4 Ways to Share Workbooks in Google Sheets

Do you want to learn how to share a workbook in Google Sheets so you can collaborate with friends and colleagues? This post is going to show you all the ways you can share a workbook in Google Sheets.

Google Sheets allows you to easily create and share a workbook with others so everyone can contribute. This makes it easy to collaborate on projects, keep track of data, and more.

By following these simple steps, you can start sharing your workbooks right away and collaborating with others in no time. Plus, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you can manage who sees the data and how they see it when stored in Google Sheets.

You will learn the different ways of sharing your Google Sheets and the different types of restrictions you can impose while sharing your workbooks with users.

Follow these simple steps to learn how to share a workbook in Google Sheets!

Share a Workbook from the File Menu

The first option which you can share Google Sheets is through the File menu.

It is best suited to situations where you want to share the file with one or more users.

This option can also be explored when you want to publish your file on the web, which will be explored in the latter part of this post.

Follow these steps to share a workbook that is already open in the browser.

  1. Go to the File menu.
  2. Select the Share option.
  3. Click on the Share with others option from the submenu.

As soon as you click on the Share with others option, it will open up the sharing window.

By default, the owner always has access, and it will appear restricted for other users. Only a person with access can open this file.

Inside the Add people and groups box, you can search for the users with whom you want to share the file. Most of the time, you’ll want to share worksheets with someone who already has a Google Workspace account.

When you start typing their name, the IntelliSense will automatically suggest those users. Add as many users as you’d like.

If you are sharing it with some new users, you can type their entire Gmail ID. As you can see in the screenshot above, I have added two people to share this file with.

You will want to set up their restrictions while accessing the file. You can see on the right-hand side that there is a dropdown specifying user restrictions. Click on it to see the available options.

The default option is set to Editor, meaning the people you are sharing this file with can view, edit, and share this document.

If you want to restrict them from editing and sharing the workbook, you can set the restriction as Viewer.

💡 Tip: Sharing a workbook with Viewer permission is a much better option than emailing the workbook as a PDF file. Sharing ensures the user is always looking at the most current version of the file!

The Commenter can view and make comments on your worksheet, but they can’t edit or share it.

The Notify people option is by default checked when you share the file. It lets you write a small message to your users, letting them know about the file.

You can type the file description, why it is being used, what amendments you want them to make, etc. within the message box.

With this option checked the users will get an email with this message as well as a link to the file.

If you don’t want to send any message, you can uncheck that option and the message box will vanish. The users will not get any instructions related to the shared file. The users will not get an email about the shared file and will only see the file from the Shared with me tab in their Google Drive.

You can then click on the Send or Share button that you see at the bottom right corner of the sharing window.

That’s it! You have successfully shared the workbook with the end-user. Congratulations! 🥳

💡 Tip: There are some advanced restrictions that you can add to your Editors, Viewers, or Commenters. There is a Setting icon at the top right corner.

Click the settings gear icon and you can uncheck either two of the available options.

  • You can restrict the other Editors from changing the permissions and sharing the file.
  • You can restrict the Viewers and Commenters from downloading, printing, or copying the file.

Share a Workbook from the Green Share Button

There is a shortcut for sharing your files with other users!

Well, you actually have a dedicated button on your Google Sheets that can do all the tasks you were able to do through the File menu option.

On the upper right corner of your sheet, you will see the Share button.

Click on it to share the file with other users. It will open up the sharing window, and the rest of everything will be the same as discussed in the previous section.

You can share with multiple users, set access to either Edit, View, or Comment, notify them, and add the advanced restrictions discussed from the settings.

💡 Tip: You can set the restrictions per user after you share the file with them. You can restrict each user separately to either make them an Editor, Viewer, or Commenter as per your choice.

You’ll also be able to Transfer ownership or Remove access entirely.

Share a Workbook from Google Drive

If the above two options are not sufficient for you, there is another one that you can use to share your worksheet.

What if I tell you that you can also share it through Google Drive? It is possible! All the sharing options can be found through Google Drive as well.

Open up the Google Drive app.

Under My Drive, you will see all the files and folders you have been working on.

Navigate to the file you want to share and right-click on it and choose the Share option from the menu.

You will see the same sharing window pop up and the sharing process is the exact same as previous methods.

Share a Workbook via Publish to Web Option

Suppose you are working as an organization and want to share the worksheet with a more extensive set of audience.

For example, maybe you want to share the file with anyone that visits your website. It would not be convenient to share it with each individual.

You can leverage the Google Sheets Publish to Web sharing option to share the file on your website via link or embed code for such cases.

Through this option, you can share the data with a broader audience and keep your source data intact.

Moreover, you have various options to choose from while publishing the document. You can publish it as an .xlsx file, .pdf file, .csv file, etc.

  1. Open the file you want to share.
  2. Click on the File menu.
  3. Go to the Share menu.
  4. Select the Publish to Web option.

As soon as you click on that option, the Publish to the web window will pop up.

This is where you can make necessary changes and publish the file to the web.

There are two sections Link and Embed.

In the Link section, you can choose how to publish the document under the first dropdown.

You can share the Entire Document which is the default option, or you can share a particular sheet such as Sheet1, Sheet2, etc in the document.

📝 Note: Whatever names you give the sheets will appear instead of Sheet1, Sheet2, etc.

In the second dropdown, you can choose the format you want to publish the document. The most preferred one is the Web page, but you can also publish it as a CSV, XLSX, or PDF.

In the Embed section, you can ensure that the entire document or a specific sheet is embedded.

In Published content & settings section, you can select what sheet you want to publish. On top of that, you also have an option to Start Publishing.

The significant option here is the checkbox that allows you to Automatically republish the document when changes are made.

Make sure this box is ticked when you want your users to see the latest version of the file every time you make any changes.

If you don’t want to see them the latest changes made, you can easily uncheck that box, and they will see the same layout until you publish the document again.

Click on the green Publish button. As soon as the file is published on the web, you will see a link appear. It means that the document is now published and can be accessed through this link.

Open a new incognito tab in your browser and copy the link into the address bar. Hit the Enter button, and you will see the web page version of the entire document.

Share the link you copied with anyone, and they will be able to see the document as well.

📝 Note: Users can only see the document and no changes can be made. Your original file is still secure.

Isn’t this an excellent feature? Let me know in the comment section below!

Conclusions

These are a few ways to share your worksheet with others in Google Sheets.

All the sharing options can be found in the File menu. You can share the file with a few of your users or colleagues and you can set the restrictions per person.

Alternatively, you have the option of sharing the worksheet through that Green Share button that appears in the upper right corner of every workbook. It works the same as the File menu.

Sharing your workbook can also be done through the Google Drive. Since all Google Sheets are in stored in Google Drive, you can share them from that app as well.

Finally, there is an alternative sharing method that allows you to publish your worksheet on the web, or create a sharable link for view only purposes. User can view the file or selected sheets without access to the underlying file.

Do you use these powerful options for sharing your workbooks with your colleagues? Let me know in the comments!

About the Author

Lalit Salunkhe

Lalit Salunkhe

Lalit is a data analyst with diverse skills and experience in data mining and analysis. He has a M.Sc. in Statistics from one of the top institutes in Maharashtra. Lalit is also a Google Sheets expert and enjoys teaching others how to use Google Sheets to solve their data problems.

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