Move Excel spreadsheets online, share, embed in a web page and make interactive

Last week we explored a few techniques to convert Excel spreadsheets to HTML. But nowadays when everyone seems to be moving to the cloud, why not we? The new technologies of sharing Excel data online are a way simpler and provide a handful of new opportunities that you can benefit from.

With the emergence of Excel Online, you no longer need cumbrous HTML code to export your tables to the web. Just save your workbook online and access it literally from anywhere, share with other users and work on the same sheet all together. With Excel Online you can also easily embed your worksheet on a web site or blog and let your visitors interact with it to find just the information they are looking for.

Further on in this article, we are going to investigate all these and many other capabilities provided by Excel Online.

How to move Excel 2016 and 2013 spreadsheets online

If you are new to the cloud in general, and Excel Online in particular, the easiest way to start is sharing your existing workbook using the familiar interface of Excel desktop.

All Excel Online spreadsheets are stored on OneDrive web service (formerly, SkyDrive). As you probably know, this online storage has been around for a while, but now it is integrated in Microsoft Excel as an interface option accessible in a click. In addition, your invitees, i.e. other user users that you are sharing your spreadsheets with, no longer need a Microsoft account to view and edit the Excel files you've shared.

If you don't have a OneDrive account yet, you can sign up now. This service is easy, free and definitely worth your attention because most Office 2013 and 2016 applications, not just Excel, support OneDrive. Once you are signed in, proceed with the following steps.

1. Sign into your Microsoft account

Make sure your are also signed into your Microsoft account from within Excel. On your Excel workbook, look at the top right-hand corner. If you see your name and a photo there, you can skip this step, otherwise click the Sign in link.
Sign into your Microsoft account from within Excel.

Excel will display a message asking to confirm that you really want to allow Office to connect to the Internet. Click Yes, and then enter your Windows Live credentials.

2. Save your Excel spreadsheet to cloud

Verify that you have the right workbook open, i.e. the one you want to share online, just to be on the safe side. In this example, I will be sharing a Holiday Gift List so that my family members and friends can view it and contribute : )
A workbook created in Excel 2013 desktop to be shared online.

With the correct workbook open, navigate to the File tab, click Share in the left pane. The Invite People option will be selected by default and you click Save To Cloud in the right pane.
Navigate to the File tab and click Share > Save To Cloud.

After that choose a cloud location to save your Excel file. OneDrive is the first option you will see on the right selected by default, and you simply choose the destination folder in the left pane.

Note: If you don't see the OneDrive option, then either you don't have a OneDrive account or you are not sighed in.

Choose a folder on OneDrive to save your Excel workbook.

I've already created a special Gift Planner folder and it shows up in the Recent Folders list. You can choose any other folder by clicking the Browse button underneath the Recent Folders list or create a new one in the usual manner by right clicking anywhere within the right part of the Save As dialog window and selecting New > Folder from the context menu. With the proper folder selected, click the Save button.

3. Share the spreadsheet you saved online

Your Excel workbook is already online and you can view it on your OneDrive>. If you wish to share the online spreadsheet with other people, one more step is left for you to do - choose one of the following sharing options:

  • Invite People (default). Just enter the email addresses of the contact(s) you want to share your Excel worksheet with. As you type, Excel's AutoComplete will compare your input with the names and addresses in your Address Book and display all matches. To add several contacts, separate the names with a semi-colon. Or, click the Search Address Book icon Search Address Book icon to search for contacts in your Global Address list.

    You can set viewing or editing permissions for the contacts by choosing the corresponding option from the drop down list on the right. If you are adding several invitees, the permissions will apply to all, but you will be able to change the permissions for each particular person later.

    You can also include a personal message to the invitation. If you do not enter anything, Excel will add a generic invitation for you.

    Lastly, you choose whether a user is required to sign-in into their Windows Live account before they can access your online spreadsheet. I don't see any particular reason why they should, but it's up to you.

    When done, click the Share button. Each of the invited contacts will receive an email message containing a link to the file you shared. They simply click the link to open your Excel spreadsheet online, on OneDrive.Inviting people to view or edit the Excel workbook you shared.

    Upon clicking the Share button, Excel will display the list of contacts you have shared the file with. If you want to remove someone from the list or edit the permissions, right click the name and choose the corresponding option from the context menu.To remove an invitee from the list or edit the permissions, right click the name and choose the corresponding option from the context menu.

  • Sharing Link. If you want to share your online Excel sheet with many people, a faster way would be sending them a link to the file, e.g. using an Outlook distribution or mailing list. You choose the Get a Sharing Link option in the left pane and grab either a View Link or Edit Link or both in the right pane.
    Get a sharing link.
  • Post to Social Networks. This option's name is self-explanatory and hardly requires any explanations, maybe just one remark. If you have chosen this sharing option but do not see the list of social networks in the right pane, click the Connect social networks link and you will be able to choose your Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn and other accounts.
    Post to Social Networks.
  • Email. If you prefer to send your Excel workbook as attachment (a usual Excel file, PDF or XPS) as well as internet fax, choose Email on the left and the appropriate option on the right.
    Sending a shared workbook by attachment
Tip: If you want to limit the areas of your Excel workbook that other users can view, switch to the File > Info and click Browser View Options. You will be able to choose the sheets and named items you want to display on the Web.

That's all! Your Excel workbook is online and shared with other users of your choosing. And even if you are not collaborating with anybody, this is an easy way to access your Excel files virtually from anywhere, no matter whether you are at the office, work from home or travel.

Working with workbooks in Excel Online

If you are a confident inhabitant of the Cloud universe, you won't have any problems with mastering Excel Online during your lunch break.

