Google Sheets is built around one central pillar – collaboration. This cloud-based application is at the forefront leading this innovation to make it as simple and as ubiquitous as possible. One just needs to have a browser to access the Google Sheets, as it is both device and location independent. And what’s more? We have various kinds of Google Sheets permission levels, each having its own specific purpose. We will explore those options in this article.

Types of Google Sheets permission levels

By virtue of creating or sharing the files, the users of Google Sheets will have one of the following four Google Sheets permission levels.

  • Ownership
  • Edit
  • Comment
  • View

Permission level # 1: Ownership

Anybody who creates a new Google Sheets file using their own account, enjoys this permission level by default. With this privilege, we can do pretty much everything with the file. We can view the contents, add or modify comments, edit the contents or even delete the spreadsheet if needed.

To confirm, we can click on Share button and then click on the Advanced option. The Sharing settings window clearly displays that the user who created this spreadsheet (Fred) is the owner.

Example Google Sheets permissions levels - Illustration 1

Permission level # 2: Edit

In situations where we want other people to be able to modify the content on the spreadsheet we created, we choose to grant Edit permission. With this privilege, users will be able to view and modify the content, in addition to being able to add comments to the cells. Lastly, they will also be able to share the file with other users.

To grant this permission, we click on the Share button. On the Share with others window that pops up, we add the email(s) of users whom we’d like to share the file with. Now, click on the drop down button adjacent to the People field, and ensure it is Can edit (shows the pencil icon). Clicking on Send will accordingly grant Edit access permission level to the user(s).

Example Google Sheets permissions levels - Illustration 2

Permission level # 3: Comment

Let us consider a scenario. We created a spreadsheet on which we need another user to review. But we do not want him/her to accidentally modify the content. We can make use of the Comment permission level. With this privilege, users will be able to view the file and add comments to the cells. They won’t be able to share the file to other users directly. Instead, they will be able to request the owner who may grant permissions as needed.

To enable a user with Comment Google Sheets permission level, we click on the Share button. On the pop-up window, we add the email(s) of users whom we’d like to share the file with. Now, click on the drop down button adjacent to the People field, and ensure it is Can comment (shows the message icon). Clicking on Send will accordingly grant Comment privilege to the user(s).

Example Google Sheets permissions levels - Illustration 3

Permission level # 4: View

If we need the users to only have a look at the data in the spreadsheets, View permission level is sufficient. In this case, users will not be able to do any of the activities the users with other permission levels are capable of doing. Users won’t be able to directly share the file with other users. Instead, they will be able to request the owner to grant permissions as necessary.

The procedure to grant View Google Sheets permission level is very similar to that of the previous steps. Except, we choose the Can view option (the eye icon) in the drop down.

Example Google Sheets permissions levels - Illustration 4