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The best way to Lock Areas of a Google Doc

I get requested this fairly steadily. You assign every scholar a Google Doc™, how do you lock them from enhancing PARTS of it? The brief reply is you cannot. Nevertheless, in the event you comply with these steps for my hack you’ll be able to basically do precisely this.

Why Lock Components of a Google Doc?

There are a lot of good causes it’s possible you’ll need to lock enhancing on elements of a Google Doc. View solely paperwork lock the whole factor. Edit entry gives entry to the whole doc, together with the enhancing of questions. If you need college students to answer a specific immediate then you definitely need them to reply the immediate however not edit the immediate.

For a doc that asks college students to replace their responses it’s your decision them to solely replace a earlier response or to reply a comply with up query with out enhancing the earlier responses.

Google Workspace Editability

The Google Workspace apps of Docs, Slides, Types, and Websites don’t provide the chance to limit enhancing on elements. The one instrument you’ll be able to lock out PART of the doc from enhancing is Google Sheets. Which is nice information since “The reply is all the time a spreadsheet.”

Flip Google Sheets Right into a Google Doc

For a lot of circumstances a Google Sheets spreadsheet can mimic a Google Doc. Generally, it has improved benefits over a Google Doc.

Set Phrase Wrap

The important thing to loving utilizing Google Sheets is phrase wrap. By default the textual content spills into the following cells. If there’s content material within the subsequent cells the textual content will get lower off and hidden. That is simply solvable by clicking on the “superior field.” This selects all.

In a google sheets spreadsheet the awesome box is the blank box to the left of the column A indicator and the row 1 indicator. This shows an arrow pointing at this location.

After deciding on the entire cells, click on on the phrase wrap icon within the instrument bar. That is positioned by discovering the centering icon. To the fitting of centering is to heart vertically (which is usually recommended to do as effectively). To the fitting of that’s the phrase wrap icon. Click on on the tiny triangle to pick the center possibility, wrap.

Google sheets toolbar showing the centering icon, the vertical centering icon, and the 3rd icon is text wrapping with the middle option being to wrap.

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Regulate Column Width

Get your mouse in between the column indicators to extend the width of the person cells. When the mouse modifications from a pointer arrow to a flat arrow. Maintain down with the mouse to tug the column width both smaller or bigger.

GIF image of the columns in a spreadsheet being made smaller and larger.

Enter Content material

What’s the data you’re coming into into your Google Doc? Prepare this on the Google Sheet. You do not want to fret about web page width because the objective of this text is how one can lock out enhancing on PARTS of the Google Doc, which implies it will likely be edited on the pc as a substitute of printed to paper.

Merge Cells

There are circumstances the place it’s useful to merge cells collectively to attain the identical format of the Google Doc. Spotlight a number of cells and click on on the merge icon within the toolbar. You’ll be able to find the merge icon by finding the paint can within the toolbar. Paint can, borders instrument, after which the merge instrument is a damaged sq. with 2 arrows pointing in. This lets you create LARGE blocks of textual content.

Paint can icon, borders icon, merge cells icon. The tiny arrow drop down allows for merge all.

Create Reply Containers

There are areas of the doc you need college students, or customers, to enter textual content. Determine these ranges. It might be useful to make use of the border instrument within the toolbar to create the reply line. If you need extra room to reply, it’s possible you’ll need to enhance the row peak. On the left fringe of the spreadsheet hover your mouse between the 2 row indicators till the pointer arrow modifications. Maintain down your mouse and drag to extend the row peak.

Click on the cell with the answer box and locate the rectangle borders tool in the toolbar. Select the bottom border to create the line. make the row taller for additional room.

Lock the Ranges

Essential to notice: You’ll be able to NOT lock the proprietor of a spreadsheet out of enhancing.

In the event you use Google Classroom to make a duplicate per scholar the scholar is the proprietor of the spreadsheet and cannot be locked out of enhancing.


If that you must make a duplicate per person the place you’re nonetheless the proprietor of the spreadsheet strive my Add-on sheetPusher. This collects no person information! Coded by me, Alice Keeler, to assist with how one can replace particular person scholar spreadsheets . Design your spreadsheet exercise after which use the sheetPusher Add-on in Google Sheets to repeat the sheet per scholar.

Shield Vary

You’ll be able to lock enhancing on cells by highlighting the cells you do NOT need the scholar, or person, to edit. Proper click on or use the Knowledge menu to “Shield sheets and ranges.”

data menu with protect sheets and ranges highlighted

Within the sidebar you’ll be able to optionally identify the protected vary. Click on on the “Set permissions” button.

sidebar of protected sheets and ranges. Select range

The following pop up will ask who can edit this vary. Choose “Solely you.”

How to Lock Areas of a Google Doc. pop up box of range editing permissions. unselected is show a warnign when editing this range. Selected is restrict who can edit this range. In the drop down only you is selected.

Cover Gridlines

The true trick to disguising your spreadsheet as a Google Doc is to take away the gridlines. Use the View menu to pick “Present” and uncheck “Gridlines.” This can create a strong white doc that appears like a Google Doc.

view menu in google sheets. selected show and hovering over gridlines

The best way to Lock Areas of a Google Doc

You need to prohibit enhancing on PART of a Google Doc. This step-by-step information will present you a hack for how one can lock areas of a google doc.

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The best way to Lock Areas of a Google Doc

  1. Create a Google Sheets spreadsheet
  2. Activate phrase wrap for the whole sheet
  3. Enhance or Lower columns widths
  4. Use border instrument to create reply packing containers
  5. Spotlight protected areas
  6. Use the Knowledge menu to guard the vary
  7. Use the View menu to take away gridlines



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