Collaboration in Spreadsheets

Collaboration is a key feature of Spreadsheets. In traditional Wdesk documents, only one person can work in a section at a time, as indicated by the pencils and locks. In Wdesk Spreadsheets, multiple people can be working together in the same sheet, in real time.

When collaborators edit the same Spreadsheet, colors indicate which collaborator is making a change. Simultaneous editing means there is no need to take turns editing a sheet. There are no drafts or shares in Spreadsheets.

Assigning Permissions

All collaborators must have permission to access a Spreadsheet. A Spreadsheet is created with the default permissions for an individual account, which varies. If you are an Owner, you can check or grant permissions by clicking on the Permissions button on the File tab. To learn how to set permissions from Home, see Managing Document Permissions in Wdesk Home.

image alt text

The permission editor shows the current groups and collaborators. From here you can use the search box to look for collaborators, or scroll down the list to find them.

image alt text

Click the radio button next to the collaborator’s name to give them appropriate access. There are three roles that can be assigned to collaborators: Owners have full rights to the document and can manage permissions, Editors can make changes, and a Viewer can look at a Spreadsheet but not make any changes.

TIP: You can use the Filter button in the upper right corner of the Permissions editor to view collaborators by role.

Authorship in Spreadsheets

Once permissions are assigned, collaborators can work together in a Spreadsheet.

When you are in a Spreadsheet, you can see which cells other collaborators are working in and identify them by their color, outlining the cell. The cell you are in will have a blue outline.

image alt text

With multiple people working simultaneously in a Spreadsheet, it can be useful to know which collaborator made changes, such as when you need to create an audit trail. Spreadsheets offers a feature to track Authorship by color coding cells according to which collaborator last changed a cell.

To turn on Authorship, go to the right-hand History panel, and move the Authorship slider from No to Yes.

image alt text

An Authors legend will display, with colors assigned to each collaborator. The cell(s) an Author changed will match the color assigned to them in the Spreadsheet, allowing you to see the most current values at a glance, in real time. You can have up to 20 Authors with unique colors. Further authors will begin to re-use colors.

image alt text

NOTE: If you have a large number of Authors in a Spreadsheet, the Authors panel may become large enough that you will need to scroll through the list of Authors.

Cell History

If you’d like to see who last changed a cell, hover over a cell. The name of the Author and the date and time of the most recent change will display.

image alt text

You can click on a cell and see its entire history in the right-hand History panel, including which Authors made changes and what they were.

image alt text


Groups of edits are automatically saved to the History tab as a revision. From there, you can see who made a change and when. By clicking on a revision, you can see the state of the document at the time of the revision.

image alt text

You can also toggle between cell and revision history using the dropdown menu in the upper right corner of the History panel.

Comments in Spreadsheets

To add a comment in a Spreadsheet, select the cell or group of cells desired then click the Comment icon in the right hand panel to expand the Comments panel.

The comment panel will open in the panel to the right. Here you can see existing comments, or click the New Comment button to add a comment to your selection.

image alt text