Allow users to add Comments, but not edit any other items?

AverageUser ✭✭
edited 12/09/19 in Smartsheet Basics

Is there a setting that would allow "Viewer" users to add comments, but not change any fields?

I have users entering records via a Form, but once the Form is submitted I need to lock all of the fields except the "Comments". If the comments are locked, the "Viewer" user has no way of adding additional information to the existing record.


  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    If you right click on a row, column, group of rows, or group of columns there is an option to "Lock" your current selection. Editor permissions will allow the users to update the Comments column, but only the owner and those with Admin permissions can change a locked column or row.

  • Thank you Paul. Would this still allow the "Editor" users to add a new row via a Form?

    If so, sounds like I can lock all of the columns and rows on the sheet and switch all of my "Viewer" users to "Editor - Cannot share", and all of my "Editor - Cannot share" users to "Admin"...

    Sound about right?

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 05/31/18

    Regardless of what rows or columns you have locked, forms can still be submitted by anyone that you have given access to the form.

    You won't need to lock the rows either. Only the columns. That way you can leave the Comments column unlocked for editing and not have to worry about locking down every new form submission.

    Or lock down ALL columns and have them use the "Row Comment" feature. (Sorry. Just had this afterthought.)

    You would NEED to change your "Viewer" to at least "Editor - Cannot Share". That way they can open the sheet and update the only unlocked column which is the Comments column.

    Changing your "Editor - Can Share" to "Admin" is entirely up to you, but only Admin and Owner can Lock/Unlock/Edit Locked. 

  • Thanks again. I feel like we're definitely moving in the right direction. 

    I've flipped a test user over to "Editor - cannot share" (because I need to keep the sheet accessible only to those I've approved).

    The one downside I'm seeing so far is that this test user is able to completely DELETE a row. Any way to disable that capability?

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hmm... I didn't think that would be possible since the row was locked, so I didn't even test that.

    I will get in here and play around with it. Hopefully in the mean time someone else who knows more than I do will see this and figure something out for you.

  • ** Not the fix I need, but worth mentioning **

    I did find that I can "Auto Lock" a ROW on creation, and that keeps "Editor" users from being able to delete it. However, this also disables their ability to add a Comment on that row (I'm using the standard Row Comment).

    I'm seeing several older posts where Editors could still delete locked rows, but that no longer seems to be the case. 

    Unfortunately, this is one step forward and one step back for my needs. But just in case someone else is reading this post at some point in the future, I thought it was worth mentioning.

  • Still hoping for a solution on this one. Anyone have any ideas?

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I haven't been able to figure this one out yet either...

  • Hi,

    Just in case anyone else comes across this thread, in my case I have a users create purchase orders with a form and I wanted the creator of the purchase order to be able to add comments on the PO if anything should change. Creating a workflow that sends them a Request for an Update when the PO is created gives them a link in an email or notification to a form where they can add a comment to that specific PO without being able to delete it. I haven't played around with locking columns since I would like them to be able to edit the cells as well.

  • flashock
    flashock ✭✭✭✭

    i doing that too. using workflow, request for an update, that allow viewers to add in their comments.

  • This sounds like it should work perfectly, and if you don't want your users to be able to change cell data then you can keep them as viewers and just send them the row comments section for updates. The only issue is you'd need to keep sending them in case they need to make a comment more than once. IIRC update links are one-time-use only. Also, they may not be able to see comments any one else has made.