Open or edit a file in a SharePoint library

The method that you choose to open or edit a file in a library on a Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services site depends on what you want to do with the file and how the library is set up. For example, you may want to just open a file to read it, or you may want to make changes to it.

In this article


Overview

If you open a file while you are browsing through a library on a SharePoint site, the 2007 Microsoft Office system program that the file belongs to displays a message that asks whether you want to open the file as read-only or for editing.

Additionally, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, Microsoft Office Word 2007, and Microsoft Office Excel 2007 provide a reading mode when files are opened from a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site. The reading mode makes it easier to browse through files and reduces the clutter of commands that aren't needed for reading. The programs also display an editing command on the Message Bar that you can click if you decide that you want to make changes to the file.

When you click a file on a Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 site, the file opens as read-only. If you want to open the file for editing, you can use the editing command on the file's drop-down menu. If you do not know which version of Windows SharePoint Services you are using, you can use the editing command to open the file for editing in either version.

When you open a file from a SharePoint library by using a 2007 Office release program, the file opens for editing. After you open a file on the Web server, a shortcut to the Web server is created in your My Network Places folder. You can use this shortcut to open files more conveniently from the Web server later.

Checking out files to work on them

If multiple people work on the same files, you may want to check out files before you work on them. When you check out a file, you are the only person who can change it while it is checked out to you. This reduces the potential for confusion or editing conflicts. A file must be checked in before other people can see the changes.

A library can be set up so that it requires check-out. When a library requires check-out, you must check out files before editing them. New files must be checked in before other people can see them.

If you do not check out a file and the file is changed by someone else while you are working on it, you may be prompted to resolve any editing conflicts. If you receive this message, you can decide which version of the file to keep, or you can merge both sets of changes.

Working with files on your hard disk

When you check out a file from a 2007 Office release program and the file is in a library on a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site, you can work with the file on your hard disk in the Office program. In most cases, this is faster than working with the file on a server. The file is stored in the server drafts folder on your hard disk; you can change this location through the options for saving in the Microsoft Office program.

If you connected your Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 library to Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, you can also work with files on your hard disk. For more information about using SharePoint libraries with Office Outlook 2007, see Outlook Help.

When you check out a file to your server drafts folder or connect your library to Office Outlook 2007, you can even work with a file when you aren't connected, such as when you are away from the office. When you are connected again, you can update your changes on the server. If you are working on a file by opening it from Outlook, you are prompted to update the server when you are connected again and open the file. If you checked out the file, you need to check in the file to enable other people to see your changes.

Top of Page Top of Page

Open a file from a SharePoint site

 Note   Your site may be customized differently, but you can use the following guideline in most cases to determine which version of Windows SharePoint Services is running on the site: On a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site, a menu with your user name or account appears in the upper-right corner. On a Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 site, the top-level navigation in the upper-left corner contains links for Home, Documents and Lists, and Help.

  1. On the SharePoint site, open the library where your file is located.

ShowWhat to do if you can't find your library

  1. If the name of your library does not appear, do the following:
    • On a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site, click View All Site Content.
    • On a Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 site, click Documents and Lists.
  2. Click the name of your list.
  1. Click the file that you want to open.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • On a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site, depending on the program you are using, a message may appear that asks how you want to open the file. Click Read Only.
  • On a Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 site, a message may appear that asks if the file is safe to open. Click OK if you are comfortable opening the file.

 Notes 

  • In most cases, if a file is read-only, Read-Only appears in parentheses or brackets in the title bar of your program.
  • In Office Word 2007, Office Excel 2007, and Office PowerPoint 2007, a Message Bar with a button for editing typically appears across the top of the file. If you decide that you want to edit the file instead of just reading it, you can click the Edit Document, Edit Workbook, or Edit Presentation button to start editing the file.
  • If you decide to edit a file instead of just reading it, and you do not see a Message Bar across the top of your file, close the file and reopen it for editing.

Top of Page Top of Page

Check out a file from an Office program

Use the following procedure to check out a file while it is open in the Office program. You can also check out a file from the library on the SharePoint site.

Do the following in these 2007 Office release programs:

Word, Excel, or PowerPoint
  • Click the Microsoft Office ButtonButton image, click Server, and then click Check Out.
Visio
  • On the File menu, click Check Out.
Other Office programs

You can check out other types of files by using the commands in the library on the SharePoint site. For more information, see Help on the SharePoint site.

 Tip   If your library requires check-out, a Check Out command appears on the Message Bar when you open a file in one of the following 2007 Microsoft Office system programs: Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.

Top of Page Top of Page

Edit a file by opening it from a SharePoint site

To open a 2007 Office release file from a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site, you can just click the file. Depending on the program, a dialog box may appear that gives you the option of opening or editing the file. To edit a file on a site that is running a previous version of Windows SharePoint Services, to edit a Web page, or if you don't know which version is running on the SharePoint site, you can use the editing command that appears in the drop-down list for the file.

 Note   Your site may be customized differently, but you can use the following guideline in most cases to determine which version of Windows SharePoint Services is running on the site: On a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site, a menu with your user name or account appears in the upper-right corner. On a Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 site, the top-level navigation in the upper-left corner contains links for Home, Documents and Lists, and Help.

  1. On the SharePoint site, open the library where your file is located.

ShowWhat to do if you can't find your library

  1. If the name of your library does not appear, do the following:
    • On a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site, click View All Site Content.
    • On a Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 site, click Documents and Lists.
  2. Click the name of your list.
  1. Do one of the following:
  • If you know that the file is on a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site, click the file, and then click Edit.
  • If you are using a previous version or you do not know which version you are using, point to the file that you want to edit, click the arrow that appears, and then click Edit in Program name. For example, to edit a Word document, click Edit in Microsoft Office Word.
  1. If a message appears that asks whether the file is safe to open, click OK if you are comfortable opening the file.

 Notes 

  • If check-out is required in your library, the editing command says Check Out and Edit, instead of just Edit.
  • If the file is checked out, you need to check it in before people can see your changes.
  • After you save the file, other people can see the changes that you made after they refresh their browsers, unless approval is required for the library, the file is a draft version in a library that tracks both major and minor versions, or the file is still checked out.

Top of Page Top of Page

Edit a file by opening it from an Office program

  1. Do the following in these 2007 Microsoft Office system programs:
Word, Excel, or PowerPoint
  • Click the Microsoft Office ButtonButton image, and then click Open.
Project, Publisher, SharePoint Designer, Visio, or Outlook
  • On the File menu, click Open.
  1. Under Look in, click My Network Places.
  2. Click the name of the SharePoint site where your file is located, and then click Open.

 Tip   Alternately, you can double-click the name of the site to open it. You can also double-click to open your library or file in the following steps.

 Note   If you don't see your server in My Network Places, type the URL for the server into the File name box.

  1. Click the name of the library that contains the file, such as Shared Documents, and then click Open.
  2. Click the name of the file that you want to open, and then click Open.

 Tip   If you do not want to make changes to the file, you can open it as read-only. Click the arrow on the Open button, and then click Read Only.

Top of Page Top of Page

 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Project 2007, Publisher 2007, SharePoint Designer 2007, Visio 2007, Word 2007