Google spreadsheets gains lockdown feature

The Web giant has made it possible to protect data from editing by other users within its spreadsheet service.

Google has added a new feature to its spreadsheet product that enables users to lock down particular sections.

According to Google, the feature, called Protected Ranges, is intended to stop cells being modified accidentally when several users are working on the same spreadsheet.

Protected Ranges creates designated sections of a spreadsheet that cannot be changed by users that don't have editing rights.

The feature works like this: highlight the cells you want to lock down, right-click to bring up the menu, and then choose "Named and protect range." Then, click "protect" and "done."

Users can also set permissions for who has access to the document, from the ability to just view it through to full editing rights.

Protected ranges are not the only update Google has made to its spreadsheets: it is also now possible to add new colors and patterns to cell borders and the find and replace function has also received a revamp.

Users can also search using patterns -- called "regular expressions" -- to find cells that have the same features: for example, "^[A-Z]+" would result in a list of all cells that begin with uppercase letters.

Earlier this month, Google said it was retiring Google Listen, Google Apps for Teams and Google Video for Business as part of an effort to streamline its services.

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