How to create a workbook in Excel Online

To create a new workbook, click a little arrow next to Create and choose Excel workbook from the drop-down list.
Creating a workbook in Excel Online

To rename your online workbook, click the default file name and type a new one.
Renaming a workbook in Excel Online

To upload your existing workbook to Excel Online, click on the Upload button on the OneDrive toolbar and browse for the file on your computer.
Uploading an existing workbook to Excel Online

How to edit workbooks in Excel Online

Once you have the workbook open on Excel Online, you can work with it using Excel Web App almost in the same way you use Excel desktop: enter data, sort and filter, calculate with formulas and present your data visually with charts.

There is only one significant difference between web-based Excel spreadsheets and desktop. Excel Online does not have the Save button because it saves your workbooks automatically. If you've changed your mind about something, press Ctrl+Z and Ctrl+Y to undo or redo, respectively. You can use the Undo / Redo buttons on the Home Tab > Undo group for the same purpose.

If you are trying to edit some data but nothing happens, most likely you are in read-only view. To switch to editing mode, click Edit Workbook > Edit in Excel Web App and make quick changes directly in your web browser. For more advanced data analysis features such as pivot tables, sparklines or connecting to an external data source, click Edit in Excel to switch to the desktop version.

To switch to editing mode, click Edit Workbook > Edit in Excel Web App.

When you save the spreadsheet in your Excel, it will be saved where you originally created it, i.e. in your OneDrive.

Tip: If you want to make quick changes in several workbooks, the fastest way is to open the list of files on your OneDrive, find the workbook you want, right click it and select the needed action from the context menu.
To make changes in several workbooks, open the list of files on your OneDrive, right click the needed workbook and select the action from the context menu.

How to share Excel Online spreadsheets with other users

To share your web based Excel spreadsheet, click Share > Share with People and then choose either:

  • Invite People and type the email addresses of people you want to share the workbook with, or
  • Get a link to paste it to an email message, web-page or social media sites.

Sharing Excel Online spreadsheets with other users

You can also choose whether you want to give viewing or editing permissions to your contacts.

Choose whether you want to give viewing or editing permissions to your contacts.

When several people are editing the worksheet at the same time, Excel Online shows their presence and the updates straight away, provided that everyone is editing in Excel Online, not in Excel desktop. When you click a little arrow next to the person's name in the top right-hand corner of your spreadsheet, you can even see which exactly cell is being edited at the moment.
Excel Online shows who is editing the workbook as well as the updates.

How to lock certain cells for editing in a shared worksheet

If you are sharing your online sheets with a number of people, you may want to limit the editing rights for your team members only to certain cells, rows or columns in your Excel document on OneDrive. To do this, you need to choose the range(s) that you allow to edit in your desktop Excel and then protect the worksheet.

  1. Select the range of cells that your users can edit, go to the Review tab and click "Allow Users to Edit Ranges" in the Changes group.

    Select the range your users can edit, go to the Review tab and click 'Allow Users to Edit Ranges.

  2. In the Allow Users to Edit Ranges dialog, click the New... button, verify that the range is correct and click Protect Sheet. If you want to allow your users to edit several ranges, click the New... button again.

    Protect the worksheet before uploading it to OneDrive

  3. Enter the password twice and upload the protected sheet to OneDrive.

    For more information, please check out this article - How to lock or unlock specific areas in a worksheet.

Use Excel Web App to embed the online spreadsheet onto a website or blog

If you want to publish your Excel workbook on a web-site or blog, perform these 3 quick steps in the Excel Web App:

  1. With the workbook open in Excel Online, click Share > Embed, and then click the Generate button.
    With the workbook open in Excel Online, click Share > Generate.
  2. In the next step, you decide how exactly you want your spreadsheet to appear on the web. The following customization options are available to you:
      • What to show section. It lets you embed the entire workbook or its part such as a range of cells, pivot table etc.
      • Appearance. In this section, you can customize the appearance of your workbook (show and hide grid lines and column headers, include a download link).
      • Interaction. Allow or disallow users to interact with your spreadsheet - sort, filter and type into cells. If you allow typing, the changes that other people make in the cells on the web will not be saved in the original workbook. If you want to a certain cell to be selected when the web page opens, select the "Always start with this cell selected" check box, and then click the cell you want in the preview that is displayed the right part of the window.
      • Dimensions. Type a width and height for the spreadsheet viewer, in pixels. To see how the viewer will look with the sizes you've defined, click the "View actual size" link at the top of the preview. Just keep in mind that you can specify a minimum of 200 x 100 pixels and a maximum of 640 x 655 pixels. If you want to use other dimensions outside these limits, you will be able to modify the code later using any HTML editor or directly on your web-site or blog.

    Customize the spreadsheet appearance on the web.

  3. All that is left for you to do is click the Copy link underneath the Embed code section and paste the HTML code (or JavaScript markup) onto your blog or a web-site.
    Note: The embed code is an iframe, so make sure your web-site supports iframes and blog editor allows iframes in posts.

Embedded Excel Web App

What you see below is an interactive Excel spreadsheet that illustrates the technique in action. This "Days Until Next Birthday" app calculates how many days are left until your next birthday, anniversary or other event and shades the gaps in different tints of green, yellow and red. In the Excel Web App, just enter your events in the first column and try changing the corresponding dates to experiment with the results.

If you are curious to know the formula, please check out this article - How to conditionally format dates in Excel.

Excel Web App mashups

If you want to get more interactions between your web-based Excel spreadsheets and other web apps or services, you can use the JavaScript API available on OneDrive to create interactive data mashups.

Below you can see the Destination Explorer mashup created by the Excel Web App team as an example of what web developers can create for your website or blog. This mashup uses the APIs of Excel Services JavaScript and Bing Maps and its purpose is to help the web-site visitors choose a destination where they want to travel. You can choose a location and the mashup will show you the local weather or the number of tourists that visit the area. The screenshot below shows our location :)

The Destination Explorer mashup

Those of you that have some knowledge of JavaScript may find the following resources helpful: API Explorer and Destination Explorer mashup how-to sample.

