Mac Productivity

How to Collaborate in Real-Time With Pages, Numbers, and Keynote on Mac

Sandy Writtenhouse 21-04-2020

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, or presentations on Mac, there are different ways to go about it. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote all offer some terrific features for collaboration when you are working from home or even within the office.


To make things a bit simpler for you, this tutorial will walk you through these features to ease the task of working on documents together.

Inviting Others to Share a Document

The first thing you need to do when you want to collaborate on a document is to invite your participant(s). You have a few ways to do this depending on your Mac Share Menu settings. And the process is the same for all three applications.

  1. Open the document, workbook, or presentation you want to share.
  2. Click the Collaborate button in the toolbar or Share > Collaborate With Others from the menu bar.
  3. Before you pick the way you want to share, click the Share Options Choose who can access the file and the permission you want to give them. The recommended setting for Who can access is Only people you invite. And for Permission, you should select Can make changes unless you only want the person to be able to view the document and not edit it.
  4. Select the method for inviting your participant(s), click Share, and follow the prompts to complete the process.

Invite Share Options in Numbers Mac

Changing Your Share Options

If you accidentally made the wrong Share Options choices in Step 3 above or simply want to change them later, you can do this in a couple of clicks.

  1. Open the document you shared and click either the Collaborate button the toolbar or Share > Collaboration Details in the menu bar.
  2. To adjust the options for a single participant, click the More (three dots) button next to their name and make your change.
  3. To adjust the options for all participants, expand the Share Options section and make your changes.

Change Share Options in Numbers Mac


Protecting the Document With a Password

Your document may contain sensitive data and although you chose to only allow those with the link to access it, you simply want extra protection. You can quickly set a password that all participants must enter to open the document.

  1. Open the document you shared and click File > Set Password from the menu bar.
  2. Enter the password and verify
  3. Optionally you can enter a Password Hint and mark the box to Remember this password in my keychain.
  4. Click Set Password.

Set Document Password in Numbers Mac

While password-protection isn’t necessary for collaboration, it is an optional feature to keep in mind for those confidential documents.

See Who’s Editing the Document

Since you and your participants can edit a document together in real-time, you have some easy ways to see the activity.


First, you’ll see the name of the person currently editing the document display briefly.

Editor Name Real-Time in Numbers Mac

Second, you can click the Collaborate button or Share > Collaboration Details from the menu bar and select the colored dot next to the person’s name. The spot they are currently editing will display. And you’ll notice that each participant is automatically assigned a different color.

Editor Name Real-Time Click Dot in Numbers Mac


Real-time collaboration is a terrific feature in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. But if you lose your internet connection, you can edit documents offline too!

Editing Documents Offline

If you’re in a spot without internet or suddenly lose your connection, you can continue editing a shared document in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. And what’s nice about this feature is that it’s enabled by default. So you don’t have to worry about turning anything on.

When you’re editing a document and lose your connection, you’ll see a brief message letting you know that you’re offline but can still edit. And when you regain your connection, you’ll see a message letting you know that too.

Offline and Online Messages in Numbers Mac


Any offline edits that you make will be saved for at least 30 days and automatically uploaded once you’re reconnected to iCloud. If you’d like to check the status of these uploads, click View > Show Sync Status from the menu bar.

Show Sync Status in Numbers Mac

There is one thing to keep in mind regarding your offline edits; as Apple explains:

If someone you’re collaborating with deletes an object, Keynote slide, or Numbers sheet you’ve edited offline, those edits won’t be in the document when you’re back online and the document syncs with iCloud.

Adding or Removing Collaborators

If you need to add another participant or stop collaborating with a single participant or all of them, each of these is simple.

For each option, click the Collaborate button or Share > Collaboration Details from the menu bar and then do one of the following:

Add a participant: Click Add People and follow the same steps as when inviting the initial participants.

Remove a participant: Click the More (three dots) button next to their name and select Remove Access.

Stop sharing with all participants: Click Stop Sharing when using the Collaborate button or Share Options > Stop Sharing when using Share > Collaboration Details from the menu bar.

Add and Remove People in Numbers Mac

Notes on Collaborating With Pages, Numbers and Keynote

There are several things to keep in mind when collaborating on documents in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote on Mac.

  • You must use macOS Mojave or later.
  • You must use Pages, Numbers, or Keynote version 10.0 or later.
  • You must sign into iCloud and enable iCloud Drive on your Mac.

Here are some of the limitations with collaboration on the productivity tools.

  • You cannot edit media files larger than 50 MB.
  • You cannot create, remove, or reorder styles.
  • You cannot change language and region settings.
  • You cannot change custom formats for things like regions or cells.

There are a few app-specific limitations with collaboration and other requirements if your participants are using other devices or You can check out the Apple Collaboration Support page for these additional items if needed.

And for more details on custom styles, language and region settings, and more, refer to our advanced tips for Pages, Numbers, and Keynote 18 Advanced Tips for Pages, Numbers, and Keynote Want to become more productive in the iWork suite? These advanced tips will help any Mac user create better documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Read More .

Collaboration is Easy on Mac

When you work with others who all need to take part in a document, spreadsheet, or slideshow, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote on Mac make collaborating easy.

And for more ways to work with others, check out collaboration tools you can use with Gmail Turn Gmail Into a Powerful Collaboration Tool With These Apps Are you using Gmail for collaboration? If you want to, then these email collaboration tools and tips are what you will need. Read More or how you can create collaborative Google Maps How to Create Shared Collaborative Google Maps Google Maps allows you to create custom maps and share them. Here's how to use Google Maps to collaborate with others. Read More .

Related topics: Collaboration Tools, Mac, Mac Apps, Office Suites, Pages, Presentations, Spreadsheet.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *