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The User data type mceclip0.png is for adding users as data in cells You can quickly add existing users or invite new users to your workbook and decide to notify them or not. 

Because the User data type lets you add users into rows, the user data type is useful for noting individual contributors or teams and enables teams to stay connected to work in progress. For instance, you can use the User data type to match bugs in your bug tracker to engineers who can fix them, job candidates to the hiring manager for their position, track meetings between team members, create a directory of employees, and more.


How to add users

You can only add users that have access to the workbook or workspace. But, after setting a cell or column to the User data type, you can also add new users from within a row. 

To add a user to a cell, click on the cell, and either select the user from the drop-down of users or choose + Add user.

Adding a user opens the Invite new user dialog box where you can add the user's email address, name, choose to invite them to the workbook or workspace, and set their permission. For more information on sharing, check out our articles on Collaboration and Sharing.

Below we set a column to User, assign some tasks, and invite a new user to our workbook.


You can also assign users by pasting in the name or email address of a user with permissions for the workbook. Or add a user to the workbook or workspace, and then the user will appear as an option in the user drop-down.

If an email address or name you add does not already have permissions on the workbook, and your user column is not Strict, then you will have the chance to add them in the row.


Adding new users notifies them by email.


Once added, users can see all other users and any messages in the workbook.


Like other data types, the User data type can have Strict enabled. Selecting the Strict checkbox for user cells will restrict users to either add a user or tag existing users in rows. Also, columns that are Strict cannot have cells of different data types.

Allow multiple users

You can choose whether users can input only one or many users into each cell. For instance, if you want to restrict each candidate to one recruiter, each bug to only one engineer, or want to give users the ability to tag many users assigned to one task.

Notify users when selected

You can choose to notify users when they are added to a row. For instance, to notify your teammates when you assign them new tasks. Or, for projects where notification is not needed, you can opt not to notify them. By default, this box is not checked and users are not notified when added.

When converting from or to the user data type

You can convert pre-existing names and email addresses to users automatically by changing the column or cell's data type, so long as the workbook is already shared with the user. 

From To Behavior Example From Example To
Text, Automatic, and other data types User looks for both email and name matches to convert. mceclip2.png mceclip3.png
User Text, Automatic, and other data types User values get converted to the user's name (First name [space] Last name). mceclip0.png mceclip4.png
User Email User values convert to the users' email address. mceclip1.png mceclip5.png

Ghost users

If a user no longer has access to the workbook or workspace, you may see their option greyed out in user cells. This means they don't actually have access. We refer to these as "ghost users".

If you restore access for a user, their options will no longer appear greyed out.

You will notice many templates have ghost users assigned to cells for demonstration purposes. These are not real users that can access your data. You can simply delete or replace these values.

Users are one of the unique data types you can use in For ideas on other data types, check out our data types articles.