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Google Docs – Sharing

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Step by Step Instructions: (from

Sharing and collaborating on files

Video: Sharing and Collaborating

Launch "Sharing and Collaborating" video!

Google Drive makes sharing your files simple. It also allows multiple people to edit the same file, allowing for real-time collaboration.

Sharing files

Whenever you share a file from your Google Drive, you can let others view and even edit that same file. While you can share any file stored on your Google Drive, it’s important to note that you can only use the collaborationfeatures for files created within your Drive.

Let’s look at the example of Olenna, an art teacher who uses her Google Drive to organize letters, lesson plans, and more. Olenna’s files include:

  • Files she keeps private, like her spreadsheet with classroom expenses
  • Files she lets others edit, like the lesson-planning documents she creates with her co-teacher
  • Files she shares publicly and doesn’t let others edit, like the newsletters and announcements she shares with her students and their parents
  • Files others share with her, including ones she can edit—like her co-teacher’s supply inventory—and ones she can’t—like a schedule sent to her by the principal

As you can tell, no single sharing setting would be right for all of Olenna’s files. The settings you choose for each of your shared files will probably depend on why you’re sharing it in the first place.

When you share a file with a limited group of people, your collaborators must sign in with a Google account to view or edit the file. However, when you share with a larger group or make the file public, your collaborators will not need a Google account to access the file.

To share a file with a limited group of people:

  1. Locate and select the file you want to share, then click the Share button.
    Screenshot of Google Drive
  2. A dialog box will appear. In the People box, type the email addresses of the people you’d like to share the file with. If you’d like, you can add a message that will be emailed to the people you share the file with.
  3. Click Send. Your file will be shared.
    Screenshot of Google Drive

For more control over your files, you can click the drop-down arrow to decide whether people can edit, comment on, or simply view the file.

Screenshot of Google Drive

Sharing with a link

You can easily share a file with a larger group of people by providing a link to any file in your Google Drive. A link is basically a URL or web address for any file you want to share. This can be especially helpful for files that would betoo large to send as an email attachment, like music or video files. You can also share a file by posting the link to a public webpage. Anyone who clicks the link will be redirected to the file.

To share a link:

  1. Locate and select the file you want to share, then click the Share button.
    Screenshot of Google Drive
  2. A dialog box will appear. Click Get shareable link.
    Screenshot of Google Drive
  3. A link the the file will be copied to your web clipboard. You can then paste the link in an email message or on the Web to share the file. When you’re finished, click Done.
    Screenshot of Google Drive
  4. Files shared with you

    People can also choose to share files with you. These files will appear in Incoming view. However, if you’d prefer to access a file from your Google Drive without switching to this view, you can move it. To do this, navigate to yourShared with Me folder, hover the mouse over the desired file, then select Add to My Drive.

    Screenshot of Google Drive

    Collaboration tools

    Whenever you share a file in a Google Drive format, you’ll have the option to allow your co-editors to change andedit the file. Google Drive offers several tools that enhance collaboration by making it easier to communicate with your co-editors and to see which changes have been made and by whom.

    Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn about the collaboration features in Google Drive.


    1. Share a file with someone else.
    2. Share a link to a file via email or the Web.
    3. Use the collaboration tools with someone else to edit the same file.
    4. Leave a comment on a file for someone else to view.