File > Make a Copy with Google Sheets

By Jack Dougherty, last updated March 17, 2017

In this book, you will open links to Google Sheets that allow you to view -- but not edit -- the contents. How can you quickly make your own version that you can edit?

Screenshot: View-only in Google Sheets
Screenshot: View-only in Google Sheets

Best solution

1) Sign in to your Google account in the upper-right corner. Requires a free account.

2) Go to File > Make a Copy to save a duplicate of the spreadsheet to your Google Drive. By default, your copy will be private to you. Go to the Share Data with Google Sheets chapter in this book to allow others to view, comment, or edit your spreadsheet.

Highly recommended: Create folders in your Google Drive to keep your files organized and easily findable.

Screenshot: Sign in and File > Make a Copy in Google Sheets
Screenshot: Sign in and File > Make a Copy in Google Sheets

Alternate solution

Another option is to File > Download As into a different format, such as:

  • Microsoft Excel (.xlsx)
  • OpenData System (.ods), a generic multi-tab spreadsheet
  • Comma-separated values (.csv), a generic single sheet No Google account is required.

Data Visualization For All is copyrighted by Jack Dougherty and contributors and distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may freely share and modify this content for non-commercial purposes, with a source credit to
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