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The right way to Lock Areas of a Google Doc

I get requested this fairly continuously. You assign every pupil a Google Doc™, how do you lock them from enhancing PARTS of it? The quick reply is you can’t. Nevertheless, if you happen to comply with these steps for my hack you’ll be able to primarily do precisely this.

Why Lock Components of a Google Doc?

There are numerous good causes it’s possible you’ll need to lock enhancing on elements of a Google Doc. View solely paperwork lock your entire factor. Edit entry supplies entry to your entire doc, together with the enhancing of questions. If you’d like college students to answer a selected immediate you then 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 supply the chance to limit enhancing on elements. The one device 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 may be content material within the subsequent cells the textual content will get reduce 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 all the cells, click on on the phrase wrap icon within the device bar. That is positioned by discovering the centering icon. To the suitable of centering is to heart vertically (which is usually recommended to do as properly). To the suitable of that’s the phrase wrap icon. Click on on the tiny triangle to pick out 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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Modify 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 pull 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 might be coming into into your Google Doc? Organize this on the Google Sheet. You do not want to fret about web page width because the goal of this text is easy methods to lock out enhancing on PARTS of the Google Doc, which suggests it is going to 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 may find the merge icon by finding the paint can within the toolbar. Paint can, borders device, after which the merge device 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 Bins

There are areas of the doc you need college students, or customers, to enter textual content. Establish these ranges. It might be useful to make use of the border device within the toolbar to create the reply line. If you’d like extra room to reply, it’s possible you’ll need to enhance the row top. 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 top.

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

Vital to notice: You may NOT lock the proprietor of a spreadsheet out of enhancing.

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


If it’s worthwhile to make a replica per person the place you might be nonetheless the proprietor of the spreadsheet strive my Add-on sheetPusher. This collects no person information! Coded by me, Alice Keeler, to assist with easy methods to replace particular person pupil spreadsheets . Design your spreadsheet exercise after which use the sheetPusher Add-on in Google Sheets to repeat the sheet per pupil.

Defend Vary

You may lock enhancing on cells by highlighting the cells you do NOT need the scholar, or person, to edit. Proper click on or use the Information menu to “Defend 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 subsequent 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 actual trick to disguising your spreadsheet as a Google Doc is to take away the gridlines. Use the View menu to pick out “Present” and uncheck “Gridlines.” This may create a stable white doc that appears like a Google Doc.

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

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The right way to Lock Areas of a Google Doc

You need to limit enhancing on PART of a Google Doc. This step-by-step information will present you a hack for easy methods to lock areas of a google doc.

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The right way to Lock Areas of a Google Doc

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



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