Google Drive is a free online service where you can store and access your files from anywhere in the cloud. One of the most widely used Google Apps is Google Sheets, which represents the go-to spreadsheet tool for users who need a free and easy way to collaborate online.
As soon as you create a Google account, you’ll have access to the wide range of tools in Google Sheets for real-time collaboration, file sharing, and editing for multiple users. What’s more, learning how to create and share your Google Sheets is a quick and easy task.
In this article, you’ll learn how to share files in Google Sheets with specific users as well as via a link. You’ll then learn how to collaborate on Google Sheets by applying useful tips and tricks that’ll noticeably increase your productivity level. If you want to share only part of your Google Sheets, consider using Sheetgo to control access to your spreadsheets.
How to share files in Google Sheets?
Although sharing a file from your Google Drive is easy, you can manage how to share the file. For example, you can set Google Sheets permissions to only allow for viewing or make the spreadsheet editable by multiple users. In case you don't want to share the whole spreadsheet, Google Sheets allows you to share only one tab. Let’s see two basic ways to share files in Google Sheets.
When sharing a Google Sheets spreadsheet Google usually tries to share the entire document. Here’s how to share only one tab instead.READ MORE
How to share a file with specific users?
If you want to share a file with a specific group of users, you need to make sure that they have a Google account, so they can view and edit the file. However, note that as soon as you create your Google Sheets within a shared folder, this file will also be shared with the same group of people, unless you modify it. This is how you can share a file with specific users.
- 1. Go to your Google Drive and right-click on the file you would like to share. Alternatively, you can open your Google Sheets and click on the “Share” button available to the far right.
- 2. In the “Share” window, you’ll find a list of users that already have access. Click on the user you’d like to share the file with.
- 3. Click on the permissions drop-down menu, to the right of the email address.
- 4. Select the new permission you’d like to grant the user by clicking on “Viewer”, “Commenter”, or “Editor”.
- 5. Optionally, you can include a message that will appear to the user in the email body.
- 6. Once you’ve entered your message, you can click “Send” to share the file via email or click on “Copy link” to share the file using another communication channel (for example, Slack).
Note that if you share by copying the link, the permissions will remain the same. Unless you make the file public, the link will only work with users who have access right to the spreadsheet.
How to share a file with a link?
In case you want to share your Google Sheets with a larger group or outside your organization, collaborators won’t need a Google account to access it. This is especially useful if the spreadsheet is too large to send over email or if you prefer to communicate with your team using alternative communication tools. This is how you can share a file with a link.
- 1. Repeat steps 1-2 from the previous section.
- 2. In the “Share” window, under “General access” click on “Copy link” or the name of your organization to make the link public.
- 3. To make the link public and share it with users outside your organization, select “Anyone with the link”.
- 4. Click on the permissions drop-down menu to the right, and select the type of permissions you’d like to grant other users.
- 5. Click on “Copy link” and “Done” to share the file.
Although you can grant any of the three main permissions for a public link, it’s not recommended to select “Editor” as you risk losing data.
The Ultimate Guide to Google Sheets Collaboration
Discover the top tips for getting started with Google Sheets collaboration and using it to its full potential to improve your team's productivity.DOWNLOAD FOR FREE
How to collaborate on Google Sheets?
Google Sheets is currently the preferred spreadsheet collaboration tool. You only need a Google account to use it, and it’s super user-friendly. Here are the three main ways to use Google Sheets for collaboration.
See who’s working
One of the great things about Google Sheets is that you can collaborate in real-time. This means being able to see who’s working on the data at the same time as you are. This is how you can check who else is working on your Google Sheets.
- 1. Open your Google Sheets and check in the upper-right corner. If another user is currently working on the file, you’ll be able to see a circular icon that represents the avatar of other users.
- 2. The cells are highlighted in the color corresponding to the circular icon of the avatar, and the name of the user making edits will appear above the cell.
Note that the circular icon will show the first letter of the user’s name by default unless they have included a profile picture.
Open a chat
If you want to communicate directly with the user in real-time, you can open a chat.
- 1. You should be able to see another circular icon next to the user’s avatar.
- 2. Click on it to open the chat.
It’s that easy!
Create and review comments
If you're using Google Sheets to collaborate, you can provide feedback by adding a comment. This is how you can create and review comments in Google Sheets.
- 1. Select the area you want to leave a comment or feedback on and click on the comment icon to the far right, between the hyperlink and graph icons.
- 2. Type in your comment directly or add a “@” to enter the user you’d like to assign the comment to. This way, they will be notified via email. To add the comment, click on the button “Comment”.
Another great collaboration feature is Google Sheets Notifications. This is the best way to stay up to date with any changes made to your spreadsheet, as you can customize notifications to receive an email as soon as someone changes your data or submits a form.
Enhance collaboration and sharing with Sheetgo
As you have seen, Google Sheets offers quite a few built-in features for sharing and collaboration. However, it does require some work in terms of setting it up. Additionally, if you work with multiple files and collaborate with multiple team members, you’ll have to manage collaboration in each file separately. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive and scalable solution, consider signing up for Sheetgo for free.
Instantly connect your files and create custom workflows to automate your business processes and boost collaboration. Additionally, you can view and manage all of your workflows and connections in one place, so you can easily keep track of collaboration.
To learn more about this, read this article on how to share a workflow and collaborate in Sheetgo.
Is Google Sheets collaborative? Hopefully, you’re able to fully answer this yourself. You should now know how to share files in Google Sheets with specific users via email and via a link, as well as enjoy the full potential of collaboration tools following the tips and tricks outlined above.
If you are a Microsoft user, Excel offers advanced co-authoring and collaboration features. Similar to Google Sheets, learning how to share an Excel file is a straightforward and easy process. When sharing an Excel file online, you’ll need access to a local network as you could risk losing important changes or updates to your data.
Alternatively, you can save yourself time and effort by signing up for Sheetgo. You can connect your files, automate data transfers, safely collaborate with your team, and visualize and monitor your data through custom dashboards.