Collaborate on a shared spreadsheet in Numbers on Mac
Whether you’re the owner of a shared spreadsheet or have been invited to collaborate, after you open the spreadsheet you can see the edits made by others in real time, hide or show editing activity, and more. The number of people editing or viewing the spreadsheet (not including you) appears on the Collaborate button in the toolbar, and their names appear in the participant list.
Accept an invitation to collaborate
When you receive a link to a shared spreadsheet, what happens when you click the link depends on the access and permission set by the owner, the version of Numbers and macOS installed on your computer, and whether you’re using iCloud Drive.
Before you begin, make sure you meet the minimum system requirements for collaborating.
Click the link in the email, message or post you received.
If the email address or phone number used to invite you isn’t associated with your Apple ID, follow the instructions that appear to add that email or phone number to your Apple ID.
Note: If you don’t want to associate another email address with your Apple ID, you could instead ask the owner of the shared spreadsheet to invite you again using an email address or phone number that’s already associated with your Apple ID.
If asked, sign in with your Apple ID or follow any instructions that appear.
The spreadsheet opens based on the following:
On a Mac: The spreadsheet opens in Numbers for Mac or in Numbers for iCloud, depending on whether iCloud Drive is set up on your Mac and you’re signed in; where you clicked the link (for example, in Mail on your Mac or on a web page); and whether you have macOS Catalina 10.15 or later and Numbers 11.0 or later on your computer.
On iCloud.com on a Mac or Windows computer: If you’re signed in to iCloud.com in a web browser, the spreadsheet opens in Numbers for iCloud, and it’s added to your spreadsheet manager and to iCloud Drive.
On an iPhone with iOS 13.1 or later and Numbers 11.0 or later: The spreadsheet opens in Numbers on your iPhone and is added to your spreadsheet manager.
On an iPad with iPadOS 13.1 or later and Numbers 11.0 or later: The spreadsheet opens in Numbers on your iPad and is added to your spreadsheet manager. If you don’t have Numbers installed on your iPad, the spreadsheet opens in Numbers for iCloud.
On an Android device, or a device without iOS 13.1, iPadOS 13.1 or later and Numbers 11.0 or later: The spreadsheet opens in a browser where you can view but not edit it.
Collaborate on a shared spreadsheet
Open the shared spreadsheet.
If you previously opened the spreadsheet, look for it in the Numbers folder of iCloud Drive. If you can’t see the spreadsheet, click the link in the email, message or post you received, and if asked, sign in with your Apple ID.
If you can’t open the spreadsheet, see “Accept an invitation to collaborate” above.
Edit the spreadsheet.
Edits you and others make to the spreadsheet appear in real time. Coloured cursors and coloured selections of text and objects indicate where others are currently editing. Move your pointer over a coloured cursor to see who’s making the edit.
Do any of the following:
See who’s working in the spreadsheet: Click in the toolbar to open the participant list, which shows who has joined the spreadsheet and who is currently editing or viewing it.
The number of people editing or viewing the spreadsheet (not including you) appears on the button.
Follow someone’s edits: Click the coloured dot next to the person’s name in the participant list. If you don’t see a coloured dot, the person has the spreadsheet open but isn’t actively participating.
Hide or show activity (coloured cursors or selections): Choose View > Hide Collaboration Activity or View > Show Collaboration Activity (from the View menu at the top of your screen).
Resolve conflicts: If there are conflicts, you see a dialogue. Choose the version you want to keep; if you keep more than one, the most recent remains the shared version.
If the Collaborate button changes to a cloud with a diagonal line through it, your device is offline. Any edits you make are uploaded to iCloud automatically the next time your device is connected.
Edit while offline
When you’re not connected to the internet, the Collaborate button changes to a cloud with a diagonal line through it. You can continue to work on the spreadsheet and the next time you’re online, changes are uploaded to iCloud automatically.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when editing a shared spreadsheet while offline:
To send a copy of the spreadsheet with your changes to someone else before your changes are uploaded, choose Share > Send a Copy (from the Share menu at the top of your screen). This method ensures that your changes are included. By contrast, if you drag the spreadsheet from the Finder to an email message, for example, the edits you made while offline are not included.
If you’re not sure whether your changes have synced, you can check their status. Choose View > Show Sync Status (from the View menu at the top of your screen).
If other participants who are online delete objects or sheets that you’re editing, the edits you made to those objects are no longer in the spreadsheet when you go back online.
For more information about offline editing, see this Apple Support article.
Opt out of a shared spreadsheet
If you no longer want to have access to a spreadsheet that was shared with you, you can remove yourself from the participant list.
Click in the toolbar.
Move the pointer over your name, click the three dots that appear, then choose Remove Me.
Removing your name from the participant list removes the spreadsheet from your iCloud Drive. If you later want to access the spreadsheet again, you can use the original link to open it.
Note: Not all Numbers features are available for a spreadsheet that’s shared with others. See this Apple Support article for information.