Google adds cell locking to spreadsheet app

The feature is intended to prevent conflicting changes when multiple people are co-editing a worksheet

Users' of Google's Spreadsheet application can now designate blocks of cells that only they can modify when they allow their worksheets to be edited by others.

By locking certain cell ranges, users can prevent conflicting and unintended changes, as Google Spreadsheet allows for real-time editing of worksheets by multiple participants, the company said in a blog post.

The new feature, called Protected Ranges, is part of the application's Named Ranges functionality, which lets users identify sets of cells with plain language names, instead of spreadsheet grid coordinates. Now, after giving a cell block a name, users can also limit who can edit it with the Protected Ranges feature.

Other new features include the ability to apply colors and patterns to cell borders and to search worksheet content using spreadsheet notations called "regular expressions." An example, according to Google, is ^[A-Z]+, which will find cells that start with uppercase letters.

The new features are available to people who use the spreadsheet application as part of the stand-alone Docs office productivity suite, and also to those who use Docs within the broader collaboration and communication Apps suite in workplaces and schools.

Cloud-based office productivity application suites like Google Docs and others benefitted for years from Microsoft's reluctance to offer its Office applications online.

However, Microsoft has been turning up the heat on its competitors, first with the release in 2010 of Office Web Apps, which includes online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote that have a subset of the functionality of the full-featured desktop applications.

More recently, Microsoft announced that the new version of Office -- now in beta testing -- will be sold both via a traditional perpetual license with the Office 2013 brand, and also as a cloud-based subscription service under the existing Office 365 brand.

Although Google Docs has been available since 2006, its applications don't match the functionality of their Office counterparts, and heavy Excel users in particular tend to be unimpressed with Google Spreadsheet.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?