Proofing empowers any stakeholder to easily review and approve your team’s content. Upload your file to a proof and send a review request to colleagues, vendors, clients, and more, even if they’re not shared to your sheet. Reviewers can pin comments, discuss their feedback with each other, and log their approval decisions. Upload a new version to the proof at any time to continue the process. Previous versions of the proof will remain available in view-only mode.

Use Proofing to Collaborate on Content

The proofing capability allows people to review and collaborate on content. With proofing, teams can upload content, request feedback from stakeholders, control versions, and get approvals in a simple, streamlined approval process. You can use proofing to:

  • Leave markups and annotated comments on images and PDFs
  • Review and annotate language changes needed on documents
  • Give specific information around a product design mock-up

In this article:

Who can use this capability

Permission requirements icon Licensed users with Owner or Admin permissions can enable the Proofing capability and upload a proof for review. Any licensed user with Owner, Admin or Editor permissions can upload a proof for review.

Note that any user type (including free users) can review and provide feedback on a proof. For more information about user types in Smartsheet, see Account-Level User Types for Multi-User Plans.

Plan availability icon  Proofing is available with Business and Enterprise plans.

Enable proofing on a sheet

To enable proofing on a sheet:

  1. Click the Proofing icon in the right panel to display the Proofing panel.
    Proofing icon
  2. At the bottom of the Proofing panel, switch Enable proofing on this sheet to on.
    Enable proofing

A Proofs column is added to the sheet (to the right of the Attachments column). You’ll use this column  to upload proofs for review.

Proofing column

Upload a proof

Once proofing is enabled, you’ll be able to upload proofs for review.

  1. From the row where you want to add the proof, click the Add a proof icon Add a Proof icon in the Proofs column to display the Proofs panel.

    The Proofs panel will open with the Upload File panel available.
  2. Click Upload File to locate and upload the file that you want to proof (or, if you know where the file is, drag it directly to the panel).
    Upload file

That’s it. You're all set to begin collaborating on the proof.


  • You can create only one proof per row, using any one of the following file types: .png, .jpg, .jpeg, .pdf, .gif, .bmp. For image files, you can upload one or more files to a proof to be reviewed individually or as a group.
  • The Smartsheet extension for Adobe Creative Cloud does not support multi-image upload in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, but is on the roadmap to support.
  • To upload a new version of  a file, click Version in the upper-right portion of the panel. For more information about creating versions for proofing, see the Work with versions of proofs section of this article.

Collaborate on a proof

Once a proof is available in the Proofing panel, collaboration can begin. How you choose to collaborate will depend on whether you want reviewers to make their comments in an external review page or whether you want people to collaborate directly in the sheet.

TIP: Click @Mention at the bottom of the panel to have conversations about the proof with others who are shared to the sheet. (If you @mention someone who isn't shared to the sheet—and you are the Owner, an Admin, or shared with Editor - Can Share permissions—you'll be prompted to share the sheet and give them appropriate permissions so that they can have access to the comment. For more information, see Sharing Permission Levels.)

Create a review request 

Anyone with a valid email address can receive a proof review request (including unlicensed users or people outside of your organization).

To send a review request:

  1. Select the proof that you want others to review and select Request Feedback at the top of the Proofing panel.
  2. In the Send proof for review window that appears, type the names or email addresses of the people that you want to review your proof.
  3. Verify that the information in the Subject and Message boxes convey the information that you want your reviewers to have.
  4. Click Send.

The people you include in the review will receive a review request. When these recipients click on the request, they will be taken to a review page outside of Smartsheet. For more information about how to review a proof sent in a review request, see: Respond to a Proofing Request.

Note: Locked rows cannot be set up as review requests. For more information on Lock and Unlock capabilities, see Lock or Unlock Columns and Rows.

Work with versions of proofs

When you make changes to a proof (likely based on the feedback you received as part of the review process), you can upload the revised version so that the version you keep in Smartsheet is the most current one.

Upload a version of a proof

To upload a new version of a proof:

  1. Click Version at the top of the right section of the Proofing pane.
  2. Select Create New Version.
  3. Click the Upload File button that appears in the left section of the Proofing pane.
  4. Select the file from your computer and upload (or drag the file to the upload section of the panel).

That’s it! The new version is now uploaded and associated with your sheet. The Version indicator will now show that multiple versions of the proof exist. All previous versions will be locked. 

Version Indicator

Here are some things to keep in mind about proof versions:

  • Locked versions can be viewed, but can no longer be annotated or commented on.
  • A person shared to the sheet as an Admin (must be a licensed admin) will be able to delete comments from previous versions.
  • Any user that has access to the sheet will be able to access the previous proofs in the proofing container.
  • Any outside requests and outside access to previous versions will be cancelled.
  • Request responses stay with the version—this includes the comments and Pending, Rejected, Approved results.

