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Feature-Request: Prevent overwriting in multi user environment / Lock cells




There is a big problem with multiple users working on the same sheet.

We lost several times the work of each other.


Other online tools lock the cell currently under work (like google sheets).

I know you have a workaround for this problem:



Could you provide a feature like that?

Thanks a lot


  • Shaine Greenwood
    Shaine Greenwood Employee
    edited 09/22/16

    Hi Isidor,


    As you've found, we don't have a way for cells to lock as a collaborator is working on them but I've got your vote down for this type of functionality on our enhancement request list for further consideration.

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

    Save often. Communication.



  • Hi Craig,


    Yes save often and communicate with others is possible and at least not one of the worst ideas.

    But from my side it is just a workaround.

    I understand the smartsheet tool as a tool for massive collaboration and in this case it is way better to prevent "accidential" override of data.

    May be i treat the system to much Wink

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

    Let's look at it from what is happening assuming we want the system to lock it automatically for other users.


    When I change [Col1]23 but don't save it, the system still needs to send that "lock request" to all other users that have that particular sheet open.

    Or the sheet needs to save after every transaction that modifies something in the sheet. Let's assume that isn't going to happen (saves take a finite amount of time and take  longer for larger/more complex sheets). 

    What sort of notification would the other user get when they try to edit a cell I have modified but haven't yet saved the sheet? 

    If "none", there's going to at least one person that may try to modify something and have it not work and try to figure out why. 

    If "something", that too takes band width and if that person needs to acknowledge it too -- time.

    Something visual maybe? We are fairly limited on the visual cues we have now - making sure the 'this is locked' cue is different than say 'this is overdue' conditional formatting will also take time.

    I could go on and on.

    I can not see how a cell by cell locking automatically would make work easier.


    Manual is nearly as bad if not worse.

    The amount of time I spend inside a cell is typically very small. Quick edits.

    Even complex formulas are typically quick since i do most of them outside in another editor anyway and then copy/paste.

    So I won't be locking very many because of the time involved to lock/unlock.


    That leads us to locking rows or columns.

    We have that, but not for Admins (and in my experience, there are often too many admins on a sheet/workspace).

    But we are back to having to save after each of these locks/unlocks.


    The only viable solution I can see would be a "lock this sheet until further notice" but I don't want to give every Admin that privilege because one of them is going to lock the sheet and then go on vacation.


    This really sounds like a people problem, not a tool problem.




This discussion has been closed.