When it comes to collaboration, Google Sheets reigns supreme among spreadsheet programs. However, sharing a specific tab in Google Sheets can be a bit tricky. Usually, when you try to share a document, Google Sheets automatically shares the entire document, which may not always be what you want. If you’re wondering if Google Sheets can share only one tab, unfortunately, there isn’t an internal way to do so. But fear not! With a little creativity, you can achieve your goal. In this article, we will explore four ways to share only one sheet in Google Sheets.
Can You Share Only One Tab in Google Sheets?
While Google Sheets doesn’t have a built-in feature to share specific sheets, you can achieve this by hiding the sheets you don’t want others to see. Here’s how you can share one sheet in Google Sheets:
- Go to the sheet you want to hide.
- Click the dropdown menu.
- Choose the “Hide sheet” option.
- Go to the sheet you want to share.
- Copy the link and share it with the intended user.
When the user clicks the link, they will be directed to the specific sheet you shared, without access to the hidden sheets. However, keep in mind that they still have the option to unhide the hidden sheets.
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The Design of a Google Sheet
If you’re familiar with Excel, you’ll find Google Sheets to be quite similar. A “Google Sheet” is a single document, known as a “workbook,” comprising multiple pages. When you share a document on Google Sheets, you typically share the entire document. In this example, we have a sheet containing employee schedules for “Anna” and “Aaron.” While you may want to share the schedule with each employee individually, keeping everything on a single sheet makes it simpler.
Usually, when you share a Google spreadsheet, you can choose between three classifications for shared access: “Viewer,” “Commenter,” and “Editor.” It’s generally recommended to share most documents as “commenter” or “viewer” to avoid accidental content loss or unauthorized changes.
Can Google Sheets Share Only One Tab By Linking to It?
Let’s say Aaron needs to access Anna’s schedule but doesn’t need to hide any information. In that case, you can directly link someone to a specific tab in your Google Sheets. Here’s how:
- Go to the sheet you want them to view.
- Take note of the “gid” in the URL. For example, “gid=2068619782” for Aaron’s tab.
- Add “gid=2068619782” to the end of the shareable URL.
This method directs the user to the desired tab, but they can still access other sheets by clicking on them. While it’s easier to use, it’s not the most secure option. Explaining this process to others might also prove challenging.
Protecting Sheets from Being Viewed by Other Users
What if employees shouldn’t see each other’s schedules or access privileged information on other sheets? Google Sheets provides a “hide” feature that allows you to hide specific sheets from certain users. Right-click on the sheet and select “Hide” to prevent users with “Commenter” or “Viewer” access from seeing it. However, this method is not entirely secure, as the sheet can be unhidden by others if they are granted editing permissions.
Additionally, you can set protections for sheets to prevent editing while allowing viewing access. This can be useful when you want users to check each other’s schedules without the ability to make changes. Right-click on a sheet, select “Protect Sheet,” and specify the users who can modify the sheet.
Share Only One Sheet Using the IMPORTRANGE Function
Another method to share only one sheet in Google Sheets is by using the IMPORTRANGE function. This approach involves creating a new spreadsheet and importing data from the desired sheet. Follow these steps:
- Open a new spreadsheet.
- Type the IMPORTRANGE formula into a cell.
- Paste the link for the sheet you want to share into the formula, followed by a comma.
- Specify the sheet name and range in quotation marks, and close the brackets. For example:
- Press Enter.
- You will see a #REF error message, which means you need to allow access.
This formula imports the data from the desired sheet into your new spreadsheet, allowing you to share only that sheet.
Share Only One Sheet by Creating a New File
If you want a more straightforward solution, creating a new workbook with a single sheet is the way to go. Follow these steps:
- Make a copy of your file.
- Delete the other pages, leaving only the sheet you want to share.
- Share the sheet with the intended person.
This method offers major privacy and security advantages. The data you’re trying to protect is not present in the shared file, eliminating concerns about unauthorized access. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to update each sheet separately from the original document, and maintaining links between the sheets will not be possible since they will be separate workbooks.
Exporting Your Google Sheets Page
If you prefer not to deal with multiple workbooks but still want to share a single sheet, you can export it from the document. This method allows you to retain the original workbook. Here’s how:
- Go to File -> Download.
- Select “PDF Document.”
- Choose the “Current sheet” option at the top.
This will create an additional file that you can share via Google Docs or email as an attachment. However, note that the recipient will not be able to edit or share the PDF back with you. This method guarantees that the shared file does not contain the data you’re trying to protect, offering a fast and secure solution.
Printing the Sheet
Another direct method to share a single sheet is to print the document. Printing the sheet provides an uneditable copy that you can distribute without involving any technological complexities. However, this method is ideal only if you want to hand out uneditable copies and don’t require recipients to make changes.
Sharing Only One Sheet on Google Sheets
In conclusion, Google Sheets does not have a built-in process or protocol for sharing a single sheet. However, we’ve explored several workarounds that can help you achieve your goal. You can prevent editing on specific sheets, hide sheets, export and share individual sheets, or create new workbooks with single sheets. When developing your Google Sheets documents, consider the limitations and select the most suitable method for sharing specific sheets. Lastly, if you found this article helpful, make sure to check out our paid templates, and use the code “SSP” to save 50%!