Sharing Options for Google Spreadsheets

Sharing Options for Google Spreadsheets
Sharing Options for Google Spreadsheets. © Ted French

Google Spreadsheets is one of the new “Web 2” applications that are appearing with increasing frequency on the Internet. One of the key features of these apps is that they let people collaborate and share information over the Internet.

Collaborating on a spreadsheet over the Internet can be useful for co-workers who are having difficulty coordinating their work schedules. It could also be used by teachers wishing to set up a group project involving the use of the Internet.

Google Spreadsheet Sharing Options

Sharing a Google Spreadsheet is really quite easy. Simply add the email addresses of your invitees to the sharing panel in Google Spreadsheets and then send the invitation. You have the option of allowing others to just view your spreadsheet or you can give them editing rights as well.

Another option is to use the “Let anyone view”, check box which creates a URL of where the spreadsheet can be viewed. Unlike EditGrid, which keeps a list of public spreadsheets that can be viewed by anyone; Google Spreadsheets gives you some control over just who is included in this group.

It’s up to you to distribute the URL of the spreadsheet’s location. You can email it to a group, post it on a Web site or in a forum, or distribute in other ways.

Google Account Required

Whichever option you choose, all invitees must have a Google account before they can view your spreadsheet.

Creating a Google account is not difficult and it is free. If the invitees do not have an account there is a link on the login page that will take them to the registration page.

Steps for sharing a Google Spreadsheet with specific individuals

  1. Login to Google Spreadsheets with your Google account.
  2. Create or upload the spreadsheet you wish to share.
  1. Click on the “Show sharing options” link in the top right corner of the screen.
  2. Add the email addresses of the people you want to invite to either view or edit your spreadsheet.
  3. Click on the “invite people” button to bring up the Invitation screen. This screen contains an email message to the invitees. The message includes a link to the spreadsheet and an area for you to include a personal message.

Note: If you send invitations to non-gmail addresses (Google’s own email service) those individuals will have to create a Google account using that email address before they can view the spreadsheet. Even if they have their own Google account, they will not be able to use it to log in and view the spreadsheet. They must use the email addressed specified in the invitation.

To stop sharing a Google spreadsheet, simply remove the invitees from the share list or uncheck the “Let anyone view” check box.