prevent owner from editing locket cell

edited 12/09/19 in Smartsheet Basics

how can I prevent owner to not be able to accidentally  edit a locked cell/column, columns are already locked, but the owner will sometimes accidentally edit cells with formulas.

Be nice if there a way to disable the accidentally editing.

at least if there was a warning that could be enabled to warn the owner about editing a locked column.




  • Richard Rymill SBP
    Richard Rymill SBP ✭✭✭✭✭✭


    Not easy and quite frustrating I suspect? 

    A couple of ideas?

    1.Try taking ownership of the said sheet and explain why to the owner? 

    2. Hide the column so the owner cannot see it, especially those with Formulae in them? 

    3. Try showing this person Cell History which will clearly show them who did what and when so please can they up their game? 

    The beauty of Smartsheet is the ability to collaborate but sometimes the controls are not quite enough, so we need to resort to Diplomacy! 


    Good luck with that then! 





  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Definitely a frustrating issue. I have the same problem except I am the owner, and others need to use my templates or "save as new" for Project Plans. Fortunately for me, I am the one that trained my coworkers in Smartsheet, so I was able to stress to them the importance of paying attention to the little locks. I also wrote up "user guides" explaining as such and repeating over and over again "DON'T TOUCH A LOCKED CELL!!!" I attached those to the templates and put a giant cell front and center saying to carefully read the instructions on how to use this. They can't leave that giant, in your face cell, so it draws their attention to it when they have to get rid of it before sharing with the client. I am also fortunate in that they all are willing to admit... They aren't super comfortable in Smartsheet yet, so they do not hesitate to ask questions and have even asked me to sit with them the first couple of times when using a template. They have realized the automation built in to each sheet makes their lives so much easier. 


    If someone sees the value of something, then they are much less likely to jack it all up.


    Richard hit the nail square on the head with Diplomacy. All I add to that is visibility and education. Explain the "why" behind the "what" and make sure that you are easily accessible and approachable for any future questions and/or feedback.

  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    None of the other answers touched on this so:

    The OWNER of the Sheet or other Smartsheet objects is also an ADMIN.

    In my experience, many orgs have too many Admins on a particular object. Try to avoid that. 

    A recent colleague would sometimes overwrite formulas in Locked columns (with either Owner or Admin privileges). To prevent this, a second (non-licensed) user was created with Editor privileges that became their primary user and their other (licensed) user was only used when Admin privileges were needed. This also served to train them which columns were not to be edited under normal situations. 


  • A pop up that asks you if you want to change a locked cell is definitely needed. I make and use the sheets I create and would like to protect my work from my own or other admin's mistakes. Thanks

  • In Excel, I protect my ranges with a warning and this helps me to not edit areas of the sheet that are in final form.

    In Smartsheet, when I "lock" a column it provides literally no protection because I'm the owner. Like, wtf, am I going to have to create a secondary account so that I'm the user?

    Everyone needs a "lean on the keyboard" or "looked at the wrong monitor" protection. Where is that in Smartsheet?

    Does Smartsheet at least do password protect or a warning before editing? Does anyone know?

    Honestly, i'm struggling to find the silver lining in Smartsheet.