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Easy-to-understand explanation of how to share and collaborate on Google Sheets files

Google Spreadsheet, a spreadsheet tool provided by google, runs on a browser, so it can be used regardless of the OS, changes are automatically saved at certain intervals, sharing and collaborative editing are possible. There are many other excellent features, and it is used in many business scenes. In this article, we will explain how to share and co-edit files in Google Sheets, useful techniques for sharing, how to share with a smartphone, and points to check when sharing is not possible.

Table of contents

How to share and collaborate on files in Google Sheets

Here, we will explain how to share and collaborate on Google Sheets files.

How to share files

There are three main ways to share files with other users:

  • Share by email address
  • Sheet link sharing
  • Sharing with IMPORTRANGE

I will explain them one by one.

・Sharing by email address

When you want to share files with members while protecting privacy, sharing by email address is convenient.

To share by email address, first click the “Share” button in the upper right.

After entering the email address of the person you want to share with, click the “Done” button.

Select which authority you want to share with and press the “Send” button. An email inviting you to share will be sent to the person you want to share with, so you can share the file from that email.

・Sharing by sheet link

When you want to share a file with a large number of people at once, it is convenient to share by linking sheets. You can share the file by notifying the link by chat etc. To share a sheet by link, first click the “Share” button in the upper right corner. Then click Get Link.

The following screen will be displayed. After setting the authority of the link, click the “Copy Link” button.

You can share the file by copying the link and letting the person you want to share the link with chat etc.

If you want to share with a large number of people, select “Everyone with the link”.

If you enter “=IMPORTRANGE (“spreadsheet key”,”sheet name!range character string”), you can read the specified range of data from another sheet.

The spreadsheet key is the part of the original spreadsheet URL after the “d/”.

Below is an example of loading data from A1 to A5 with C1.

How to co-edit files

Introducing commenting and viewing change history as ways to co-edit files.

・Comment function

You can write a comment by selecting the cell where you want to add a comment, right-clicking, and clicking “Comment”.

Enter a comment in the comment field that appears in the cell. By using the comment function, you can also have a simple discussion on the file.

・Browsing change history

With collaborative editing, you have to be careful that someone else edits by mistake. A convenient function when you notice a mistake is the function to view the change history and revert the version. Google Docs files are automatically saved at regular intervals. At this time, the past history is also left. By reverting to the version you want to restore from the past history, you can undo even if you edit it by mistake.

Click File > Change History > Show Change History. You can revert by selecting the version you want to revert from the revision history.

Useful techniques for sharing Google Sheets files

Here are two useful techniques for sharing Google Sheets files:

  • How to unshare a file
  • How to protect certain parts when sharing files

Let’s take a closer look at each one.

How to unshare a file

A useful technique when sharing Google Sheets files is to unshare the file.

To unshare a file, select the permissions for the member’s account you want to unshare, then select Remove.

Then click “Save” to unshare the file.

How to protect certain parts when sharing files

A useful technique when sharing Google Sheets files, the second is how to protect certain parts of the file when sharing it.

There are two ways to protect specific parts when sharing files: I will introduce each of them.

  • Protect specific sheets
  • Protect specific cells

・Protect specific sheets

To protect a specific sheet, first right-click the sheet you want to protect and click Protect Sheet.

Next, click “Set Permissions” on the sheet you want to protect.

“Range editing authority” will appear, so remove the check on the right for members who do not have editing authority. Then click “Finish”.

Sheets that are protected have a lock icon.

・Protect specific cells

To protect specific cells, first right-click the cells you want to protect and click Protect Cells.

After that, you can protect it in the same way as you protect a specific sheet.

How to share Google Sheets files with your smartphone

Google Sheets can also be used on smartphones. Here, we will explain how to share Google Sheets files on your smartphone using Android.

When opening a file from Google Drive, click the “…” icon next to the file name you want to share.

And after clicking “Share”, you can share it in the same way as sharing a Google spreadsheet on a PC.

When you open the sheet you want to share, click the person icon in the upper right corner of the screen. After that, you can share it in the same way as you share Google Sheets on your PC.

Points to check when you cannot share Google Spreadsheet files

First, let’s check if you can log in in incognito mode. In Google Chrome, you can use incognito mode by clicking “New Incognito Window” from the “Settings” button or using the “command + shift + N” shortcut.

If you can log in in incognito mode, your browser may be the culprit. Try disabling extensions or using another browser and see if you can log in. Also, make sure you’re logged into your account in the first place. When the authority is granted by address, you cannot enter the sheet unless you are logged in with the shared account. If necessary, log out and log in again.

summary

In this article, I explained how to share and collaborate on Google Sheets files, useful techniques for sharing, how to share with a smartphone, and points to check when you can’t share. By effectively utilizing the sharing function of Google Sheets, teams can work efficiently regardless of location. As a result, it will be possible to realize various work styles such as telework. In addition to Google Sheets, there are many other tools that can be used to share information within the company. 

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