06.02 – Dropbox Folder Sharing – 2012-12-24

File folder sharing can be quite useful when the file folders you want to share need constant input from several people or are voluminous, for example: sharing pictures and videos. Some people use Facebook to post some pictures on their wall. Personally, like a number of people, I am not a Facebook fan and user. You can also share folders with Windows with certain limitations.

Finally, you can share folders using Cloud services like Dropbox and other similar services. Since Dropbox is, in my opinion, the simplest Cloud service to use, now imitated by others, we will present below how to share file folders using Dropbox. The instructions below are for Windows users. Dropbox also runs on Apple iOS and the use should be quite similar.

There are two main approaches to share folders with Dropbox:

  1. Email a web link: to provide access to the shared folder(s) without update privileges. Browse, copy and paste functionality only. Recipients don’t need to be Dropbox users.
  2. Provide shared use of folder(s) with other Dropbox users:  to provide access to the shared folder(s) with update privileges in addition to browse, copy and paste functionality.

Dropbox users may want to share certain folders with others

If you do not currently use Dropbox, go to www.dropbox.com and download Dropbox. It is simple and easy to use. Once you have Dropbox installed, here is how to make folders available to others:

  1. Click as you normally do to access your file folders.
  2. Then, just Click on the Dropbox folder, under “Favorites” (Top left end corner), to open it.
  3. Within the Dropbox folder, Create a new (or several) folder(s), as you would normally do, and give them name(s).
  4. Then, Copy & Paste the data (texts, pictures, movies, etc…) you want to share with others in that new folder.
  5. Give Dropbox some time to complete the copy and the upload to the Cloud process. May take an hour or more depending on the folder size.

Now you are ready to share that/these folder(s) with others.

Email a web link

Once ready, sign into your Dropbox account www.dropbox.com with your email address and Dropbox password.

  1. Go to the folder you want to share, Right click on it and choose “Share link”.
  2. On the next screen Click “Get link”. The link will be copied on your clipboard (Message).
  3. Now, open a new email and Paste the link inside the email text area.
  4. Then, add the email addresses of the people you want to share with, and text inviting them to Click on the link to access the folder content.

That’s it! Now, anyone who has that web link can access the folder content. By Right clicking on any folder content, they can for example Select all and Copy & Paste the content into their own folder(s). It is an excellent way to transmit large file content.

Another interesting feature is that the author can change the content at any time and the reader will always access the updated content. For example: you can add new photos to share. This functionality can also be used to replace a personal website that only provides information.

Provide shared use of folder(s) with other Dropbox users

Once ready, sign into your Dropbox account www.dropbox.com with your email address and Dropbox password.

  1. Go to the folder you want to share, Right click on it and choose “Invite to folder”.
  2. On the pop up screen, add the email addresses of the people you want to share the folder content with, and include a text message inviting them to share the folder content.
  3. Then, Click on “Share folder”. If you want, you can Check to “Allow members to invite other people”.
  4. A pop up will indicate “The Shared folder has been opened”.
  5. Meanwhile, Dropbox will send an email to the person(s) invited, to provide them with the access to the shared folder(s).
  6. These Dropbox users will need to sign into Dropbox, with their Dropbox user name and password, to gain shared access.

From that point on, the shared access Dropbox users will be able to edit, add or modify the content of that Dropbox shared folder(s). This is more appropriate when different users are working together on the same documents. Each user can add suffixes to identify their updated version. Typically, such rules would be put in place not to lose control.

 

 

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