Share Data with Google Sheets

by Jack Dougherty, last updated March 1, 2017

To share live spreadsheet data with other people, use Google Sheets (https://www.google.com/sheets/about/). Requires a free Google Drive account.

Video with step-by-step tutorial

1) Sign in to your Google Drive (http://drive.google.com), and in the New menu, select Google Sheets.

2) New spreadsheets are private by default. Only the owner can view and edit.

3) To open your spreadsheet to others, click the blue Share button.

4) To share data with specific individuals, enter their Google usernames.

5) Or, to share data more widely, click the Advanced button on the next screen. (I wish Google made this button larger!)

6) Click the Change button and decide on Link Sharing settings:

  • Public on the web (anyone can find your data)
  • Anyone with the link (similar to an unlisted phone number)
  • Off (only specific people you list by Google usernames)

Below those settings, select the Access level:

  • Can view
  • Can comment
  • Can edit (for co-authored data)

7) Select Save, and scroll down on the next screen to select Done.

Tip: To avoid sending a long Google Sheets link to others, use a free link-shortening service such as Bit.ly (http://bit.ly). Requires a free account.

Learn more:

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 http://DataVizForAll.org.
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