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Pros and Cons of Sheet Protection and Collaboration

About this Tutorial

Learn how to protect your Google Sheets while still collaborating effectively! Discover the three levels of protection and editability, as well as how to set permissions for specific ranges and cells. With Google Sheets, you can have the best of both worlds: a protected and collaborative sheet.

Video Transcript

0:00 Hi, in this video, this is more like a sheet theory video, very theoretical because I want to talk about the idea about protection versus collaboration or protect versus collaborate, meaning on one side, Google Sheets is very collaborative.

0:16 You can create a sheet very quickly, you can create a sheet in a Google. You can share that sheet up here on the right side with anyone.

0:24 You can say restricted, you can, you have multiple levels of being able to share the sheet with someone or some entity, right?

0:33 Anyone, you can share it with no one, you can share it with everyone in your organization, you can share it with everyone in the world, right?

0:39 Who has that link. Now, the people with the link, now who are they? Are they people who are maliciously looking for you for your data, for your information or not?

0:50 And I think that Google Sheets does a good job of allowing you a lot more levels of, protection than you even know, than just in this share.

1:04 This is three levels of protection or, and editability. They also, over here on the Aranishi, you can go to Protect Sheet, and now I can protect any particular range.

1:17 I can say, you know, set permissions for this range or this entire sheet. And I can even do something like, I want to protect some cells and not others, or I want to protect everything except certain cells.

1:29 When I say this, also, I can set the permissions here. When I can set a permission so that it does allow you to edit, but it just gives you a warning.

1:41 I can also say, you know, I want to restrict it only to myself or some other custom number of people who are being shared on this.

1:50 I can select them or select add editors, and I can say they can edit it. This is really cool. And this allows your sheet to be, quite protected and collaborative at the exact same time.

2:07 So take, for example, why I'm bringing this up. As someone had mentioned, they're like, I have a drop-down menu in a cell.

2:14 And I want someone to be able to edit this drop-down menu in the idea of editing, I'll just to select option one or option two, click done.

2:25 And now I have the option one and option two here. But I don't want them to be able to edit the data validation rules.

2:34 However, Google Sheets, in order to edit the cell, here or edit the value, you must be able to edit the cell.

2:46 So even if I add, And this is sort of something you might not even know if you're trying to protect your sheet.

2:51 If you're say, I want to protect my sheet, I want to protect the entire sheet except B2. Here B2. I'm going to set permissions.

3:02 Permission on there. But then what is able to be edited is yes, this option one and option two drop down.

3:10 But also because users, other users have the edit option, they can click on this edit button and now they can edit the data validation rules of that cell.

3:22 So is this protection? Is this actually like protection for your sheet? Well, if you're using Google Sheets, you usually want to also be collaborative.

3:33 So this actually ends up being a wonderful middle place, a wonderful balance between protection and collaboration. Why? Because you can.

3:42 So you can set the rules of this cell. You can say, hey, don't edit this. But you can also set the style.

3:50 I want to point out that this drop down menu has style choices, display styles. And so when you say, hey, go over here, click on this down arrow, and they set the style.

4:02 You can see this edit button. Maybe you don't even want a down arrow. So you can select plain text. And now if somebody just starts 
typing, they have the option.

4:11 But now you see they don't have the option to edit. They do, but it doesn't show up. So they just start typing option.

4:18 And you can see there's nothing in the cell. They do have this edit option. Edit button. Now I do think that this is a good balance because on the whole, not many people are going to know that this edit button edits the options available.

4:34 I think if you are making a Google sheet and you're adding dropdown menus or you have cells where you have a sort of.

4:42 Collection of options, you have a number of ways to tell people how to integrate with that. You can even do something like this where you have some options listed option one option two, and you say here are the available options.

5:01 You can display. These are uneditable. You cannot add it. You can set the protection and say only this cell here.

5:10 Maybe put like some kind of arrow or something. Put your entry here and then start typing. And now without drop down menu we can even go.

5:23 Go over here and let's just remove the rule. And you can say here's your available options. Put it into only B2.

5:31 We have set everything else to be non-editable. We can go to our protect sheet. Let's actually just delete this. Remove.

5:45 Now add a sheet range sheet. We're gonna say everything is protected except B2. Set permissions. There we go. And only I can edit everything.

5:56 But now you can add this option 1 here. Right? And so you don't get the opt-out menu. You don't get the data validation, but you do get the available options here.

6:07 So I think Google Sheets has done a very good job of setting that balance between protection and collaboration. And you have a lot of options.

6:14 You have the share button here to share the entire sheet. You have protect cells of protect sheet. You can protect certain cells or protect the entire sheet or every tab.

6:24 For certain people. And I think there is some creative options you have for making available options visual. In addition to that drop-down menu that you can create with drop-down, insert, drop-down.

6:40 And you also have drop-down from range.