Different ways to view a spreadsheet

There are a number of ways to view your spreadsheets in Google Sheets, including the ability to minimize menus and toolbars.

Minimize menus and toolbars

Compact controls

If you want to minimize the amount of space that the menus and toolbar take up at the top of your browser window, you can view your spreadsheet with compact controls.

  1. Open a spreadsheet.
  2. Click the View menu.
  3. Select Compact controls.

To exit this view, open the View menu and deselect Compact controls.

Full screen view

If you want to see your spreadsheet without the toolbar or menus in your way, you can do that by viewing your spreadsheet in full screen.

  1. Open a spreadsheet.
  2. Click the View menu.
  3. Select Full screen.

To return to a regular view, hit the Esc or Escape key on your keyboard.

View formula text instead of calculations

In a spreadsheet that uses formulas or functions, you can view the formula text instead of the formula calculations.

  1. Open a spreadsheet.
  2. Click the View menu.
  3. Select All formulas.

To return to seeing the formula calculations, open the View menu and deselect All formulas.

See a simple version of a spreadsheet (old version of Sheets only)

For a simple, fast-loading view of a spreadsheet, with basic editing, sorting, and filtering capabilities, you can use a spreadsheet in list view. Note that list view is not available in the new version of Sheets.

  1. Open a spreadsheet.
  2. Click the View menu.
  3. Select List.

To exit list view, click Go to spreadsheet view at the top of the screen.

Here's what you can do with list view:

  • Sort and filter without modifying underlying data.
  • Get a simple view of your data with or without formatting.
  • Provide a simple method of data entry for novice users.
  • Share a read-only spreadsheet, but allow sorting and filtering.
  • View your spreadsheets on a slow Internet connection.
  • View your spreadsheets from some mobile phones.
  • Give more than 50 users access to the same spreadsheet at a time.

When you're on a slow Internet connection, you'll see a prompt to use list view. If you're trying to access a spreadsheet with more than 50 users currently viewing it, you'll be automatically redirected to list view.

Mary is a Docs & Drive expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

Was this article helpful?