VersionXL User Guide
Welcome to the VersionXL user guide. This page gives you a definitive guide to signing up for and using the MS Excel plugin to help you collaboratively work with teams without having to leave Excel.
What is VersionXL
VersionXL is an extension of Excel designed to let teams collaborate on spreadsheets to work faster and more accurately. VersionXL provides you with access control, version control, complete spreadsheet history, and a visual comparison tool to see updates between any version of your spreadsheet. Collaboratively work with Excel without having to leave Excel. It is designed to eliminate the issues of lost data, inaccurate data skewing dashboards, multiple versions of the same file, and being locked out of the spreadsheet when someone forgets to check it back in.
This user guide provides you with instructions for using the plugin.
VersionXL Beta Limitations
Development of VersionXL is ongoing and the beta has a number of limitations.
The following features of Excel are not currently supported:
- Pivot tables
- Conditional formatting
- Format as a table
Download & install VersionXL
To get started, you first need to download and install the VersionXL plugin.
Download the plugin from the signup page.
When the installer has been downloaded, double-click on it to begin the installation process.
Please note that VersionXL is currently being added to the Microsoft-approved applications list and this takes weeks, so your computer will prompt you with a warning message about it being an unrecognized app. To install VersionXL, click more information, and then Run anyway.
Follow the installation instructions and close the dialog box when complete.
Signup or Login to VersionXL
Now that you have installed VersionXL, open up Excel and then open a blank spreadsheet.
You will notice that it now features a VersionXL menu option at the top. Click on it.
Select sign in. This will direct you to your browser to signup or log in.
Click sign up (if you’re returning you can log in with your credentials).
Here you can sign up with your:
- Microsoft account.
- Google account.
- Email address and password.
When signing up with either your Microsoft or Google account, it will ask you to authorize the application.
When signing up with an email address and password, you will receive an email to verify your email address. Click on the link within the email to verify it. Please note, if you do not receive the email, check your spam folder.
Once you have signed up, go back to Excel and click sign in once again.
On the login page, log in with the same credentials that you used for signing up.
When you first sign up to VersionXL, it creates an organization for you based on the details you signed up with. Your spreadsheets belong to this organization and it means you can share spreadsheets with coworkers who you invite to collaborate within this particular organization (details of organizations and teams are covered later in the guide).
When you first log in via Excel, a dialog box will appear asking you to choose your organization. Choose the organization that is set up for you, to use all of the VersionXL features.
To enable sharing of spreadsheets between coworkers, you need to save them to the database so others can access and download them.
Open or create a spreadsheet that you want to work with together.
From the VersionXL ribbon, click save changes.
A pop-up box will ask you for comments. It is good practice to write some meaningful comments to let other users know more about the spreadsheet and version at a glance. So for the first upload, letting people know that it is the original, or version 1, would be a good idea.
Your spreadsheet is now saved in the database and you can download it at any time to make updates, or provide access to coworkers to download.
To download spreadsheets within your organization, click the download spreadsheets button.
A pop-up box will display the spreadsheets you or your organization’s team have saved.
Choose the download button next to the spreadsheet you wish to download.
VersionXL will download the spreadsheet and prompt you to save it locally. Once that’s done, it will open for you to work on.
When you’ve finished your update, remember to save it back in the database with an update comment so your team can see the latest version.
Compare spreadsheet versions
Any updates to spreadsheets within VersionXL can be downloaded or compared against any other version within VersionXL. This makes it easy to visually see what has changed between versions and to spot potential errors.
To view changes between spreadsheet versions, ensure you have downloaded the spreadsheet you want to view, and then click spreadsheet history from the VersionXL menu.
A pop-up box will show all of the previous versions – you will also see the date, the person who updated it, and the comments about the different versions, this illustrates the importance of making clear, concise, and meaningful comments to updates.
Choose the two versions you wish to compare and click compare selected files.
The two versions are then displayed side by side with color-coded changes between versions to make it easy to see what has changed.
Green shows new additions, red deleted data, and orange shows data that has changed.
Rollback to a previous version
You can roll back to a previous version of the spreadsheet while still preserving the later version. To rollback do the following.
Click on the spreadsheet history button within the VersionXL ribbon.
Next to the version you want to roll back to, select download.
You will be prompted to save the spreadsheet after which it will open.
Next, save the spreadsheet within VersionXL – remember to include a comment, in this instance, let other users know you have rolled back to an older version.
The (previous) later version is available from the spreadsheet history should you roll back in error.
Organizations & Teams
The purpose of VersionXL is to help teams collaborate with Excel and overcome some of the obstacles that people face when working with the same spreadsheets. This section covers the organization and team elements of VersionXL.
When you signup for VersionXL, an organization is automatically created for you.
When you are signed in to VersionXL as an organization, any spreadsheets you upload will be assigned to that organization and team members of that organization will be able to collaborate with those spreadsheets.
You may work with different teams who need a completely different set of spreadsheets. In this instance, you would create a new organization and invite those team members to join that organization.
To create a new organization click switch organization.
Choose create and give the organization a name and click create once more.
The new organization will then be created.
Switch between organizations
Press switch organization.
From the list, choose switch to use that organization.
Invite team members to your organization
Invite your coworkers to collaborate on your spreadsheets.
Firstly, ensure you’re using the correct organization.
Choose invites & permissions.
From the pop-up box, choose to invite a member.
Enter their email address and choose their permission:
Admin – Can add and remove users from the team and has access to all spreadsheets.
Collaborator – Has read/write access to all spreadsheets within that organization.
Data reader – Has read-only access to the spreadsheets within that organization.
The invited team member will then receive an email with a link to click.
When they click on the link they will be taken to the VersionXL login/signup page. They will either signup (they will need to verify their email once more) or log in.
From here, they can accept the invitation.
If they haven’t already done so, the invitee will need to download the VersionXL plugin.
When they open up Excel, they can then choose the organization that you invited them to and download any of the organization’s spreadsheets.
Change user permissions
To change a team member’s permissions, click invites & permissions.
Choose the pencil icon next to the person’s name.
Change their role and click change.
Delete a user from your team
To delete a team member from your organization, click invites & permissions.
Choose the delete user icon next to the person’s name.