With iOS 13, iPadOS, and macOS Catalina, the Notes app received a nice update bringing several useful, new features. You have gallery view for an organized appearance, a more powerful search when attaching images, and better ways to use checklists.
In addition to all of this, the Notes app got a boost in its sharing capabilities. You can now share entire folders for collaboration and restrict items you share to a view-only option if you like. This is convenient for showing others your notes but not allowing any changes.
To walk you through this enhancement, here’s how to share notes and folders as view-only in the Notes app on iOS and Mac.
Share in view-only on iOS
Open the Notes app on your iPhone or iPad and follow these steps to share a note or folder.
To share a folder, you can swipe from right to left on the Folders screen and pick Add People. Alternatively, you can open the folder, tap the More button on the top, and pick Add People in the menu.
To share a note, open the note, tap the More button on the top, and pick Add People in the menu.
When you are ready to continue with sharing your note or folder, tap Share Options and pick View only. When you tap the arrow to go back to the sharing screen, you’ll see that you’ve selected this option. Choose your method of sharing and continue with the process.
Edit your sharing options
After you share a note or folder in the Notes app on iOS, you can still make changes to those you’re sharing with or stop sharing.
You can swipe from right to left on the Folders screen and pick Add People which will have a checkmark indicating you’ve shared it. Or, you can open the folder, tap the More button on the top, and pick View Participants in the menu.
You’ll then see the people you’ve shared the folder with and the privilege (view only) that you gave them. Tap their name to change this if necessary or to remove their access to the folder.
To change privileges for all the people you’ve shared the folder with, tap Share Options and pick either Can make changes or View only. You can also grab a link to the folder here by tapping Copy Link.
You can also tap to Add People or Stop Sharing on this screen.
Open the note you’re sharing and tap the Add People icon at the top which will have a checkmark showing you’ve shared it.
You can make the same changes for a shared note as with a shared folder but have a couple of addition options too.
If you would like to Highlight All Changes and/or Hide Alerts, just turn on those toggles. These options will apply if your participants have the privilege to make changes. These settings will highlight the changes and send alerts for changes made.
Share in view-only on Mac
Open the Notes app on your Mac and use one of the following methods to share a note or folder.
- Click the More button next to the folder in the sidebar and choose Add People. This is for folder sharing only.
- Click File > Add People To and select the note or folder in the pop-out menu.
- Click the button in the Notes toolbar for Add people to this note or folder and choose the note or folder.
Below your sharing options in the pop-up window, click the Permissions drop-down box and select Only people you invite can view. Then, select your sharing method, click Share, and continue with the process per the option you pick.
Edit your sharing options
Once you share a note or folder in the Notes app, you can make changes afterwards to those you’re sharing with.
Click the button in the Notes toolbar for Add people to this note or folder. You’ll notice that the button has a checkmark rather than a plus sign since you are sharing the note or folder.
A small window will open showing the people you’re sharing with and the method(s) you used. You can make a few changes if needed.
- Permission: Change it from view-only to allow changes or vice versa.
- Copy Link: Click to copy a link to the note to share further.
- Stop Sharing: Click to stop sharing the note or folder and then confirm by clicking Continue.
- Add People: Click to add more people to the note or folder sharing. If you choose this option, the sharing window will appear. Be sure to adjust the Permission to either Can make changes or View only before hitting the Share button.
Wrapping it up
Whether you use the Notes app for collaboration in the office or teamwork in your home, it’s great to see the app enhanced with the folder sharing and vie- only options.
Let us know your thoughts on these updates to the Notes app. Are these features you’ve been waiting for as well?