How to collaborate on Google Sheets

by Aug 7, 2018

Google Sheets was built around the fabric called collaboration. Unsurprisingly, all the innovations of this cloud-based application are centered around that idea. Unlike the case with other spreadsheet applications of age, one can access Google Sheets without the physical constraints of location or device. In this article, we are going to touch upon the means by which we can use Google Sheets collaboration.

The problem space

Earlier, we were very well sharing the spreadsheets with others to collaborate. But, not in real-time. We were either sharing them physically using external media or through electronic emails. These days, we could use cloud drives, saving ourselves some time and effort. If we were to do that just once or twice, it is no trouble, it serves the purpose really well.

What if we have to keep updating and share the updated file every time? And worse still, the problem aggravates manifold if there are multiple users of the file. Imagine the effort required to keep track of version changes, and file modifications! Thanks to Google Sheets, we don’t have to worry about any of that.

SHARE: Google Sheets collaboration

Let’s consider an example. A team of software experts supports a software application. The project manager receives details of issues pertaining to various users of the application in a Google Sheets file. Each member will have to work on one or more issues, based on their availability. Thankfully, Google Sheets has taken care of the challenges we discussed above.

All that the project manager can do now is click on the SHARE button on the top right corner.

Issue Tracker Sample Data and Share Button in Google Sheets

On doing that, he will see a popup where he can key in the emails of all the people he wants the file shared with. Then grant them with edit, comment, or view access permissions whichever he deems appropriate.

Google Sheets Collaboration: Sharing Options Snapshot

What if multiple users work on it at the same time? No worries! Because Google Sheets handles that scenario so well. Please have a look at the following snapshot. On the top, we can clearly see the users who are actively working on the file. Not only that, but Google Sheets also highlights the cells the other users are working on. The cell we activate usually is in blue color.

Highlighted Cells According to Users

What else is there to collaborate?

Google Sheets lets us chat with all the collaborators, right on the file! That is a great way to connect with each other specifically on the file they are working on. We can start the chat using the Show Chat button as highlighted in the image below. Read more about the Chat feature in this post.

Google Sheets Collaboration: Chat

If you need more guidance on how to work with Google Sheets and its many collaborative features, feel free to read through the following official documentation.

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