How to Share Google Sheets with Others?


What makes Google Sheets different from Microsoft Excel is that it’s cloud-based. This means you can access it through the Internet as long as you have a Google/Gmail account of some sort and have access to Google.com and its Google Apps whether you’re using Chrome or FireFox,

It works better with Chrome though. Obviously. Anyway, let’s discuss how to share google sheets with others. It’s a long tutorial but a rather simple one when push comes to shove.

How to Share Google Sheets with Others

There are several methods you can use to share your Google Sheets spreadsheet with other people on the Internet. You can make them view the document or have the ability to edit it, but as owner it’s up to you to assign your “permissions” to them.

Method 1: Share with Specific People

Step 1: Open a new spreadsheet or even an existing one. We opened an existing one.

Share Google Sheets Method 1 Step 1 - Open spreadsheet

It’s a daily schedule template we’ve already filled out for a previous tutorial.

Step 2: Go to the “Share” button—the one with the lock icon on it—and press or click it with your mouse cursor.

Share Google Sheets Method 1 Step 2 - Press the Share buton

Step 3: The Share window opens with your multiple sharing options available. The default setting for all new documents is “Restricted“.

Share Google Sheets Method 1 Step 3- The Share window opens with your multiple sharing options

Step 4: If you to share the document with specific people, you can enter their email addresses or groups (from ye olde Google+ and beyond in your address book) that you wish to share the document with.

Share Google Sheets Method 1 Step 4A - Enter email or groups of specific people you know

You can also choose what kind access you wish to give people.

  • Editor: They can view and edit the document.
  • Commenter: They can view and leave comments on the document.
  • Viewer: They can only view the document if they have a link.

You can even “Transfer ownership” to another person altogether or “Remove access” while you’re still the owner.

Share Google Sheets Method 1 Step 4B - Update permissions per person you_ve given access to

Click “Send” once you’re through.

Step 5: If you wish to share using a link, just choose the lower left corner drop-down menu. You can change the “Restricted” default to “Anyone with a link” access if you wish.

Share Google Sheets Method 1 Step 5 - Change from restricted to Anyone with a Link

You can also click on the “Copy link” button in order to copy the link for the sheet. That’s the link you’re supposed to use to share the sheet to others.

Share Google Sheets Method 1 Step 6

Method 2: Add Comments and Assign Tasks

Let’s say you’ve been given a “Commenter” level access to a given sheet. Here’s how you go about commenting on the sheet.

Step 1: In Google Sheets as well as Slides or Docs, just select the text you wish to comment upon in order to make a comment first. Afterwards, do a right-click on the cell to bring up a shortcut menu you can use to select “Comment”.

Share Google Sheets Method 2 Step 1 - Select cell then right-click to get menu then select Comment

As indicated by the “Comment” shortcut menu, you can also use the keyboard shortcut of “Ctrl + Alt + M” in order to make a comment on any given cell.

As a side note, notice how the “Share” button on the sheet has a different icon now. Before it was a lock, now it contains people. This signifies the “Permissions” for the sheet has changed.

Step 2: On the box, enter your comment. Press the “Comment” button on the “Comment” box when you’re through. Or click “Cancel” if you’ve changed your mind and don’t want to add your comment.

Share Google Sheets Method 2 Step 2 - Make your comment on the ensuing comment box

Step 3: You can direct your comment or task to a specific person. Just enter a plus sign or “+” followed by their email address right after your comment. You can also use the At sign or “@” followed by the email address to do the same thing.

Share Google Sheets Method 2 Step 3 - Send email notifications by adding the plus sign followed by email addresses

Add as many emails as you wish. Each person will get an email notification with your comment and a link to the sheet.

Step 4: Check the “Assign to” in case you wish to specifically wish to assign your comment to a specific person, especially if it’s a document accessed by multiple people and you’re not specifically addressing the owner.

Share Google Sheets Method 2 Step 4A - Click _Assign to_ box to assign comment to a specific person or email address

Finish up by clicking “Comment” or “Assign”. The comment should be visible whenever you hover the cursor over the cell in question.

Share Google Sheets Method 2 Step 4B - The comment should be visible with a mouse cursor hover

Note: Once a document reaches a maximum comment number, you can create a copy of the document without copying the other comments and allowing your new comment to appear.

Method 3: Email Collaborators

To make a longer follow-up conversation that the short comments couldn’t cover, email your collaborators or the people with access to your sheet right from Google Sheets.

Step 1: Click the “File” menu the select “Email collaborators”. This only works if you’ve included collaborators in your permissions instead of just allowing anyone with a link to view the document.

Share Google Sheets Method 3 Step 1 - Go to File menu and select Email collaborators

Step 2: Click the x-mark beside the name of a collaborator or collaborators to remove them from the email you’re about to send. Add a subject to the email for clarity.

Share Google Sheets Method 3 Step 2 - Click the x mark on any collaborator you don_t want to include in the email

Step 3: Check the “Send a copy” box if you wish to send a copy of the email to yourself. Press “Send” to send the email to your specific collaborator of choice.

Share Google Sheets Method 3 Step 3 - Click _Send yourself a copy_ to get a copy of the email you_re about to send

Final Considerations

When sharing a file, you need to first open a file or make a new file you wish to share. Use one you own or have edit access to for best results. Click the “Share” button on the top right corner of the screen.

You have multiple options for sharing, such as allowing anyone with a link to view the document, giving certain people editing access to the document, or entering email addresses or groups you wish to share the document with.

References:

  1. Prolific Oaktree, “Google Sheets – Share Your Spreadsheet With Others“, YouTube, July 9, 2020
  2. Prolific Oaktree, “Google Sheets – Share and Protect Your Spreadsheet“, YouTube, June 18, 2018
  3. Prolific Oaktree, “Google Docs – Share Your Document With Others – 2020 Update“, YouTube, October 31, 2020
  4. Switching to Sheets from Microsoft Excel (6. Collaborate in Sheets)“, Google.com, Support, Retrieved July 25, 2022

Andy Avery

I really enjoy helping people with their tech problems to make life easier, ​and that’s what I’ve been doing professionally for the past decade.

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