Google Sheets is a cloud-based spreadsheet software that allows you to create and format spreadsheets. What makes it stand out from the competition like Microsoft Excel is that it’s built as a web-first application where your files are hosted online and free from the bondages of your device’s local storage.
Because of this, spreadsheets made in Google Sheets can be shaped into a source of established truth — one that is very crucial in collaborative spreadsheet processes.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to collaborate with other people in Google Sheets.
Working with Others in Google Sheets
Google Sheets touts some of the obvious ways collaboration is possible live inside the app with your team using only a web browser.
- Create and edit spreadsheets simultaneously with your team.
- Analyze data with custom charts and filters.
- Manage task lists.
- Plan projects together.
- Receive feedback in the form of comments.
- Review edit suggestions from your collaborators.
Getting Started with Google Sheets Collaboration
To get started working with others on Google Sheets, you should first understand ownership and permissions or access levels within Google Sheets. From lowest access to the highest, here are the roles a collaborator could have for a file or folder.
- Viewer. A viewer has the least amount of access in a shared file. Viewers cannot edit, share, or comment on a spreadsheet.
- Commenter. A commenter is just a viewer with permissions to add comments on the files.
- Editor. An editor can edit content directly, add comments, view the file’s version history, or create filter views . Editors may also be able to share or unshare files, or change the permission levels of other users.
- Owner. An owner has the highest access level to a shared spreadsheet. Owners can remove Editors and prevent Editors from downloading or sharing data. Owners are also able to invite someone else to become the file’s owner.
Collaboration Tools within Google Sheets
This is a roundup of the standout features that you’ll want to look out for when collaborating with teams.
- Sharing. You can share your files or folders by granting your collaborators various permissions. It’s possible to share files to your contacts, to people with Google accounts, or groups and this will appear on the Not owned by me section of their Google Sheets home page. You can also share to more people by sharing to anyone with the link or by choosing to Publish to the web for public viewing.
- Chat. You can chat with people working on the same spreadsheet at the file level. This is accessible at the top right by clicking Chat. Chats are not saved.
- Comments. Being able to add comments is a key feature for collaboration. Users with at least Commenter permissions are able to place, reply, or delete comments.
- Add notes. Add descriptions, instructions, or other text notes to cells by selecting and going to Insert > Notes. You can also right click a cell and select Insert note.
- Assign an item. When adding a comment, you can use the operator @ before adding the email address of a collaborator to assign your selected cells to that person. This notifies them to take action on your selection.
- Identify changes in a file. Sometimes you might get lost when you have a lot of collaborators. Thankfully accessing version history makes it easier to track all the changes applied to a spreadsheet. Viewing version history requires Editor access but it makes it easier for you to pinpoint, amend, or undo changes that have been made to your spreadsheets.
- Lock critical content. There would be times when sections of your content should not be edited by anyone in your team. To protect that area, go to Data > Protected sheets and ranges > Set permissions. This allows you to either restrict who can edit this range and select who can edit cells. On the other hand, you can simply show a warning when editing within the range.
- Filter views. This allows you to isolate and show only the data you need to view. This helps you and your team get a different perspective or hide away clutter. Read more about using Filter views in our full tutorial here.
To collaborate and share files more efficiently, use our Google Sheets add-on FileDrop to make your spreadsheets more powerful. FileDrop is a new Google Sheets add-on that allows you to upload files directly to your Google Sheet.
To use FileDrop, simply drag and drop your file into the upload area. You can add files from your computer or files that are already in your Google Drive. In turn, you’ll be able to organize your additions using the File Library. Your team can even use it to convert PDFs and images to text using optical character recognition.
To maximize the advanced features of FileDrop and use it for collaboration with your team or coworkers, there are also a few other settings for file storing and sharing. Just go to settings icon on the FileDrop menu, then you can set your folder where you want the files to be saved.
If you go to the library, you should see your previously uploaded files there. And if you click again, it’s going to add the image in the cell with the settings you have. You can also change, add the image to something else, or have another image easily without going back and forth.
Additionally, FileDrop will automatically create a link to the file that you can share with others. You can also choose to share the file with specific people, or make it public so anyone can view it. As a result, you now have access to simple tools that make these processes quicker than going through them manually, enabling you to collaborate, share files in one interface, and increase your productivity through increased collaboration and sharing capabilities.
All in all, sharing files in Google Sheets is now easier than ever with FileDrop. This can include sharing files in a Google Sheet or sharing the same Shared Drive between multiple users. So if you’re looking for an easy way to share files in Google Sheets, look no further than FileDrop!
If you are looking to receive files via Contact form 7 in your Google Drive, please use our free Contact Form 7 Google Drive WordPress plugin.
Check us out now at GetFileDrop.com and start your productive Google Sheets, Docs, and Drive journey for free. For a more in-depth tutorial on how to share files using FileDrop, watch this video: How to Share Files In Google Sheets with FileDrop.
Conclusion on How to Collaborate in Google Sheets
Getting to know the basic features you have to look out for when starting your own team or fitting into one is key to effective collaboration. From making the most out of chats and emojis to customizing displayed content through filter views, Google Sheets has fantastic built-in functionalities that can make your life so much easier when collaborating with your team.