As you see, working in Excel Online is simple. Now that you know the basics, you can explore the other features and manage your online spreadsheets with ease and confidence!

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154 responses to "Move Excel spreadsheets online, share, embed in a web page and make interactive"

  1. Old Paul says:

    I have a VB macro in my workbook, that does not function in the online version. What am I doing wrong?

    • Hi Paul,

      You are doing everything right. Regrettably, macros do not run in the current version of Excel Online. Hopefully, Microsoft will be able to support them in the online version too at some point in the future.

      • Sergio says:


        Given that macros are not supported, Is there a way to build the equivalent of a VSTO Application in Excel On Line? I have a non-trivial VSTO application that have evolved from being a pure Macro to a solution that combines both, C# code and a bit of VBA code. The application interacts with SAP and SQL Server. I can replace the VBA code that is still left with its C# equivalent, but now I have also been asked to take this app to the next level and reach a higher audience in our intranet. I'd like to understand if such an app can be written for the online version of Excel. Thanks

  2. Old Paul says:

    Thank you. For the information. It was almost the functionality I need.. Your information was most helpfull.

  3. Dapper Dan says:

    Does one need a Microsoft/Hotmail/Live account to edit shared Excel Online spreadsheets?

    • You would be required to log in with your Microsoft account only if the person who shared the spreadsheet selected the option "Require user to sign in before accessing the document". Please see "Step 3. Share the spreadsheet you saved online" for more details.

  4. Khanh says:

    my excel file has many sheets and I only want to share a certain sheet with friend. Can i do it?

  5. Eddie says:

    I've been using excel on-line to embed data, works great; however, I've had no luck with embedding the data with slicers. Appears that slicers cannot be used? I've been researching but cannot find a detailed answer.

  6. Mukesh Sahu says:

    Is there any limit on number of users working simultaneously?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have been using google drive to publish a spreadsheet to the web and then have my various office excel workbooks update from it through the get external data option. Every time it was changed online by any of the collaborators my various workbooks would update so long as i refreshed. It was working perfectly but unfortunately i am, based in China and google has been throttled so hard that this feature no longer works.. Is it possible to do this from the onedrive through excel online? it seems weird that google drive should be more functional than microsoft's own solution. Or am i missing something?

    • Hi!

      Your spreadsheets will get updated as long as all of your collaborators work online. Let me quote what Microsoft says in this regard: "Everyone works in Excel Online; if someone opens the workbook in the Excel desktop application, the workbook can't be edited in Excel Online until it's closed again in desktop Excel." You can find more details here.

      • Sam says:


        Thanks a lot for your reply. My collaborators on the online document are working fine. What i was getting at is the "get external data from web" option in desktop excel. The link i generated in excel online doesn't work when i enter it into the box to import external data, it just loads up the excel online start up page but not the doc itself. All the information i have found only talks about embedding on webpages through an html link but nothing about publishing a link with which to import to various independent worksheets through the "export external data" option on excel desktop. Can you tell me how to do this? I hope I am explaining myself properly. Thanks for your time.

        • Hi Sam,

          Got it, thank you for the clarification. The "Get external data from web" option does not work in the way you want in the current version of Excel, maybe in the next Office release... Currently, this is simply a way to grab information from a web-page.

          I know only 2 ways to import info from online to desktop and vice versa:
          - On OneDrive, right-click a sheet and select "Open in Excel" from the context menu.
          - In desktop Excel, click Open > OneDrive.

          • Sam says:


            Thanks sgain! In fact I'm not looking to open the whole document. all i want to do is grab a table from an online doc. This does work in google drive via the "publish to web" link. The link generated in onedrive "share - get link" does not. I still feel like I'm missing something. it seems like a big oversight because its a very useful function.

            Just to further clarify: I'm using my online table as my product database for all of my sales sheets ( about 15 different and remotely operating employees) and the prices are always changing. this way the sales sheets (which have a copy of the database as one of the sheets in the workbook) are always up to date in real time so long as they refresh the data (recopy the table from the online doc) before they make an entry.

  8. Ben says:

    I'm looking for a website developer to set up a new website for my business that takes an Excel file I created and imbeds it as an interactive spreadsheet for the public to use. The user will have 10 cells in the spreadsheet that can be changed to a different number, then hit a "sort" button that shows an updated ranking based on the user's inputs. The developers I've spoken with do not know how to imbed interactive spreadsheets, yet I see in various Google searches, that led me to your blog, that it can be done. Any recommendations.?
    Ben Hirschenfang
    Property Review Program

  9. Ben says:

    Thanks is much!

  10. Hannah says:

    Thanks Svetlana for writing such an insightful article. I agree with you that everyone is moving towards using cloud technology to develop applications. I would like to mention an application here that allow users to create not only MS office documents without having to install MS Office but other documents also like PDF etc in a cloud known as Aspose Cloud API. I am using their free trial right now and code samples to test my application and so far its going as expected. You should also try this API.

  11. Natalie says:

    Hi Svetlana, Is it possible to limit edit access for a team member to be able to edit only cetain columns in an excel document on OneDrive?

  12. Rick says:

    When I copy and paste multi lined data into an online spreadsheet it is all inserted into one cell. The behaviour I'm expecting is that each line should be pasted in a separate row. This is how Outlook Excel performs this action. Is there a way to change this behaviour for Online Excel?

  13. Desire says:

    Hi ,

    Is there a way of linking 3 files in cloud?
    1. one is INPUT file which will be always replaced (overwritten) daily or weekly.
    2. the second one is the master file (the ENGINE File containing formulas)and highly protected( only Admin can have access to the file)
    3. The 3rd is the OUTPUT file linked to Engine file, which will be downloaded regularly.

