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I have an Excel spreadsheet I made to track my own scores for an XBox game I play (TrialsHD, if you are curious). I've made it available to other players so they can track their own scores, but it occurred to me that more people could use it if I figured out how to make it available to people online.

I know I can import from Excel to Google Spreadsheets, but I'm not sure if sharing works in the way I need it to.

Specifically, I don't want people to share and edit the master, each person needs their own independent copy of the spreadsheet to enter their race scores and times. In essense, my copy is like a template.

Can I do Google docs sharing like this? How exactly would it work? (Would each person need their own independent Google docs account?)

If not, is there another tool out there that would work for me to make this spreadsheet available for other users? What about the newly announced MS Office online products?

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3 Answers

I am pretty sure that Google Docs does not quite do what you would like.

One neat feature in Docs for a spreadsheet is that you could make a form onto your sheet, and give people the form, where they enter their information, and select their name from a list, so you could sort on their data.

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It doesn't, what he needs is to either just publish it for download, or create his own app to do so. –  dkuntz2 Dec 16 '10 at 6:33
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I think you can do what you describe with Forms & Spreadsheet in Google Docs.

Step 1: In Google Docs, select Create New > Form

Step 2: Create questions in "Edit Form" window.

Each question will be represented as a column in the spreadsheet that is being created in the background. (I assume you'll want "Name" and "Latest Score", so I'll use that for this example...)

If have a defined set of users, I'd suggest creating a dropdown list using the "Choose from a list" question type. This will be easier then typing and re-typing for the users, and will help provide accuracy.

Don't forget to save your form....

Step 3: Select See Responses > Spreadsheet in the "Edit Form" window.
You will see that a spreadsheet that corresponds to the form has been created, which is private to you. Notice, too, that a "Timestamp" column was automatically created.

Step 4: Configuring sharing. In the spreadsheet, click on the "Share" option in the upper right. Here you can configure the "public view" for your master score sheet; it'll give you a url that you can distribute. The public report will update whenever anyone enters a new score via the form.

So, to recap:

  • create form
  • distribute form (via email, or you can embed in a web page)
  • publish spreadsheet results, share url with form-takers
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Just publish the template with read-only privileges. Then they can go File->Make a copy to duplicate it for their own use. That's how templates work.

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