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Question: Hide/Unhide columns

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Hello Smartsheet Gov community!

I have been a Smartsheet user for many years and exclusively in Smartsheet Gov for 2.5 years now. Today one of our users shared that a free collaborator had unhid columns in a sheet. I shared with her this wouldn't be possible since only licensed users can hide/unhide columns (even with Admin permissions). I reviewed the activity log of the sheet in question and sure enough the activity log contained confirmation that this unlicensed user had indeed unhidden a column.

Have you seen this before? Did Smartsheet change this functionality and I somehow missed it?

Thanks for any insights you may have to share.

Answers

  • Frank Geraci
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    I have not seen a change, the ability to hide/unhide should be restricted to licensed users.

    It is possible that the user you shared the sheet with is licensed in their own Smartsheet environment. Smartsheet does not isolate user licenses across different environments. So, if a user has a license in their own workspace and you provide them access to a sheet in your workspace, they would be treated as a licensed user when viewing that shared sheet.

    Additionally, even if you share a sheet with an unlicensed collaborator, they can still "save as new" and unhide columns in that new copy, as saving a new version makes them the admin of that copy.

    Are you hiding columns for security reasons or to streamline the view? I would strongly advise against hiding columns for security purposes due to the two scenarios mentioned above.

  • C. Sullivan
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    If you share a sheet with an unlicensed collaborator, how are they creating a copy with "save as new"? Only licensed users have ability to create assets.

    As far as I am aware, there is a distinction between instances of Smartsheet - Commercial, Gov, EU. Commerical to Commerical, sure can make copies into their own instance. Commerical to Gov, you're effectively creating another Smartsheet account on the Gov instance.

  • OHS
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    @Frank Geraci thanks for your response. I appreciate the food for thought.

    We have hidden columns that are helper columns supporting metrics and other sheet functionality such as notifications, etc. They are hidden to prevent accidental modification/editing that would impact overall functionality hence why I am so interested in learning how this unlicensed user managed to unhide them.

  • C. Sullivan
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    @OHS If they're column formulas, the column is effectively locked, anyone without at least admin level access can't edit them. You can also lock the column which again won't allow someone to interact unless they have admin. I have also seen where an editor cannot click into a cell with a formula.

  • OHS
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    Thank you @C.Sullivan. Love that we are all one big helpful community.