How do I share a Numbers spreadsheet?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by steve23094, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013

    I have a Numbers spreadsheet on my iCloud Drive. I want to share it so it can be edited and updated by other people.

    When I select to share via iCloud I can send a link via email. However when somebody clicks the link on an iOS device (iPhone or iPad) a screen comes up that they can download a copy of the spreadsheet to Numbers on their device or they can live update it on the web if they use a Mac or PC. Importantly if they download it then their updates are not uploaded to the original.

    Now please tell me I am doing something wrong. If you can't collaborate on a document on an iOS device then iCloud Drive is the biggest pile of do do since humans left caves. Google Drive works exactly as you would expect, allowing use of the iOS app to update shared sheets. If you know another way to share (such as through Dropbox) then please do tell.

  2. KlytusLord macrumors regular

    Apr 11, 2011
    Working as intended, and it is the same for MS Office.

    True collaboration requires the use of the online apps via a web browser.
    In order to have auto-updating of files among multiple users using desktop apps you have to use some file sharing service like Box or DropBox Business, and as far as I know, none work seamlessly with the iOS versions of the office suites.

    There is simply no advanced collaborative solution that works well with all of our available software options, desktop, mobile, etc. I think this is why the wording is currently "sharing" which does not imply equal collaboration privileges.

    Just my 2 cents :)
  3. steve23094 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    Thanks for your reply. How crazy is that though huh? I would have thought this was incredibly obvious and should have been implemented, Google manage's this fine. I guess I will have to go back to Google Sheets then.
  4. Gildarts, Oct 23, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014

    Gildarts macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2014
    I think you're doing it wrong. Where did you make the Numbers spreadsheet? In Numbers on the mac? The problem with saving it to iCloud drive is that it will be a regular numbers document. You want the document to be saved in iCloud itself. Not iCloud drive. You can check to see if the document is in iCloud by going to and see if the document is there. If it's not there. You did it wrong.

    When you start numbers, in the upper left corner you can choose "iCloud" or "On my mac".

    I'm guessing that what you did is the following:
    You had a numbers document on your mac. You dropped it in iCloud drive. And tried to collaborate via iCloud.
    This is not the way to do it if you want to collaborate.

    So here's how you fix it:

    Open the numbers spreadsheet that you have in your iCloud Drive.
    In your menubar go to Archive - click duplicate - set the save location to iCloud.

    When you share the link now, collaboration should work.

    Hope this helped.

    Edit: NOTE - Real-time collaboration only works from the browser (any browser). If you open the spreadsheet from Numbers on your mac or iOS device and change the document. The changes will be saved to iCloud(provided that you have the spreadsheet saved in iCloud! NOT iCloud Drive!).
    When another person then opens that link. The changes you made will be reflected in the document. If that person in turn makes changes. The changes will be saved in iCloud. So when you open the document again (either on your mac or online via iCloud) the changes your collaborator made and your previous changes will be reflected in the document.
  5. Gildarts, Oct 23, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014

    Gildarts macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2014
    Watch this demo.

    Pause at 00:13 and look at the upper left corner of the Numbers popup window then watch the rest of the video.
  6. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Nov 6, 2008
    Might I suggest uploading to Google Drive and doing real-time collaboration there? Quip is another solid option.

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