Microsoft has loosened access to Office documents on SkyDrive in order to give people, especially students, an easier way to collaborate on group projects.

When sharing an edit link, users will now be able to view and edit a file without having to sign in with a Microsoft account, the company announced today.

SkyDrive connects to other Microsoft productivity tools such as Outlook and Calendar. The new feature will make it easier for customers to share documents with Gmail users and others.

“One piece of feedback we’ve consistently heard, especially from students, is that our current SkyDrive edit links can be frustrating for recipients when they find that they need to sign in or sign up for a Microsoft account just to make a quick edit to the document,” explained Sarah Filman, a lead program manager on SkyDrive, in a blog post.

Project collaborators can also work on the same document simultaneously without having to save and resend a bunch of files over email. This includes Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, notes on OneNote, and PowerPoint presentations.

Microsoft reports that its customers have uploaded more than one billion Office documents on SkyDrive to date.