Share and monitor your Excel 365 docs with Docs.com

 

by Kara Hiltz

Application: Microsoft Excel 365

Operating System: Microsoft Windows

In a world where sharing information has become the norm, Excel users may often need to share Excel documents with others. Microsoft has created an online showcase called Docs.com to allow Office 365 users to publish documents online directly from Office 365—either with the public or just with colleagues—and then collect information on who is accessing the documents.

To publish and collect usage data on an Excel workbook, we’ll:

  • Learn more about Docs.com and set up a Docs.com profile.
  • Publish an Excel 365 workbook that we want to share with others (and determine who can access it).
  • View analytical data on how often others have accessed the document.

Microsoft is increasing its online presence and tools. The latest version of Office, Office 365, is an online version requiring a subscription to use. Last month, we introduced you to the mobile app version of Excel 365 for smart phones and tablets.

In this issue, we’ll discuss a new update to Office 365 that allows you to publish documents on Microsoft’s Docs.com, which Microsoft describes as a showcase for your Office documents. While there are a lot of places you can share Office documents online, Docs.com also includes analytics that make it easy to track the usage of your shared documents, as shown in Figure A.

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A: The Analytics sidebar includes a column chart showing how many people have viewed your document and a list of referral sources.

Get the scoop on Docs.com

You can upload documents from your hard drive, from OneDrive (Microsoft’s file storage service), or from Office Sway (Microsoft’s interactive presentation service), as shown in Figure B. From the Docs.com home page (www.docs.com), you can also set up a Docs.com personalized profile page, access the Docs.com Analytics tools, and publish journal entries in a blog-like format. Let’s take the time to put together a Docs.com profile page before publishing an Excel document that we want to share online.

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B: The Docs.com website is user-friendly and has a simple design.

To create a Docs.com profile:

  • Go to www.docs.com.
  • Click on the Sign In link in the upper-right corner of the website.
  • On the Sign-In page, you can register a specific email address to create an account, or you can sign in using Facebook, a Microsoft account, or a work/school email account, as shown in Figure C.
  • A Home tab where you can publish content (journal entries, documents, and collections);
  • Separate tabs each for Journal, Documents, and Collections;
  • An About tab with more information about you;
  • Buttons that allow you to share your profile page, edit your profile, and access Docs.com Analytics;
  • And a Notifications area and Settings in the upper-right corner.

Once you’ve signed in to Docs.com, you’re redirected to a default personalized web page at a Docs.com URL. As shown in Figure D, the default page includes:

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C: We signed in using a Microsoft account, but there are other options for creating a personalized Docs.com page.

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D: Your default Docs.com page looks professional even before you begin to personalize it.

Docs.com Lingo

There are three main sections to your Docs.com page that you’ll need to understand.

  • Journal: The Journal portion of the page allows you to share your thoughts and “stories” about the documents you share and discover on Docs.com. Think of it as a sort of blog section.
  • Documents: The Documents section can include Office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Mix, and OneNote), Sway presentations, or PDF documents
  • Collections: Collections are categories or groupings of documents that you’ve either uploaded or shared from other people’s Docs.com sites

Personalize your Docs.com profile

The profile available on Docs.com resembles an online résumé with sections for listing awards and achievements, work experience, education, skills and abilities, and contact information. On your Docs.com page, you can customize your profile when you click the About tab. When you do so, you’ll see the About page template (made using Microsoft Sway) with boilerplate text to get your started.

 

To update the template’s text, you need to click the Edit button in the upper-right corner of the page. The profile page opens as a Sway document, as show[...]

 
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