    Kindly let me know if it is possible and how to do about it.



    • Hi Desire,

      Unfortunately, your scheme will hardly work in the way you want. For the formulas to get recalculated, the master file with formulas should always be open with someone and continuously updated. Additionally, I am not sure Excel Online can handle updating data between spreadsheets in the right way, though we have never tested this, so I cannot state with certainty. You can probably consider a solution based on some data base (data + business logic + reports).

  14. Desire says:


    I am very excited by this excel online solution,one more question.
    How to prevent my website( containing embedded excel) to be hacked?



    • Hi Desire,

      The embedded code has practically no impact on the security of your web-site. The Excel Web App is loaded on the client's side, your web-site just indicates which spreadsheet should be taken and how it shall be loaded.

      • Desire says:

        Thanks Svetlana,

        Can you also help on this:

        Is there a way of linking 3 files in cloud?
        1. one is INPUT file which will be always replaced (overwritten) daily or weekly.
        2. the second one is the master file (the ENGINE File containing formulas)and highly protected( only Admin can have access to the file)
        3. The 3rd is the OUTPUT file linked to Engine file, which will be downloaded regularly.

        Kindly let me know if it is possible and how to do about it.



  15. Desire says:

    Thanks Svetlana,

    the last one, Can I share some of spreadsheets to users?



  16. Desire says:


    What is maximum capacity(in Mbs) can an excel file be loaded and accessed in OnDrive?


  17. deepa says:

    Hi Desire,
    to my project having some doubt bcz how to create an online excel automatically.....i need ur help...

  18. Prem says:

    Hi Svetlana,
    Is it possible to automatically create a copy of the an Excel Sheet (this is the template) everyday (with a file name that indicates date)in Excel online?


  19. Mike says:


    The embedding functionality is great, but is it possible to do this without sharing the file with the whole world? I want users of my site to be able to access the content and no one else. Is there a way to both lock down the file to limit access, and ensure unauthorized users can't view the content if they somehow got their hands on the embedded src url?


    • Hello Mike,

      When sharing your spreadsheet you can add emails of authorized users and choose either view or edit rights for them. You can also select the option "Require users to sign in before accessing the document". In this case, only your authorized users logged into their Windows Live accounts will be able to access the document and no one else. These options are demonstrated in the screenshot under Step 3. Share the spreadsheet you saved online.

      However, this approach is hardly acceptable if you want to let all visitors of your web-site to view your spreadsheet. In this case, you can publish (embed) the spreadsheet in some restricted area of your web-site that only registered users can access.

      • Melissah says:

        Hi, I have done this where i have embedded an online calculator within a restricted sign in section of my website. However, the issue i now have is that although the download option has been turned off, there are still 2 other buttons on the bottom right side of the iframe which allow users to "view full-size workbook online" or "view information about this workbook". I'm wanting to know if there is a way to block those options to stop my spread sheet from being stolen? I've tried to reduce the size of the iframe to hide the scroll bars but it doesn't seem to be possible and even though the HTML says scrolling="no" there is still scrolling?? Can anyone help?

  20. Dhan says:

    I have 10 people sharing excel sheet, when it opens with one of us it is ready only for others that's fine. If same time anyone will open then he is not getting pop up name who is working on that. Can I hav suggestion for this?

  21. jatin says:


    I have shared an excel workbook and multiple people are using the sheet to add and remove data. Is there a way if one user is working on the sheet the second user should get notification that someone is working on the worksheet with the name

    thank you

  22. jatin says:

    Is it mandatory the user should have Microsoft account to Login. Can they use a different account

    thank you

    • Hello Jatin,

      If you want to share your online workbook with other users, they do not necessarily need to have Microsoft accounts. If you want to embed your online spreadsheets onto a website or blog or edit them using Excel Online, then you do need a Microsoft account.

  23. ANSHUL says:

    Hello mam,

    I am working in a government ngo , our work it to providing help to poor childrens and providing free education and relief fund into there bank accounts . it can be approx 50000 children in the city . I made a excel format to collect the data from them but it is very difficult to take data offline so is there any option where i can take online data from different applicants in the that format......
    although i can share a general file but there is huge risk of deletion , addition, updation of past data by diffrent user if we allow to work into same please mam give the way to fix this problem. thanks :)

    • Hello ANSHUL,

      An ideal solution would be creating a database with separate rules for inputting and editing data.
      If you want to do this my means of Excel, you can create a table template and send it to your users. Each user will fill in the table with their own details (online or offline) and then you can consolidate all tables together using this Excel Consolidation add-in.
      Please see the section "Merge Excel worksheets without copying and pasting" on the above page for more information. A free 20-day trial of the add-in is available.

  24. Brian Ketchum says:


    I have recently embedded a rather complex spreadsheet on our website using iframe. Users are able to set the value of a specific cell to see personalized results. This works fine when visiting the site via Firefox, etc., but I can't figure out why the cell data can't be changed when viewing on an iPad. Is this functionality available when browsing on iPad or just a normal browser?



    • Hello Brian,

      I have never worked with Excel Online on iPad but I doubt this is normal behavior. Microsoft can hardly expect anyone to install a special browser to work with Excel Web apps. I think you can try contacting Microsoft's support, probably they will be able to suggest a fix.

  25. David says:


    Is there a way to stop an Excel document from being edited in Excel Online and only in the Excel Client.

    The use case is to stop a user editing a copy because the file contains unsupported features.

    I understand that you can protect a workbook and manage file permissions but I want to allow a user to edit the file only through the Excel Client and just view with Excel Online.


  26. Wlado says:

    I would like to ask is it possible to link two or more excel files so they would work together.
    Simple example vlookup from getting data from database from another file.

