Excel Guides

Odd Behavior when Opening a Shared File with a Shortcut in Excel

When you open a shared file using a shortcut in Excel, the behavior may seem odd at first. The file will open as read-only, and you'll be unable to make any changes. However, this is actually the expected behavior when opening a shared file with a shortcut. The reason for this is that the shortcut points to a specific version of the file, and if that version is no longer the most recent, you'll be unable to make any changes.

If you need to edit the file, you'll need to either save a copy of it under a new name or open the file directly from its location. You can do this by going to File > Open > Browse and selecting the file from its location on your computer or network. Once you've opened the file directly, you'll be able to edit it as normal.

If you regularly need to edit shared files using shortcuts, it's best to create separate shortcuts for each version of the file. That way, you can ensure that you're always opening the most recent version. To do this, right-click on the shortcut and select Properties. In the Target field, add the date of the version you want to open (in yyyymmdd format) after the path to the file. For example:

"C:\Users\username\Documents\file.xlsx" /v20180401

This will open the file as it existed on April 1st, 2018. You can then save this shortcut with a new name that includes the date, so you know which version it's pointing to.

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