how to share a google drive document

how to share a google drive document

How to share

With Google Drive, you can share files — like documents, images, and PDFs — without having to email them as attachments. Sharing is as easy as indicating which email addresses or mailing lists should have access to a given file.

Share a file with an email address or mailing list

  1. Go to drive.google.com.
  2. Check the box next to the file or folder you’d like to share.
  3. Click the google drive share icon Share icon.

  4. Choose a visibility option: “Private,” “Anyone with the link” or “Public on the web.”

  5. Type the email addresses of the people you want to share with in the text box below “Add people.” You can add a single person or a mailing list.
  6. Choose the access level from the drop-down menu next to each collaborator: “Can view,” “Can comment,” or “Can edit.”

  7. Click Share & save.
Sharing something with a mailing list? If you’re sharing with a group containing more than 200 members, either notify the group by email or provide a link to the file. Your fellow mailing list members need to directly click the link, in the email notification or otherwise, for the file to show up in their Drive lists. The file will show up in the “Recent” and “All items” section of Drive for group members.

Share a file with a non-Google Account

If you want to share a file with someone who uses a non-Google Account, there are a few things to consider:

  • When you share the file with a non-Google Account, the user you’re sharing with will receive an invitation with a link to open and view it. The user will then be prompted to sign in to, or sign up for, a Google Account to be able to edit the file. Google Docs, Slides and Drawings files can be previewed without the user having to sign-in.
  • The invitation you send to the non-Google Account is valid for 14 days. Within that time period, the recipient can forward the invitation to other people, who will also be able view the file, and if they sign into a Google Account, edit or comment on it. You’ll be asked to agree to this when you first share the file.
  • If you re-open the sharing box, you’ll see a  icon next to the non-Google Account(s) you’ve shared with, as well as the number of people who have used the invitation to work with the file. Note that users who see a preview of Google Docs, Slides, and Drawings without signing into a Google Account won’t be counted in the sharing box.

If you use Drive at work or school, you can only share files to people without Google Accounts if your administrator has allowed this. Also, those users will need to sign in to a Google Account to view the file, as well as to comment or edit on it.

Send a link to a shared file

If you’ve set a file or folder to “Anyone with the link” or “Public,” you can send the link to another person and they’ll be able to access it.

  1. Go to drive.google.com.
  2. Check the box next to the file or folder you’d like to share.
  3. Click the Share icon google drive share icon.

  4. Copy the link at the top of the sharing settings.
  5. Send the link to another person or mailing list in an email or chat.

Send a file as an email attachment

Google Drive eliminates the need to send files as email attachments, but if you absolutely must, here’s how:

  1. Open the file you’d like to share.
  2. Go to the File menu, and select Email as attachment….
  3. Select a file type from the drop-down menu.
  4. Enter the email addresses of the people to whom you’d like to send the file. If you’d like, you can also add a subject and a message.
  5. Click Send. Recipients will receive the file as a downloadable attachment in the format you’ve selected.

Tips for sharing in Google Drive

Notify people when you share something

Whenever you share something with someone, they’ll receive an email notification to let them know they have access and can retrieve what you shared the next time they sign into Google Drive. Prefer not to notify them? Uncheck the “Notify people via email” box.

Add lots of collaborators quickly by sharing with a Google Group

Rather than type your collaborators’ email addresses one-by-one, add an entire Google Group. Each member of that Google Group will have access to whatever you’ve shared, including people who are added to the group after you’ve shared something. This option isn’t available for mailing lists that aren’t Google Groups.

Share lots of files at once

If you want to share multiple items with your collaborators, move them into a folder and share the folder with them. Since you’re sharing the folder, that’s their key to access. They’ll be able to access whatever’s stored there or lose access if you remove something that they don’t already have access to.

Having issues with sharing? Learn more about troubleshooting sharing problems.
About Jeremy Broekman

BROEKMAN communications has an 15+ year track record of providing marketing, brand management and PR. We serve our clients as a Marketing Director + Social Media Director + Creative Director + Consultant in ONE. With niches including Real Estate, Corporate, Non-profits, Entertainment and Start-up clientele, BROEKMAN communications has DEEP experience in helping companies navigate re-branding and/or re-packaging themselves for success in a 2013 future-facing mindset.

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