I have a Google Spreadsheet in Google Drive. Users can change everything and anything in the spreadsheet. Now, I want them to be able to change empty fields or their own fields only.

Is this possible? If yes, how?

  • How do you define who owns a cell? – Vidar S. Ramdal Oct 28 '14 at 15:03

It's not possible using just Google Docs. If you've written some sort of program that just uses Google Docs as a storage mechanism, then you can do anything you want. For example, you could add a column that records the name of the person who created each row. When someone tries to edit a row, verify that they are the person listed as the row creator before accepting the edit.

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  • Oh, good call. I didn't think of using the Google Docs API. That's probably the best solution here. – Daniel.J.Shapiro May 31 '12 at 14:04
  • thanks, any example for this? if it's too complicated it's not worth the effort and I have experience with the google docs api – Ruben May 31 '12 at 15:02
  • I'm sure there are examples of programs that use Google Docs as a storage mechanism, but I don't have one for you. – Caleb May 31 '12 at 15:21

Google spreadsheets can't do this. I don't think they've said that they'll implement it, either. I'm not sure what your exact situation is, but if you have a small, known number of users, you might try:

1. Create a spreadsheet for each user. Set those to private.
2. Let users enter their information in their own spreadsheets.
3. Create a public spreadsheet that gathers data from the private

If your number of users is large or might grow faster than you care to manually add private spreadsheets, this obviously won't work. If that's the case, you might have to look elsewhere for a solution. I'm pretty sure the Office Web Apps would solve your problem, but those aren't free.

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