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Share the Tab of a Google Spreadsheet

When using a Google Spreadsheet, it is likely you will want to share your spreadsheet either for viewers or collaborators.

By default the spreadsheet is private, looking at the blue share button in the upper right hand corner you will notice a pad lock.

Clicking on this blue share button you will be able to change the viewing options to anyone with the link can view or public on the web.  Sharing a spreadsheet URL with someone who does not have viewing permissions will result in them seeing an error screen.

With students typically I want them to have viewing but not editing rights so that they can not change the information so I will set the viewing rights to anyone with the link can view.

On this screen is the URL that you can use to post to your website for students to click on to access the spreadsheet.  You may want to use a URL shortener such as http://goo.gl to create a short URL and/or QR code to help students locate the spreadsheet if they are not first visiting your classroom website.

Sharing the link from the share button will take the student to the first tab.  You can move the tabs around so that “Form Responses” or “Sheet 1” is not the first tab.  Whatever tab you drag to the first position will be seen first by using the URL from the share button.

However, you may want to direct the students to a tab other than the first tab.

Go to the desired tab.  Notice the URL at the top changes based on the tab you are on.  By default the first sheet ends in #gid=0.  Subsequent tabs end in #gid=1, #gid=2, etc…  Copying the URL from the desired tab and sharing that URL will direct the user to that particular tab, even if you move the location of the tab.  Dragging the tabs around does not rename the #gid number.  Thus, if you move “Form Responses” from being the first tab to being the 5th tab, it will still have the #gid=0 in the URL.

Thus if you share the URL ending in #gid=8 your students will be directed to the 9th tab created.  (Remember counting starts at zero)

11 thoughts on “Share the Tab of a Google Spreadsheet”

    1. to clarify, I see you can give a link to one tab, but wont they have access to all tabs? Im looking to restrict access to one tab, and have only found blogs suggest copying the tab to its own worksheet.

        1. but that will only work if you have a targeted student in mind to view the sheet, right? what if we want it to be accessible all the time by any student? so they can just access the link, and always only ever see their own sheet?

  1. Jumping in on this helpful thread. I want to keep a google spreadsheet of students’ formative progress on standards that students/parents can always see but only their own info. Can you clarify what you mean by “teach them to look for their name on the tab”? Would they still be able to see other students’ tabs?su

    1. Many people do not know about tabs on a spreadsheet. If you name each tab with a students name they need to look for the tab that has their name. Yes, they can see the tabs of other students so I would not put graded information on the tabs.

      1. It seems that you can publish a single tab – and share it via email with the student and parent. This would allow the student to only see their grades as the link is only for their tab.

        1. You can not publish 40 different tabs… at least I do not think you can. I would be very wary of accidentally publishing students grades for other students to see. That is an accident I would not want to make.

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