The big advantage of cloud storage like OneDrive is that it simplifies sharing files — especially for large files in specialised file formats, like CAD files and other complex illustrations that need their own viewers (or the expensive original software). OneDrive’s web front-end solves that problem with its built-in preview tools, making it easy to see files anywhere and share them with colleagues. You don’t need to have the software installed, or even leave your browser. Microsoft regularly adds new file formats to its preview tooling, and the latest releases added support for AutoCAD and for 360-degree images. These tend to be large files, so rendering on-the-fly in OneDrive keeps bandwidth requirements to a minimum and ensures you don’t fill hard drive space with copies of files you just wanted to glance at.
OneDrive’s preview tools go further than simply viewing files. Now they also offer basic editing features, allowing you to add comments to files and even annotate PDFs. It’s often easier to explain a comment inline rather than in email, and this feature keeps it all in one file-viewing workflow. Office now supports @mentions, notifying users if they’re mentioned inside an Office document saved on OneDrive. Notifications come by email, with the relevant section of a file. You also get a link to OneDrive where you can download or edit the document.
Admins can already set OneDrive sharing links that anyone can open to expire after a set number of days (up to 720); if you want to customise that for each Team Site, you can now do it through the SharePoint Online Management Shell (it will be in the SharePoint admin portal soon). But if you want to put more security controls on sharing from OneDrive but also simplify sharing, you can do that with Azure AD B2B.
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