Can only Admins and Licensed accounts use the "Proofing" function?


Hi All,

I'm quite new to Smartsheets and I'm trying to set up a process utilizing the "Proofing" Function...I am the admin of the sheet but I'd like several people who do not have admin or licenses to be able to use this function. Smartsheet says that anyone with editor privilege can use this function but when they try to go to the Proof panel, it says that it's only available for licensed users.

Is this true? Can the proofing feature only be used by those who have admin or licenses? The demo states that anyone can use this but I have gotten feedback from my colleagues that it requires them to be licensed/admin if they try to upload a document.

What is a good workaround for a comprehensive back and forth document review?

Here is the current workflow:

The workflow for the document review is as outlined here:

1) Group at Covance uploads draft report into Smartsheet...sets off trigger to SA group

2) SA group at GNE reviews documents, makes edits as needed and then uploads new version

3) PK group reviews document that SA finished reviewing, also makes edits, and then uploads a new version-trigger is then sent BACK to Covance saying that the document is ready for finalization.

4) Covance group creates the final version and then uploads back into Smartsheet-trigger email is sent to all groups.

Attaching the documents to the row is not that feasible because we have multiple documents for different things and it will be difficult to figure out which document is which and the most recent. We were hoping to utilize the proofing feature just for this purpose.

Any insight that you can provide would be appreciated!

Thank you so much,

Savita Ubhayakar

Best Answer


  • Bassam Khalil
    Bassam Khalil ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 06/07/21

    Hi @Savita Ubhayakar

    Hope you are fine. please read the following article it will help you to understand

    Collaborate on a proof

    Once a proof is added to your sheet, collaboration can begin. How you choose to collaborate will depend on whether reviewers have access to your sheet and whether you need approval decisions from them.

    Request review and approval

    You can invite anyone with a valid email address to review your proof (including unlicensed users or people outside of your organization).

    To request feedback:

    1. Open the proof that you want others to review and click Invite at the top of the comments section.
    2. In the Invite Reviewers window that appears, type the names or email addresses of the people that you want to review your proof.
    3. Verify that the information in the Subject and Message boxes convey the information that you want your reviewers to have.
    4. Click Send.

    Here are some things to keep in mind about proof versions:

    • Locked versions can be viewed, but can no longer be annotated or commented on.
    • A person shared to the sheet as an Admin (must be a licensed admin) will be able to delete comments from previous versions.
    • Any user that has access to the sheet will be able to access the previous proofs in the proofing container.
    • Any outside requests and outside access to previous versions will be cancelled.
    • Request responses stay with the version—this includes the comments and Pending, Rejected, Approved results.

    Delete a version of a proof

    To delete a version of a proof, click the More Options icon 

     and select Delete Latest Version.

    When you delete the latest version:

    • The files are removed.
    • All comments on the version are deleted.
    • All outstanding review requests are cancelled.
    • The previous version becomes the active version and is available for review.

    Complete a proof 

    You can mark a proof as complete to make it read-only in your sheet and the external review page.

    To set a proof to complete, you must be a licensed sheet Owner, Admin, or Editor.

    When a proof is complete, no one can upload new versions, add, or edit comments. People can still review comments and download the files in each version.

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  • Savita Ubhayakar

    @Bassam Khalil Hi Bassam!! Thank you so much for your detailed response!!

    My primary question is, do you need to have Admin/License to even upload a proof in the first place? How about accessing the document via the proof instead of through the automated "Invite Reviewers"?

    The person who will be creating the first document only has Editor-Sharing rights-she tried to upload the document today and was told that she needed a license. Only 1 or 2 people in our process actually have Admin rights to the sheet.

    Since the proofing function is not connected with the automated workflows, we aren't using the "Invite Reviewers" feature because each document belongs to a different project which is a Contact column in the actual sheet. We fill out a date in a particular cell and that trigger email is sent to the Contact.

    Thanks so much Bassam!!


  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @Savita Ubhayakar

    I hope you're well and safe!

    To add to Bassam's excellent advice/answer.

    The user needs to have a license to be able to upload proofs, but they don't need to be shared as Admin.

    More info:

    Who can use this capability

    The Owner and Admins can enable proofing on a sheet. The Owner, Admins and Editors can add a proof for review.

    Note: Any user type (including free users) can review and provide feedback on a proof, however a license is required to upload proofs and request feedback. For more information about user types in Smartsheet, see Account-Level User Types for Multi-User Plans.

    Would that work/help?

    I hope that helps!

    Be safe and have a fantastic week!


    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

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  • Savita Ubhayakar

    Thank you so much @Andrée Starå

    I will figure out a workaround to make it work for my group! Thanks so much!


  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    @Savita Ubhayakar


    You're more than welcome!

    Remember! 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: | | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

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

  • Ashley F

    Did you ever find a solution? We are struggling with the same thing. We have a bunch of people that will need to be able to start and complete reviews, but that is the only piece for them. We can't justify an actual license for another 10-20 users for a few instances a year that they will need to be in the system.

  • Melina
    Melina ✭✭

    Would be interested to find out if anyone found a workaround as we have the same need to allow proofing to non-licensed users in my team.

  • Ward.Hively
    Ward.Hively ✭✭✭✭

    I am currently investigating the use of a python script to create proofing. The functionality is supported by the api documentation but I’m not sure how it works.

    The real problem is the lack of automation at the proof level.

    I think what I will do is create a sheet made specifically for proofing, generate a form for the sheet to ensure all the fields are entered for the script including users to submit the proof and when the form is submitted a proof is generated on the document created.

    A cross sheet formula or a report can be used to link the data back to the main sheet.

    That should do it.

    Basically creating a proof needs a license. With an API key that is validated on behalf of a licensed user, a proof can be automated.

    Ward Hively

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  • ksmith1
    ksmith1 ✭✭✭
    edited 03/13/24

    Hello, I'm new to Proofing as well. I also find the help articles about this article confusing.

    In one place it says "Owners, Admins, and Editors can add a proof for review."

    This doesn't mention that the person would need a license to add a proof to a sheet. You can be an editor on a sheet and be an unlicensed user.

    Can only licensed users upload proofs?