Understanding the difference between Edit and View mode

A introduction to Edit and View mode—the two main modes of a spreadsheet that you can share with others.

What does it mean "view mode" for a spreadsheet? Well, think of a spreadsheet as just another kind of interactive web app like Google Forms or Typeform. In those apps, you start off designing how you want your form or survey to look. When it's done, you put it online and share it with the target users. That's how Rows works too.

  • The Edit mode is for people who design and maintain a spreadsheet.

  • The View mode is where your target users can interact with it (fill out forms, select options and so on).

The Difference Between Edit and View mode in Rows

To understand the main differences between Edit and View mode, see the following guidelines:

Edit modeContains the underlying functionality for your web app or form.
Use this mode to:
  • Create Tables and form fields to store data that is
    • entered by end users
    • pulled from an external service.
    • </ul></li>
    • Create Pages to adjust the layout of your web app.
    • Insert formulas that retrieve data and control the logic of your application or dashboard.
    • Insert charts that help users analyze any data that your app produces.
      • View ModeThe view version of your web app or form. This could be:
        • a form that lets people participate in different workflows (such as surveys, vacation requests, expense reports)
        • a dashboard that lets people pull reports for their preferred data points (such as website traffic for their selected dates or funding details for a company name that they've entered).
        • </ul>However, in this mode, users can't see or change any underlying functionality (such as formulas or hidden tables)

          But I don't want to build a web app — can't I just use Rows as normal spreadsheet tool?

          Sure you can! You don't have to worry about View mode if you don't intend to share your spreadsheet with others.

          And even if you do want to work on the same spreadsheet with others, you don't have to use View mode either.

          • You can invite your colleagues to collaborate on the same spreadsheet in Edit mode.
            This is useful if different people need to add different parts of the data (such as different sales people entering the details for different leads).

          • You can also use forms and action elements (form fields) to make your formulas easy to work with in Edit mode.


          Rows was built with collaboration in mind

          We introduced the concepts of workspaces and "View mode" because we know that teams usually collaborate on spreadsheets together. Yet some spreadsheets can get pretty complex with interdependent tables and nested formulas.

          People sometimes push the boundaries of what a spreadsheet is designed to do, so that it feels more like a web app. This is a problem for casual users who feel intimidated when they open an Excel workbook with 10 interdependent sheets that takes 5 minues to recalculate.

          That's why we created two different views:

          • Edit mode for the frequent spreadsheet creator
          • View mode for the colleagues of the frequent spreadsheet creator — those who are required to use their creations