Sharing limited data without sharing the whole spreadsheet

Recently a friend asked me how he could share some data that he was working on with colleagues. The problem is that he can’t share the entire spreadsheet.

My suggestion is to use Google Sheets and the ImportRange function to share limited ranges with another spreadsheet. What’s great about this method is that you can then share the second spreadsheet with other people without sharing the spreadsheet you’re working on.

To do this, create a second spreadsheet and wherever you would like your data to show up, enter =Importrange("key", "range"). The key is you need is in the URL of the spreadsheet that holds your original data (look for “key=…”), and the range is the group of cells that you need to import into your dependent spreadsheet (e.g. “A1:B7”).

I use this a lot to break very large spreadsheets into smaller, more manageable sizes for various teams. The dependent spreadsheets your colleagues will update every 30 seconds or so, so once you’ve set it up, go ahead and work off the original one and they’ll see the changes almost immediately.

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