Google Sheets – Sharing, printing, downloading

Ok, so you’ve entered your data, you’ve made it look pretty, and you’ve used some awesome formulas. Now what? You usually want to share it with someone, somehow. There are a few ways you can do this:

  • Print it
  • Download it in different formats
  • Email it
  • Share it

Printing sheet(s)

Even in this paperless age there are still times where having a copy on paper is useful.

Click on the printer icon in the toolbar to access the print settings menu.

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Here you will have various settings to change the way your printed sheet(s) look like.

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Let’s look at them one-by-one. Under Options:

Current sheet – Print just the one sheet you currently have open.

All sheets – Print all the sheets in the file.

Selection – Print a specific area you have selected on a sheet.

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Unfortunately, at the moment you don’t have the control like you do in Excel, where if you have a large amount of data on a sheet and it goes across more than one page, you can control what is on each page. One way round this, is to use the Selection option, to select what you want on the first page, then print, then select what you want on the second, etc.


Then you have some formatting options:

Repeat row heads on each page – If you have a long list of data with the headers in row 1, you can choose to repeat that row on each page. This is useful as without it, on the second page onwards, you wouldn’t know what was in each column of data.

No gridlines – This removes all the gridlines where you haven’t added borders, i.e. the grey gridlines on the sheet. I almost always select this one.

Include document title – On each sheet you can add the filename at the top of the page.

Include sheet names – On each sheet you can add the sheet names at the top of the page, which is particularly useful if you have lots of sheets with different information.

Include page numbers – On each sheet you can add the page numbers at the bottom of the page.

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Under Layout you can control the size and orientation of the sheet(s):

Fit to width – This fits it to the width of the paper. If it’s a large sheet, it will automatically move across pages.

Actual size – Maybe you don’t want the sheet to fit the width, so here you can leave it at its actual size.

Portrait / Landscape – Control the orientation of the sheet on the paper.

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Once you have chosen the settings, click Print to open the Print menu.

Here it will tell you how many sheets of paper will be printed, which is a good double-check in case your settings are wrong or need changing.

Destination – Which printer you’re going to print on.

Pages – All or specific ones. Use a comma or hyphen to add more than one page. E.g. 1-5: prints pages 1 to 5;  1, 3, 4: prints pages 1, 3, and 4.

Copies – How many copies of each page you’re going to print.

Paper size – Usually ok left on A4, but sometimes you may need to change it, for example, to A3.

Options: Fit to page moves the contents slightly so there is space around the edge of the page.

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Downloading a spreadsheet in different formats

Go to File > Download as

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Here you will find various formats you can download your sheet as. Probably the most commonly used ones are .xlsx and .pdf. Just click the ones you want and it will download it to your computer.


Emailing a spreadsheet

There are two ways to email the spreadsheet.

1) Email collaborators – Sends a link to the spreadsheet to those it’s already shared with

2) Email as attachment – Sends a ‘physical’ attachment in an email (in .xlsx or .pdf format)

Both can be found in the File menu:

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Email collaborators

Clicking on this, will open the Send message box. Within it, you’ll be able to send an email to those who the sheet is shared with. On the left is the email and on the right are the possible recipients. By default, everyone is ticked and will receive it, just untick those you don’t want to send it to. If you have a long list but only want to send it to a few people, then it’s quicker to click “none”, then tick those you want to send it to. Then press Send.

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Email as attachment

If you want to send them a ‘physical’ copy of the sheet, maybe because they don’t have access to the Google Sheet or you want to send them a snapshot of what’s on there and not have live access to it, then you can send it as an Excel-friendly file (.xlsx) or as a PDF.

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Fill in the email. Note that in the “To:” box, as you type the names of the recipients, if they are already in your contacts, they will appear below so you can click on them without having to type them out completely.

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Then select which format you want. Note, if you have a spreadsheet with lots of formatting, links and formulas, sometimes there are problems when the file is converted to the Excel format. Also, if you have a big spreadsheet, the PDF format is sometimes very small to read. If in doubt, check before sending them, by downloading the file (see above).

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Sharing a spreadsheet

To share your spreadsheet from within the file, click on the blue “Share” button in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

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This will open the Share with others dialogue box. Here you can add people you want to be able to edit or view your sheet. This is the same as doing it in Google Drive, see my post on sharing files in Google Drive.

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Note, this shares the file with them and it will appear in their Shared with me filter. By default, they will receive an email saying that you have shared it with them, with a link to the file.


eBooks available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Sheet Functions:

Baz Roberts (Flipboard / Twitter / Google+)


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