    Thank you

  27. ANSHUL says:

    hello Svetlana mam

    thanks for your technical advice mam , there is new issue arises that i shared my excel online spreadsheet with 5 email id for working together but if one user apply filter than another user see the filter already applied and than he have to wait or he have to stop work, so working become more typical in this case. please help me mam.

  28. Sheff says:

    I have desktop Excel spreadsheet system to run an ice hockey league's schedule, standings and player stats. I have been updating schedule manually from the hardcopy gamesheets and I have a macro that reads the schedule and updates the standings automatically. I also update the player stats manually from the gamesheets. Then I highlight areas on the various spreadsheets and save-as html, then I FTP those up to the webserver where the webpages embed that html code into the pages. I have been asked to quote an online system so the timekeeper can update the site with a tablet or laptop as the games are taking place. I have always thought I would have to create a database driven web application to do this but now I am investigating this online spreadsheet option. I have two questions.

    1 - Can data from this platform be pushed to an "includes" folder on a website automatically after an update?

    2 - Some of my macros are very extensive. Do macros work well in the online version. i.e. I currently enter the scores in the schedule on sheet1 and hit "Ctrl s" to kick off a macro. The macro goes through quite a gyration to re-calculate and sort a new "League Standings" table, which is stored in sheet2. I then manually push the appropriate cells in sheet1 and sheet2 up to the webserver so that data can be embedded in the appropriate web pages.

    If I can accomplish this online with Excel, rather than writing a PHP/MySQL application from scratch, it would be a major coup.

    Please advise.


  29. Chamara says:

    Is it possible to stop the scroll position jump to the top when i access the embeded link?

    this seems to happen in chrome.

  30. Oswald Pinto says:

    Is it possible to share continuously updating data? and it should to updating on client viewer computer.
    Example: PLC is updating data at 183Kbps on excel sheet in computer1 we need to share this excel sheet on another computer2 will it be keep updating the data as in computer1. Is this feature is available?

  31. Mar says:

    what is the css div class container "name" for a onedrive web excel workbook? I want to style the div i have enclosed the html code with.

    for example if it was a calendar i was uploading and then styling I would use:
    .calendar-container {
    position: absolute;
    top: 0;


  32. ahmed says:

    hey, i wanted to ask that after the file is uploaded do all the authorized people need to have the 2013 version of excel to work online or will 2007/2010 version will work?

  33. John says:

    Hi! I'm not sure if you would know this but is it possible to use a screen reader with the embedded web app? Or is it possible to use just the keyboard to go "in" and "out" of the embedded app on the web page? I'm thinking in terms of accessibility for this feature. Thanks!

  34. Rina says:

    Hi Ma'am,

    I'm encountering some issues with Excel Online that wasn't present when it was still Excel Web App. I have some files that use external data connections to gather data from 1) an sql server, 2) an OData feed and 3) a data import "From Web". I uploaded them to OneDrive so I could embed them on web pages. "Refresh All Connections" used to work fine then I noticed recently that they're throwing an error. Some have "...external data connection or BI features not supported." Others have "...connection failed to refresh" and "XML maps not supported." I haven't done any changes to them or to their connections but I can't seem to make them work again. The only difference I can see is that they're opening with Excel Online now whereas previously it was Excel Web App.

    I hope you can enlighten me with this.


  35. Duncan says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    Your article is excellent.

    I stumbled across it while searching for a way to convert an excel price list into a secure (ie: password) web based ordering tool.

    Only invited customers will be given the password. Customers will sort & filter to find products in the price list, enter qty to order, see order total, then somehow submit that order.

    I was really looking for a method to simply convert the spreadsheet to a simple online order store, but this seems to be a possible alternative.

    Importantly, I don't want a customer to be able to extract the entire price list (copy/paste, save as).

    Your thoughts would be very much appreciated.


    • Hello Duncan,

      I've consulted our VBA specialists and they say that Excel may not be the best platform for your task. For example, we don't know how to disable Copy / Paste in Excel Online. In the desktop version of Excel, you can block icons using VBA, which users could also turn off. So, probably a better way would be looking for some out-of-the-box modules for your web-site. As far as I know, there are a great number of such modules for different platforms.

    • George says:

      Simply lock your worksheet while unlocking the cells ranges that you want your customers to sort and filter.
      Doing this will make it impossible for anyone to copy your whole file.

  36. Bif says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    Thanks for this post.

    I would like to set up a webpage spreadsheet where people can input data and the spreadsheet calculates the results. I have successfully set this up. The problem I am having is want web visitors to only be able to see their inputs/results without seeing my entire spreadsheet which is proprietary. While I can limit the range that appears,I have noted that in the bottom bar where it says "Excel Web Ap", Microsoft allows visitors to access my entire spreadsheet and download if they desire. I do not want this. Any way to prevent this or any other resources you would recommend that could solve my problem?

  37. Bif says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    The problem still remains because even after I remove the download link, visitors can still download the spreadsheet by clicking on "view full size workbook" in the same bottom bar.


  38. Paula says:

    I was able to upload a spreadsheet to OneDrive, but can't figure out what the Excel Web Ap is. Where do I get this? It's not in the play store. When I open the spreadsheet on my tablet there are no tabs at the top like in your article to Create of Upload or edit. I can only view and can't use the slicers. Fairly useless with large data sets.

  39. Tino says:

    Hi Svetlana -

    Just want to say thank you for the great support you are doing here. A task Microsoft has obviously failed to do.


  40. alfredo says:

    I need to save the client webpage changes

    how to code it
    beucase said interacion
    let people type into cells (their changes will not be saved)
    I need to make the changes effective

  41. anna says:

    Hi Svetlana,
    I need to lock certain cells, but my review tab doesn't have the options, just show comments and new comments.
    Where did I go wrong?

