Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

Google Sheets: Cell History

Google Sheets: Cell History
cell edit history google sheets

See the Edit History of a Cell

When was that cell updated? Who changed this value? In Google Sheets you no longer need to wonder that question. Version history for an overall document is amazing but can be challenging with spreadsheets. Edits in a spreadsheet may occur over multiple tabs. Reviewing the version history requires clicking on all the tabs to see where edits may have been made. It would also require knowing which version to review.

Version History

See all your spreadsheets!


Version history in the file menu

Open any spreadsheet and use the File menu to choose “Version history.” There you can “Name current version” or “See version history.” Name current version is relatively new, I recommend you get into the habit of regularly naming your versions after you complete a milestone of work.

Cell Edit History

Without looking at the whole version history, right click on the cell and choose “Show edit history.”

This will show you who made the most recent edit on that cell and at what time.

Edit history

Notice the arrows in the upper right to see previous edits to the cell.


Google is a collaboration suite. Plan on using spreadsheets with students collaboratively. WHEN a student types something inappropriate, right click on the cell to see who made that edit.

Simple Spreadsheet Collaboration

  • sheets.new
  • Name it and close it.
  • Add to a Google Classroom assignment as “Students can edit file” or change the sharing permissions on the spreadsheet to “Anyone with the link can edit.”
  • Ask students to click on the plus icon to add a tab. Double click on the tab to rename to their name.
  • Students can copy the link to their tab and submit.

Crowdsourcing with Google Sheets

  • sheets.new
  • Assign students a particular thing to contribute. For example Jen Roberts asks her English students to find examples of irony from the text. Each student is assigned a section of page numbers.
  • Students add a tab in the spreadsheet and record their research.
  • Students use the collaborative efforts of information to write their paper and have citations ready to use.


TemplateTab might be the best thing I ever coded 🙂 It copies a graphic organizer per student within the same spreadsheet.


  • After copying the template paste your roster onto the first sheet.
  • On the 2nd sheet design your graphic organizer.
    • OR if you have the graphic organizer in another spreadsheet, open that spreadsheet and on the tab click on the tiny triangle to “Copy to.” Copy to your TemplateTab spreadsheet. Make sure your graphic organizer is the 2nd tab.
  • Use the Add-on menu and locate “TemplateTab” and “Show Sidebar.”
  • Run TemplateTab
  • Share with students with edit access.

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