feature from the "Review" menu. This allows multiple simultaneous users - however it still doesn't do exactly what you want. In this mode, you cannot change the layout of spreadsheet (add/remove rows, etc.). If two people edit the same cell, you get a conflict dialogue not a new row.

I do not believe that Excel is the correct tool for this case. If you really need multi-user live editing, I'd try a different tool, perhaps Google Docs may be closer to your needs, the multi-user editing in that is pretty good though it still wont create a new row on a conflict, I don't know anything that will do that. I believe that you would need to create a bespoke tool for that. Perhaps MS Access or a web-based app.

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You can use Microsoft Live and SkyDrive to share office documents with multiple users along with tracking history of changes. Generally most programs don't try and merge changes or handle conflicts automatically. Usually it is the last one in wins.

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I hope you will excuse the mention of another commercial product here, but I genuinely believe it's relevant to this question. I work for a company that creates an Excel add-in which is primarily designed for publishing and subscribing to real-time market data from a variety of platforms. However, one of our clients was attempting to share spreadsheets using Excel's built-in workbook sharing mechanism and this was causing them huge problems. (Sharing was slow - it would take tens of seconds or even several minutes to propagate changes. Also, the workbooks kept growing in size to the point where they became unstable or even too large for 32-bit versions of Excel.)

Consequently, we created a real-time sharing mechanism for Excel. A block of cells that are to be shared is referenced by a special sharing function (implemented by our add-in). This causes them to be published to a shared cache. When the spreadsheet is opened by a user, it retrieves the current values from the shared cache. When any user makes a change to a shared region in the spreadsheet, the change is propagated (through the shared cache) to all other users with the spreadsheet open. Both values and functions within shared regions are shared - so users can collaboratively edit the spreadsheet (within certain limits).

We believe our solution is far better for many sharing requirements than Excel's build-in sharing. It's also very different to the CollateBox solution mentioned above (which, if I understand correctly, shares spreadsheet data through a website but does not push real-time changes back into Excel).

Further details are available at: http://www.mdxtechnology.com/products/mdxt-share.

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