  42. Dallas says:


    Is it possible to embed the office web app into your own web based .net application? Connecting to a SQL data source?


  43. Sait Aksoy says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    Microsoft allows visitors to access my entire spreadsheet and download if they desire. is there any way to remove "view full-size workbook" icon?


  44. Dennis Cooper says:

    I currently have a spreadsheet in Google docs that is fed data by a google docs form that Area managers have a link to. After they fill it out it sends an email notifying everyone on the distro list that an event has just occurred. We have moved to 365 and I can't get the same functionality from excel online. Is there a way to tie a form to the excel online spreadsheet and have it generate an email once it is filled out?

  45. mmbappi says:

    i have a one excel sheet that are formatting cells size & row for print custom invoice.but my problem in when i tried to print that sheet from another computer i cant print it correctly all format are automatically change can u help me how can i do it correct way

  46. Victoria says:

    Hi, I am embedding the Excel spreadsheet onto a webpage. The green box is very misleading, as users can select every cell (including those that are protected/ locked.) Can I disable it in the Embed options?

  47. Daniel says:


    Is there a way to allow specific users to edit only specific cells or rows? In other words, I want to share a spreadsheet online with a team of people and each person has a row of cells that relates only to them - So, each row of cells is only editable by one specific user.

  48. Atif Akram says:

    Dear Svetlana,

    An excel file placed on "one drive" can be downloaded/saved by the user on his/her computer.

    Any idea how to prevent?



  49. Lincoln says:


    is it possible to work on spreadsheets located on a local shareddrive using excel online directly without moving the spreadsheet to onedrive?


  50. Mohammad Forhad says:


    Tanks a lot for this article.
    Can you tell me if embed Excel Online spreadsheet document in website using iframe crawled by search engines and indexed? Recently I tried with Google Spreadsheet but seems like it is not helping me regarding SEO. Here is the document in page that I want to take this dvantage( )- So finding alternative.

    Will be awaiting to hear from you, thanks in advance.

  51. Adam says:

    Hi, I m having trouble leaving certain cells in unlocked in worksheets on excel one drive. When I follow the instructions above, the entire worksheet is locked in the online version and no cells are editable, even though they are in the desktop version of excel. Any ideas on where I might be going wrong?

    • George says:

      Before locking your worksheet,first unprotect the cells you want to be editable from the Format Cell... dialogue box by unchecking the unlock button for cells at the Protection tab.

  52. Subodh says:

    I can't see the changes group under review tab as shown here in My online Excel. I want to share 2 sheets from single excel file to 2 users and I want them to be able to view all data but I expect them to be able to make changes in their individual sheet only. (User A changes Sheet-1 only, User B changes Sheet-2 only, User A and B views both Sheet. I can view and Edit them all) Thanks In Advance.

  53. Daniel says:

    The Help of Excel online says that there is no 'Save' button because the workbook are saved automatically. Do you know how fast/often the workbook is saved?

  54. rosie says:

    Hello, i am trying to use to generate html coded spreadsheet to embed on a website for a order form. I need to get the user online to be able to save it online so when they submit the form the data comes through to us? is this possible?
    thank you

  55. Laurent says:

    Hello, I have seen on the official site That macros seems supported on excel services (execution only, not creation)
    Anybody could confirme this ?

    Thank you

  56. Caesar says:


    could you please tell me if any customized work book will appear the same as in the stand alone excel version? or it will be over-written by the web? Im just wondering

  57. Riz says:

    I've Customer receipt/stock system on my desktop.
    I want my data to be update online on certain period e.g. every 1 hour.
    I'm not always on my shop, So I can watch update sale after every 1 hour whenever I'm

    Can you Please help me, how do I achieve this task in simplest way.
    Thanks & Regards

  58. chuck says:

    Svetlana, hopefully you can help me. My question is in regards to a "Excel Survey" spreadsheet.

    I created a survey that seems to work fine. All info input into the survey populates my spreadsheet as it should. My end-state is to allow anyone access to read the data that the survey collects with the ability to filter information in any column, but no one should be able to change/edit anything on the sheet.

    Looking above at protection, I don't seem to have "changes" block under review tab. I can't seem to find any info either on how to protect this information for just viewing.

    My questions are, how, and can I, protect the sheet? If I can, is it possible to allow filtering to work for all viewers with the sheet protected?

    Thanks for any info you can provide.

  59. Sujit Mukherjee says:

    Svetlana, We have several entities who work in remote and submit their data in individual Excel sheets through email which we to again have to copy paste and enter into our Excel database for consolidation and getting the total database. Can online Excel help in allowing all the entities enter into web-based form from their respective ends and we get the consolidated data from our end without coping & pasting

  60. chinonso says:

    please I developed an application using VBA excel.. u want the app to run online. such that the user forms will still appear with its controls. how do I do this

  61. Alex says:

    I recently embedded an interactive excel file on my blog. I noticed that my keyboard won't come up when I try to interact with the embedded file looking at the blog on my phone. Is there any way to make it so it can be interactive on your mobile device?

  62. julien says:

    I have a small problem with Excel Online:
    I created an Excel document and I shared it.
    When someone edit my document with excel online all is well.
    But when when someone edit with Excel it's locked.
    I have the following message:

    Unfortunately, the workbook needs to be closed or checked in before you can edit it. If everyone uses Excel Online, you can work on it at the same time.

    Is there a way to authorize the edition only on Excel online?

    Than you

  63. JC says:

    Is there a way to toggle the spreadsheet visibility? For example, I may need to make edits/changes to the spreadsheet without the group previously provided access seeing the changes as they are being made real-time. Is there a way to easily turn off/suspend access to the spreadsheet and then turn it back on when the changes are complete?


