Sharing folders

Dan Seidler
Dan Seidler ✭✭
edited 12/09/19 in Smartsheet Basics

Since Workspaces is not conducive to individual permissions, we are trying to use the standard folders under "Sheets".

One department has close to 100 files in Smartsheet.  We want to use Smartsheet in other departments as well, but would like to organize the departments by folders.  With each Sheet, Report, and Dashboard permissions assigned properly, we placed them in folders and now the Users only have Viewer permission of the Reports that they should have Editor permissions for.

The folders' "Sharing Status" are marked "Not Shared", but there is no option to share them.  Is there a way to remove this wall using folders?  Or do we need to keep all files within the main "Sheets" folder? 


  • Hi Dan,

    I'm not sure what you mean by workspaces not being conductive to individual permissions.

    You can share individual items in a workspace as you see fit. Keep in mind that someone who is shared to the workspace as an Admin but a sheet as an Editor will still have Admin permissions on the workspace—people always get the highest permissions that you give them.

    More on workspace sharing is available in the help center:

    At this time, you can't share an entire folder as you would a workspace. I'd recommend either creating multiple workspaces per department, placing folders in them as needed, then tweaking individual item permissions in the workspace when someone from another department needs to access something.

  • Alex Burn
    Alex Burn ✭✭
    edited 05/14/19

    I agree, workspaces are not conductive to individual permissions and this kind of feature request has been around for a number of years.

    We can either share an entire workspace or an individual document, but nothing in between. So for a company who has multiple teams, collaborating with multiple vendors/contractors for multiple clients, sharing on SmartSheet is a real pain.

    For example...

    We have a projects department who need to have access to all project docs.

    We have a major projects team and a minor projects team, who need to have access to their own team docs.

    Each team has its own set of suppliers and subcontractors, who need to have access to their set of docs.

    The teams serve multiple clients, who need to have access to their own set of docs.

    Overall, there will be 1000's of documents, but there is no way to group permissions other than in workspaces... Meaning we end up with 100's of workspaces tailored to either teams, or clients, or projects, or departments, rather than having a hierarchy approach. We can't even share multiple docs or folders at the same time.

    And before you recommend it... I've already submitted numerous feature requests and am disappointed at how little recommendations are taken onboard.

  • I agree it is annoying that you can't simply right click and "share folder" but to be fair, from a logistics and programming perspective, I don't think it's as easy as it sounds.

    Let's say you have a folder that's not in a workspace, and in contains a few dozen sheets, and you want to share every sheet in that folder with someone. Ok great, you right click and "share folder". You type in the person's email address whom you want to share the folder with, set the level of permission you would like them to have, and click send. Now what happens? Smartsheet would have to simultaneously add a user and set permissions to dozens of individual sheets. What happens if that person is already shared on a few of those sheets with admin permissions? Does he get bumped down if you selected "viewer only" when you shared the folder to him? I am just sort of guessing, but I would imagine that this is the struggle they would have and is why folder sharing hasn't been implemented.

    And to clarify what we mean about workspaces not being conducive to sharing; Users on the workspace get a global permission. They have that level of access to every sheet in the workspace. If that person should not have a high level of access to one of the sheets in the workspace, then that sheet has to be moved out of the workspace, in which case everyone loses access to it. Now you have to share that sheet with all the appropriate people. It's not that big of a deal if you are only managing a few sheets but if you are working with hundreds of people and sheets I can see it being really annoying.

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    When you are working in a Workspace, you can adjust the permissions on the sheet level.

    Even if someone is shared to the workspace as Editor, you can still go into an individual sheet and set their permission to viewer or admin for that sheet only while they maintain their permissions for the rest of the workspace.

  • Anna C
    Anna C ✭✭

    I agree - we could really use Folder level sharing, OR some way of having "sub workspaces" / a workspace hierarchy, OR a way to mirror a folder into 2 workspaces.

    Currently this is THE biggest shortcoming for us in Smartsheet.

    We have a Projects Workspace which has all projects for PMO purposes. Each project has its own folder. As things stand:

    I can't share a project to its stakeholders without sharing the entire workspace with multiple projects.

    I can only share the individual sheets - which they would then have to organise in their own way - which isn't great for consistency.

    If I add people to the entire workspace they would either need to have edit access to everything in the workspace OR I have to remove their permissions from every single other project sheet ( 100s of them)

    OR everyone has viewer rights - in which case edit access would have to be added to each sheet individually.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE can this be addressed.

  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @Anna C

    I hope you're well and safe!

    If you haven't already, Please submit an Enhancement Request when you have a moment.

    I hope that helps!

    Be safe and have a fantastic week!


    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    Did my post(s) help or answer your question or solve your problem? Please support the Community by marking it Insightful/Vote Up or/and as the accepted answer. It will make it easier for others to find a solution or help to answer!


    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: | E:[email protected] | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me for help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or anything else.

  • We can enter all of the enhancement requests we want, it's been years and years and it hasn't been addressed.

    Also I'm not sure if we went backwards or not, but I can no longer edit individual sheets within a workspace to have different permissions than the Workspace, higher or lower. Whenever I edit someones permissions on a Sheet, SmartSheet makes me change that user's permissions for the entire Workspace?

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Dann They have recently revamped their enhancement request process to provide more open communication and visibility into the roadmap. That's not to say that what YOU want will definitely be implemented though. They go by what is submitted/voted on the most to determine what the majority of their users are asking for. If you don't follow the process, then they won't know you want it. Maybe this folder sharing bit hasn't been a high priority because it hasn't been submitted as much as some of the other enhancement requests.

    As for the permissions... I have not had that issue nor have I heard of anyone else having that issue. Are you able to provide screenshots for each step of the way?

  • This is rather silly, this is basic functionality across nearly all major IT Platforms. Without folder permissions, it is nearly impossible to manage permissions of the lower level objects using the concept of least privilege. As you start from the highest level the space you should have the least amount of privileges. These are cascaded to all lower level objects (including folders and any other smartsheet objects.) Then the sub folders and discrete objects like sheets and reports should be able to be managed to add or remove permissions for specific individuals or groups.

    If anyone on this thread wants to submit an enahncement request, here is a link:

    Submit an Enhancement Request

  • DaShMa
    DaShMa ✭✭
    edited 03/30/23

    As of 03/30/2023, my testing has shown that adjusting the permission on a sheet changes the global permission of the workspace. I am unable to configure it in such a way as to have two separate permissions within a workspace.

    Edit: Further testing update... When I shared a sheet with Editor permission, and then went back and shared the workspace with Viewer permission, I now have two separate permissions. When reviewing, I also noticed the icons on the right side of the sharing box, which prompted some further review.

    When I was sharing the workspace first, and then attempting to change the permission level from within the sheet, I was selecting the workspace permission level, which is why it was updating the entire workspace. This makes sense now that I understand the icons.

    After sharing the workspace with Viewer permission first, I then went back and opened the share box for a specific sheet. However, instead of trying to change the workspace permission, I typed in (added) the same collaborator and created a new share permission specific to the sheet.

    It all makes sense now, and hopefully, this helps others who are initially baffled as I have been.