Delete a version of a proof

To delete a version of a proof, click the More Options icon More Options icon and select Delete Latest Version.

When you delete the latest version:

  • The files are removed.
  • All comments on the version are deleted.
  • All outstanding review requests are cancelled.
  • The previous version becomes the active version and is available for review.

Complete a proof 

You can mark a proof as complete in the proofing panel to make it read-only in the panel and external review page. 

To set a proof to complete, you must be a licensed sheet Owner, Admin, or Editor.

When a proof is complete, no one can upload new versions, add, or edit comments. People can still review comments and download the files in each version. 

NOTE: The sheet Owner and Admins can delete comments in a completed proof. The sheet Owner, Admins, and Editors also have the option to set the proof back to incomplete.

To mark a proof as complete, open it in the proofing panel, and click the Completed Proof toggle button at the top of the panel.

Complete Proof

That’s it! The proof is now complete. 

NOTE: If you would like to allow commenting or additional version uploads for the proof again, click the same toggle button to set the proof back to incomplete.

Cancel a review request

If you send out a review request, but later decide to cancel it, click the More Options icon  More Options icon and select Cancel Review Request.

Cancel review request

When a review request is cancelled, any responses captured in the request will be deleted and the recipients will no longer have access to the proof.

Respond to a Proofing Request

When you receive a proofing review request, it will include a link that takes you to a review page on a new browser tab. On the page, you can take the following actions:

    •    Leave annotated comments linked directly to a piece of content
    •    Have conversations with other stakeholders
    •    Approve or reject the proof

Proof review

Who can use this capability

Permission requirements icon  People with a Smartsheet account will be able to review the proof and take action (as long as they’re logged in to Smartsheet). Licensed users with Owner, Admin, or Editor permissions to the sheet that contains the proof will be able to take action on the proof directly in the sheet. 

NOTE: Anyone without a Smartsheet account who receives a review request will be prompted to create a free account. Once they’ve done that, they’ll be able to view the proof and take action.

Plan availability iconEnterprise and Business plans types can send out review requests. Any plan type can review a proof.

Review a proof

When someone sends you a proofing review request, you’ll receive an email message, a notification in Smartsheet, or both (depending on your notification preferences). To get started with your review, click Review Proof.

What you do next will depend on whether you already have a Smartsheet account:

  • If you already have a Smartsheet account, clicking the link will display the external review page .
  • If you do not have a Smartsheet account, you’ll be prompted to create a free account before you can view the external review page.

Anyone who has been invited to review can participate. 

Where you take action will depend on whether you’ve been shared to the sheet on which the proof resides:

  • Shared to sheet: If you have access to the sheet where the proof resides, you can review the proof directly in the Proofing panel in the sheet or you can take action on the external review page. 
  • Not shared: If you are not shared to the sheet, you’ll be able to take action on the external review page only.

NOTE: Anyone with permission to view the sheet can use a link in the proofing panel to open the external review page in a new tab. When the review page is accessed via the proofing panel link, the same permissions apply as on the sheet. Approving or Requesting changes is still only an option for people who are sent a review request.

Approve or reject a proof

To approve or reject a proof, click the desired option at the bottom of the right side of the Proofing panel on the sheet (you’ll need appropriate permissions to do this) or the external review page.

NOTE: Only people who have been invited to participate in a review will see these options. 

Proof review with comments
Approve a proof if the version you are viewing requires no further revisions. 

Reject a proof if the proof requires changes and further review.

As others approve and reject the proof, each viewer will have insight into the following:

  • A tally of all the Approve/Reject responses from others who were invited to review the proof. 
  • A Pending tally that lets you know how many people have yet to review the proof.

TIP: To see the names of people who have chosen an option or have yet to review, hover the mouse over the Approve, Reject, or Pending buttons.

Include comments or annotations with your feedback

Use a comment if you have general feedback. Use an annotation (click in the proof in a specific place and then make the comment) if your feedback is specific to a certain area of the proof. 

Add a comment

Type your comment in the Add a comment space and press Enter. 

Comment on proof review

TIP: Type @<email address> to tag someone in a comment. You can use this, for example, to let the requestor know that you’ve completed the review. (They'll receive a notification that includes a link to the sheet that contains the proof so they can find it and see your feedback.)

Add an annotation

To add an annotation:

  1. Hover your mouse over the location you wish to leave a comment on the proof.

    The cursor will change into a crosshair to indicate that you can leave an annotation.
  2. Click the mouse.

    This will add an annotation circle on the proof.
  3. Type your comment in the Add a comment section (the right side of the panel).
  4. Press Enter to submit your feedback.

Once you submit your annotation, the annotation on the proof will turn into a circled numeric value. The annotation number will reflect the order in which the comment was made.

TIP: To highlight the area associated with an annotation, click the annotated comment. To see the comment associated with an annotation, click the number.