  64. Nagendra says:

    Can we get an alert if same cell is being edited by multiple users


  65. Dvarni gems.. says:

    Please tell me How overcome with this error..The server couldn't complete this action. Error Code: 0x88ffc009

  66. Anand says:

    I have employee data, row-wise in a spreadsheet. But would want to expose that row only for the respective employee, in the web-page. How do i do it? Eg. I have salary data for emp a, b, c & d in the spreadsheet. If emp 'b' clicks on a link in the webpage (based on his login credentials), want to display salary data of 'b'. Any suggestion/direction is much appreciated. Thanks.

  67. Alex says:

    I want to embed an excel worksheet on my website for members to edit their own personal copy off of. What would be the best way to do this, without them changing the original version, or sharing with other members on the website, when they download to edit?

  68. Prasad says:

    I am not able to see embed option for Exce/PDF on one drive.

    please reply ASAP

  69. Rosana says:

    Hi there, Thank you for this helpful post. I am unable to find the "Format > Indent Control" feature on the online version of excel. If I work in Excel for desktop, how can I ensure that:
    1) I am using the latest version of my online excel document (I think this is simple; just click on "work in excel for desktop" while working on the document
    2) I then have the latest version of my work saved to the online version of Excel?
    It seems risky, having to go back and forth between online and desktop; this is an easy way to lose the latest version of the document by not remembering to upload back to the cloud. Any assistance you can offer would be appreciated. Thank you!

  70. Sean says:

    Can I input data via a userform from different PCs or laptops controled by different users to update spreadsheets ?

  71. william hyatt says:

    I am looking for a way to create an Excel spreadsheet and use as my online sales form for ordering and have it export the data for the number of items that I'm getting and the total cost to my credit card processing app

  72. Maya says:


    I am trying to share excel document with different members in order for them to share their inputs on the same excel sheet. Unfortunately, if two people are editing at the same time then one of them is not being able to edit. Is there a solution? I mean how can Excel sharing be interactive or collaborative?

    • Peter Ferguson says:

      I thought I am the only one having difficulty with excel sharing and generating excel files on C# until I find a solution in ZetExcel. You too can give a trial as I did

  73. Manas says:

    I need to import excel to cloud and then retrieve all the row related data based on a primary ID. Is it possible?

  74. Srinath says:


    I am currently working on a small project to simplify the following practice: a. Monthly we are getting data from many users and again upload into a master file to arrive at a certain consolidated data.
    b. I want to create a template in excel and give separate access to each and every user to upload their data online. but, i don't want that the users see other user data.
    how this can be done in web based excel

  75. harish says:

    I did the excel to html conversion but I was unable to enable interactions in HTML(I don't want it to be published online) can you help me?

  76. Shaun Walsh says:


    I am a Finance Director and want to put some spreadsheet models online eg a Break Even Calculator so that:
    1) Someone can go onto my website and put in their financial data
    2) They can then see the results eg their break even point
    3) They can't mess up the underlying formula
    4) The same model can be used by different people

    Can Excel online do this ?


  77. Ammar yaseen says:

    Can you please tell me if i want to embed my online excel workbook in a restricted webpage (clients can access after username and password)
    1. Does my workbook can give access to multiple users at the same time such that one user who is currently editing a workbook doesnot create problems for other and each member can work seperately with their respective values at the same time?
    2. Can i be able to hide formulas from my workbook?
    3. Is there anyway i can give an option of (download in pdf file) rather than download in excel desktop
    4. Is there anyway i can restrict my workers to edit in desktop excel (want to give them access in embed excel online workbook only)
    5. Even if i give them the right to download in excel desktop.. is there anyway i can restrict them to copy the file and shares it with others?
    Looking forward for your feedback

    • Kara St Louis says:

      I would like to know the answer to question 4 as well.

      For your question 1. If they open the document online only and not through the desktop application you can have more than one person editing the document at the same time.


  78. Manus Higgins says:

    Thank you. Your article brings great relief and new opporunities.

  79. Kowtham says:

    Hello, how can I enter data from my excel to another web data sheet automatically. I am using selenium VBA currently. Is it possible to do the same with Selenium VBA or do you have any suggestion?

  80. Evgeny Semenov says:

    Dear Svetlana, I have read all the information that you provided above. It is very much useful! Many thanks!
    I am using the Online version and currently struggle that in Review I do have only two parts: Accessibility and Comments. The thing is that I have some of the cells protected and I need them to stay so. How ca I make the Protection section to appear?

  81. Chandresh K. Shah says:

    Thank u for such great explanation.

  82. Paul Jackson says:

    This is simple but complex request. I would like to create an Excel Spreadsheet online, which is not complicated, no macros. I would line to generate a User Interface so that users can gain access to this Excel tool, with User/Password credentials. This is a paid service I would sell. The user data would be saved to their account for future use.
    I can do the HTML coding but I need the embedded Excel to be totally stripped down to show just the cells and nothing else. Its the Functionality of Excel I need, not the Excel itself.

  83. Gaurav Singh says:

    Hi Thank you for such a simple and nice explanation. Now I can confidently say that I have received much more knowledge from the post than I thought. I was actually thinking of creating English Worksheets using the same concepts because I have upload them on, could you please let me know if it is possible to do so ?.

  84. Daryl says:

    We have have created a shared schedule and gant chart for students & staff for a local college program. It contains about 40 interlinked pages withint the online Excel document. Within the past year we have noticed that whenever we open any page of the document, the page opens at the last cell (furthest to the right and at the bottom of the page). We would like every page of our document to open at the very beginning not the end.
    Can this be set and if so, how?

  85. Jim says:

    This is fantastic - I almost bought Spreadsheet Converter but this does exactly what I need.

