Access Rules – B


Powerful, Secure Collaboration

Streamline workflows for different stakeholders, improve collaboration, and gain control with granular access rules.

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Control Your Data with Grist

Share smarter. One spreadsheet. Multiple recipients. Precise permissions for each.


Share data selectively with your team or others, keeping it up to date and secure as a single source of truth.


Specify exactly which users have access to which data, preventing unauthorized access to sensitive information.


Conditional access rules reduce the risk of accidental or intentional overwrites.


Customize workflows for various collaborators, including data access, data collection, and crowdsourcing.


Explore how granular access rules create value in different industries.


Secure sensitive client & firm data without compromising collaboration.


Power cross-team collaboration and share real-time results with clients.


Manage tasks & simplify workflows to deliver on-time, under-budget.


Share student progress reports with parents, class lists with teachers, and more.


Allow staff to submit & view expenses, with departmental and company wide views for managers.


Access Rules Ready

Organize tasks by project, flag issues, and restrict edits with access rules.

Manage all team expenses in one place, providing tailored access to limit who can see what.

Central hub tracks all deals and provides lead data access tailored to sales representative.

Quickly find experts to testify with this expert witnesses database.

Create and maintain community-moderated, crowdsourced lists.


Give Your Data Super Powers

Unlock the full potential of your data and achieve new heights of organization, analysis, and sharing with Grist’s unparalleled features.


Arrange widgets such as tables, cards, and charts on your pages with custom layouts to build efficient workflows.


Present and enter data in form-like cards.


Present data however you need, such as on a map or in an invoice, using widgets from our gallery, or building your own.



Connect other services to Grist using our API or third party integrators.


Option to publicly share data. Can be combined with access rules, e.g., to create crowdsourcing workflows.

Grist has given us incredible flexibility to solve data problems and find solutions, whether it is for a small team at the district, or at scale with the entire district staff.

Director of Product

EdTech Company


Access Rules are much more robust. Protected ranges in Google Sheets allow designating particular ranges to be editable by specific people. They do not protect data from viewing, because hidden data may be easily exposed, e.g. via exports. In Grist, both view and edit restrictions work robustly, protecting data at all levels and preventing the export of restricted data. As importantly, they work as dynamic rules expressed in business logic, and don’t require manual updates as data changes. For example, you can create a rule that allows access only to records whose “region” field matches the region associated with the logged-in user. This rule will then apply whenever records are added or changed, when adding new users, or when their associated region is changed. In Google Sheets, the protected range would need to be updated manually in all cases.

Regular document sharing (as configured by the document owner(s) via the “Manage Users” dialog) defines the first level of protection. It is always applied and enforced first. For users who pass this level, access rules can restrict them further. For example, suppose you’d like someone to have view-only access to your document but allow adding records to one table. In that case, you have to give them Editor access in the document-level sharing, and use rules to restrict their editing privileges to your needs. For another example, if you’d like to make a single cell from a single table publicly available, you’ll need to make your document publicly viewable, and create access rules that restrict the public from viewing anything except that one cell.

You don’t have to know how to code. The level of technical skills required is similar to writing Excel formulas. However, Access Rules are an advanced feature. It is important to put in the time to learn it because you’ll probably be using it for sensitive data, and will want to have confidence in your rules. We have detailed documentation and videos (including webinar recordings) where we explain when and how to use them. Note that we also have the Sprouts Program to help you build your solution, and we encourage you to reach out if you’d like expert help.

The SaaS service provided by Grist does not currently have compliance certifications. However, our self-managed product allows users to run an instance of Grist on premises under their own control, and can be used to meet compliance needs. When paired with Access Rules, this does allow configuring access for different roles in a way to address compliance requirements. Please reach out if you are interested in our self-managed options.

Yes, Grist offers several options for sharing data outside your team. First, to share any part of a document with a user, you have to share the document itself with them. Grist allows any document to be shared with two guests (users external to the team). You can also add any person to your team site, even if they are not part of your organization, and share as much or as little as you like with them. Another option is to make the document publicly accessible (aka link-shared), with either view-only or editing permission. This allows anyone to open your document, including users who are not signed-in. You can use Access Rules to restrict the access of such users to only the data and the operations needed.

You can create rules for any table and control the permissions to read data, update existing records, create new records, and delete records. In addition, you can create rules for any subsets of columns, controlling the permissions to view or update values in those columns. There are also some special rules, such as permission to modify the document’s structure. In all cases, the rules may include a condition, written as a formula, for when it applies. Conditions may use the user’s info, document-level access, or some information about the user stored in the document. Conditions may also access information about the request. E.g., some use cases rely on access rules that grant additional permissions to requests with certain values in the URL (called link-keys).

Access Rules support the “View As” feature that allows you to preview your document as the particular user it is shared with or a specific role (e.g., Viewer or Editor). It is important to test your rules by using this preview feature to ensure they limit access in the way you expect.

Yes! Access Rules work at the data level of your document. A user accessing the data via the API will have the same rules applied to them as if they were accessing it via the browser.

How Will You Use Access Rules?

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