Collaborate on a shared spreadsheet in Numbers on iPad
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 tap the link depends on the access and permission set by the owner, the version of Numbers, iOS or iPadOS installed on your device, and whether you’re using iCloud Drive.
Before you begin, make sure you meet the minimum system requirements for collaborating.
Tap 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 factors:
On a Mac: If you have set up iCloud Drive 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 Big Sur 11 or later and Numbers 12.1 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 14 or later: If Numbers 12.1 or later is installed on your iPhone, the spreadsheet opens in Numbers and is added to your spreadsheet manager.
On an iPad with iPadOS 14 or later: If Numbers 12.1 or later is installed on your iPad, the spreadsheet opens in Numbers 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 14 or later or iPadOS 14 or later and Numbers 12.1 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.
Tap Recents at the bottom of the spreadsheet manager to see all shared spreadsheets and find the one you want. If you can’t find the shared spreadsheet, tap 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. Cursors and selections of text and objects appear in different colours to indicate where others are currently editing.
Do any of the following:
See who’s working in the spreadsheet: Tap 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) also appears as a badge on the button.
The number of people editing or viewing the spreadsheet (not including you) appears on the button.
Follow someone’s edits: Tap the dot next to the person’s name. If you can’t see a dot, the person has the spreadsheet open but isn’t actively participating.
Hide or show activity (cursors or selections in different colours): Tap , tap Settings, then turn Collaboration Activity off or on.
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, tap , then tap Share or Export to send a copy. This method ensures that your changes are included. By contrast, if you use the Files app to attach the spreadsheet 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. In the spreadsheet manager, tap the Sync Status button in the top-right corner of the screen (it looks like an up arrow).
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.
Do one of the following:
If the spreadsheet is open: Tap .
If the spreadsheet is closed: In the spreadsheet manager or Files app, open the Numbers folder in iCloud Drive, tap Select in the top-right corner, tap the spreadsheet (a tick appears), tap Share at the bottom of the screen, then tap Show People.
Tap your name, then tap 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.