Lock Sheets Cells From Being Edited

Have you ever wanted to make your Google Sheets spreadsheet collaborative so others could edit data that is pertinent to them, but you were afraid they would edit the data and formulas you spent hours on? Me too! Spreadsheets can be an amazing tool for people, but intimidating for others. You don’t want to send edit rights to someone who doesn’t know how to use Google Sheets without some limitations. Well, with Protected Ranges, you can send rights without undue stress.

Lock Cells, Ranges, or Sheets

On any Google Sheets spreadsheet, you can choose individual cells, cell ranges, or entire sheets to be protected from people with rights. This is like giving someone can view rights on an entire document, but edit rights on one tiny cell.

Within your sheet, select the cells you want to be editable. Once you do that, go to Data>Protected sheets and ranges. 

Once you do that, you will see a sidebar open on the right side of the screen. There will be a clickable area that is titled after the cell range or sheet you have selected. 

Once you click on there, it is time to give edit rights to others. Enter a description of the people you will be giving rights to. Joe Smith or Accounts Payable, etc. Next, click ‘Change Permissions’ and add the people or groups you want. 

In this situation, you are likely choosing custom and adding people to the sheet this way. But you may choose to add people to entire Sheets and choose cells that only you can edit. You may also want to choose to only show a warning when people try to edit these cells. Maybe you want them to be able to edit, but you want them to know those are vital cells. After settings permissions for one cell range, you can also copy those to other cell ranges in different parts of the spreadsheet.

Like any skill or tool, the best way to learn it is to try it. Next time you create a collaborative Sheets, share it this way as opposed to the traditional way and see how it works for you.

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