Everything you need to know about sharing documents in ONLYOFFICE

6 August 2020 By Peter Schreurs 4 2,266

Hello everyone!

ONLYOFFICE is all about collaboration, and the file-sharing is a big part of it. We’ve gathered everything that you need to know about it in this post.

Sharing docs in ONLYOFFICE

Sharing settings window

There are two ways to access it:

  • From Documents module. If you want to share a file or a folder press Share in the context menu. If you want to share several files/folder, select all the necessary items, and click Sharing Settings on top of the page.
  • From the editors. If you are working on an office document, it’s easier to share it right from the editors’ interface. Go to the Collaboration tab and press Sharing.
Two ways of sharing

Sharing settings window allows you to share files in two ways:

sharing window onlyoffice

Granting access to registered users and groups

This is the preferred and safest way. You can choose what users and groups will get access to your files. For example, you could give some users permission to view the file (Read-Only) while others will get editing rights (Full Access).

Sharing files to users in ONLYOFFICE

Allowing people to access only the files that they really need is an important measure to protect your data against loss or corruption.

Please pay attention: in ONLYOFFICE there is a distinction between guests and users:

  • Guests are allowed to have read-only access.
  • All users can create and share files from their “My Documents” folder. Guests cannot do that, they don’t have a “My Documents” folder and cannot initiate file sharing.

Sharing files by URL (external link access)

External link access is done by sharing a URL that is linked to a file. No account or password is needed for that. Anyone who uses the URL has the same level of access to the file.

sharing files via link in onlyoffice

It is an easy way of sharing files, but that’s not suitable for sensitive information because anyone on the Internet who has your link can access this file. You can also embed a document shared via URL to your website.

embedding docs onlyoffice

The two systems for sharing can be combined. For example, registered users can have full access to a file by the user and group access, while anybody in the world could have read-only access via an external link.

Access rights types

ONLYOFFICE has a flexible access rights system.

Any file or folder can be shared with these access rights:

  • Deny Access. The file or folder cannot even be seen by the user.
  • Read Only. The user can see the file or folder and open it but is not allowed to change, move, or delete it.
  • Full Access. The highest level — there are no restrictions on what the user can do with the file.

There are even more access right types for office documents:

  • Comment. Available for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. This allows commenting on the content of the file.
  • Form Filling. Only available for text documents. It allows users to change some elements in the document and download it or save it in a different folder. How to create fillable forms
  • Review. Only available for text docs. It allows users to suggest changes in Track Changes mode. Every change can be accepted or rejected by the owner of the document. Reviewing in ONLYOFFICE https://youtu.be/D1tbffuQeUA

Sharing settings for text doc onlyoffice
Note: the access rights supported are identical no matter how you share the file — to registered users or via an external link.

Useful links

Sharing and access rights documentation in ONLYOFFICE Help Center.

Collaborative editing overview on YouTube.

Comments (4)
  1. Dan Goddu - Reply
    August 27, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    How do we best use this feature with a Common Directory structure that defines where files are to be created? Most files by our users will be created under a Common Directory folder. There would be no need to “share” them, except for perhaps sharing the link in the common directory where the file resides?

  2. Nadya - Reply
    August 31, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    Sorry I’m not sure that I understand you correctly but I will try to answer : )

    When you create a file in the Common directory, this file is shared with the whole team by default. Still, you might need the sharing settings:

    1) to copy the link as you said
    2) to restrict access to certain team members
    2) to share with a particular person a certain file from the folder to which you restricted access before

  3. brijesh Tiwari - Reply
    April 1, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    I am using onlyoffice doc open source version but i want to ask one think if you know please confirm us..

    Is that possible to share file using onlyoffice document server without using onlyoffice community edition group..

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