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Tips and Best Practices for Enriching Collaboration Using OneDrive and SharePoint

As the campus community settles into using OneDrive and SharePoint, the Northwestern IT Service Desk is sharing a few features beyond the basics and best practices that can enrich your collaboration experience. Please note, this page will be updated frequently, so continue to check back often. If you are seeking information about the migration process, please visit the Box Migration Overview page.

Adding Shortcuts to Shared Folders in OneDrive

When someone shares a folder with you in Microsoft OneDrive, SharePoint, or Teams, you can add a shortcut to the shared folder in your OneDrive to easily locate and work with the folder’s files. These shortcuts appear in OneDrive on the web, Windows File Explorer, Mac Finder, Teams, and OneDrive mobile apps. Using shortcuts instead of OneDrive Sync prevents unnecessary storage from being taken up locally on your machine and accidental file deletion. Learn more about shortcuts.

Editing a PDF from SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online and Adobe Document Cloud partnered to establish seamless connectivity and simplify editing a PDF in SharePoint. Now, you can do inline commenting, drawing, highlighting selected text, and much more. Install Adobe Document Cloud for SharePoint and OneDrive.

Finding Shared Documents in OneDrive and SharePoint

One of the most frequent questions heard at the IT Service Desk is, "How do I find something in OneDrive and SharePoint that is shared with me?" Searching for shared documents in SharePoint is as easy as searching for the document's name in the search bar at the top of the web page. In OneDrive, you can select "Shared" in the left navigation menu or choose "Share with me" or "Shared by me" options at the top of the page. View these steps.

Viewing Who Has Accessed a Document in SharePoint

You can now check to see who has viewed and accessed a document on your SharePoint site. This is especially helpful for project collaborations. To check, go into the library and mouse over the document. A viewers list will pop up. Learn how.

Where to Save Files in OneDrive or SharePoint

Generally, files you alone are working on should be stored in OneDrive. OneDrive files are private unless you decide to share them. Files that require collaboration and other institutional data should be stored in SharePoint. Maintaining institutional data in SharePoint is especially important because your OneDrive account, and its data, is removed when you leave the University. Learn more.

Sending OneDrive and SharePoint Links Directly from Outlook

An easy way to avoid version control issues when working with others on a document is to work directly in SharePoint, where all document versions are retained. When requesting feedback on a shared document, you can share the link to the SharePoint document rather than attaching it to an email. If Outlook determines that one or more recipients cannot access the shareable link, it changes the color of the shareable link to red and displays a red exclamation mark in the upper-right corner of the link text. When you left-click the link, you will see information about the cause of the access issue and options to continue. Review instructions for Windows and Mac.

Last Updated: 27 April 2022

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