    One nit-pick - Where it says "With the workbook open in Excel Online, click Share > Embed, and then click the Generate button." it needs to say "Click *file* > Share > Embed."

    I spent many hours trying to find the Embed command by clicking on the Share button.

  86. martin argimon says:

    HI svetlana,
    I have published my excel workbook in the internet, but I am unable to see my activex controls and hence the Internert version does not allow the users to click on the macro to extract info as desired. Is ther a solution to this that you can recommend. Your recommendations will be most welcome. Thanking you in advance.
    martin Argimon

  87. Akshay Dhingra says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    When I try to publish my excel worksheet as a web page and upload it on sharepoint, the graphs in that web page vanish. Please tell me how can I publish a webpage and save it on share point, so that the graphs in that worksheet are visible to people.

    Best regards,
    Akshay Dhingra

  88. Ranjitrau says:

    Can Excel worksheet be put on a website so specified persons can DOWNLOAD THE WORKBOOK ,use it on their own data SECURELY without any fear of their data becoming compromised ?

  89. Andrea Jackson says:

    Hi I want to make my own worksheet for my students but I don’t know how to do it Can you please help me please respond back after I send this OK from the teacher Layla Jackson Ok 👌🏼

  90. Andrea Jackson says:

    Please respond back I’m the teacher Layla Jackson and I can’t make worksheets for my students can you please help me somehow I hope you respond back please do it for me I know you can do it now respond back to respond Because if the kids don’t get their education I’ll get fired and I wanna keep my teacher job 😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢

  91. Kelvin Kembenya Omare says:

    Data block
    Bilboa Freightlines
    required rate of return
    present truck new truck Year/Periods
    purchase cost (new) $21,000 $30,000 5
    remaining book value $11,500 0
    overhaul needed now $7,000 0
    annual cash operating costs $10,000 $6,500 5
    salvage value-now $9,000 0
    salvage value-five years from now $1,000 $4,000 5
    discount rate 16%
    NPV $1,112 in favor of overhauling the old truck

    Bilboa Freiightlines, S.A
    Total Cost Approach
    Net present value claculation
    Item Year (s) Ammount of cash flows PV
    Overhaul old truck: 0 $7,000 $7,000.00
    Overhaul now 0 $7,000 $7,000.00
    Annual cash oprating costs 5 $10,000 $4,761.13
    Salvage vale in five years 5 $1,000 $476.11
    Net present value $19,237

    Purchase new truck:
    Purchase cost new 5 $30,000 $14,283.39
    Salvage value of old truck now 0 $1,000 $1,000.00
    Annual cash operating costs 5 $6,500 $3,094.73
    Salvage vaue of new truck in five years 5 $4,000 $1,904.45
    Net Present Value $20,283

    Logic 'IF' statents NPV in favor of overhauling the old truck

    Bilboa Freiightlines, S.A
    Increamental Cost Approach
    Net present value claculation
    Item Year (s) Ammount of cash flows PV
    Increamental investment- in favour of old truch 0 $9,000 $9,000.00
    additional annual cash operating cost 5 $3,500 $1,666.40
    lost salvage value in five years 5 $3,000 $1,428.34
    lost savage value for old truck now 0 $1,000 $1,000.00
    Net Present Value $13,095

    Logic 'IF' statents NPV in favor of overhauling the old truck

  92. Jack Breg says:

    Hello, I have tried to find same solutions that everyone here are searching for. I have tried different websites and software. You can visit They develop high performance applications to Create, Edit, Convert or Print Excel spreadsheet file formats without requiring Microsoft Excel.

  93. Hannah says:


    When trying to embed an Excel spreadsheet on my website, I'm not seeing the embed option upon right clicking. Has this option been taken away in OneDrive 2020 version?


  94. Janelle says:

    Hello, I just found this website and it has been very helpful. I'm trying to turn an Excel spreadsheet into a web application. Do I need a plug in for that? I don't have the Share option mentioned on this page and when I'm googling about this, I am directed to companies that charge to assist in this. Thank you.

  95. chechilas says:

    Hello, thank you for your complete explanation, Excel online is really necessary for work, we at Chechilas also use Excel online to share daily tasks with team members, so there is no need to use paper anymore.

  96. Guy says:

    Hello. Can I use an (existing) Excel file basically as a data gathering/processing online form? I want to publish one or more spreadsheets, ideally emedded within an existing website, that different users can interact with and use by keying in their own respective data, and have the spreadsheet generate each user's individual results that they can print/PDF (possibly download), and which are ultimately fed back into a separate 'results-collating' sheet. Possibly each individual response would be saved in the cloud - a bit like Google Forms. To be clear, this is not the same as lots of people working collaboratively on the same sheet, which I see a lot about, but each entering their own into a different sheet from a 'master' template. How could I achieve this, and what Microsot or other services would I need to use/buy in to, please? Where would I start? I haven't used any in the past: Any pointers? Thank you.

  97. David Caple says:

    I understand that VBA macros are not supported if I embed a workbook in a website. (Major flaw!) Is there a way to mimic coded VBA facilities with for a workbook embedded in a website or should I look to Google Sheets? I cannot use cell formulae because the calculation time is unacceptable.

  98. Abilas says:

    I have generated and inserted embedded link to publish excelsheet on my website.

    When I am not logged into my microsoft account, my page shows output as " refused to connect."

    Whereas my page shows desired excel sheet output, When I am logged into my microsoft account using same browser.

    I want someone without microsoft account should be able to access and edit excel sheet on my website in any browser.

    What should I do?

  99. Katie says:

    How do you select a range when embedding? What do you need to put in the "select range" section so the whole notebook does show and it's not just endlessly scrolling?

  100. Omer says:

    Amazing, Amazing, Amazing webpage!
    Just what I needed

    Thanks and Greetings from Mx!

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