Google Docs Updates Sharing Options

Groovy Google Docs NewsEven after the launch of the competing Live Office, the Google Docs team is proving yet again that they are the kings of sharing.  Previously we took a look at how to share Google Docs using a link and although the link feature is still readily available, Google recently made some nice improvements with sharing documents.  Let’s take a look!

Being a long-time Google Docs user, I’ve always thought Google has done a great in the area of Sharing.  With this latest release, Google has gone one step further making the Share button even more streamlined and intuitive than before.  Previously in Google Docs when you Clicked Share it displayed a drop-menu with four different options on it.  The Docs team is scraping off the fat and losing the drop0menu completely taking a few lessons it appears from the Google Picasa Web Albums team.

Google Docs changing the sharing button

With the update, when you Click the Share button it will open a sharing pop-up window.  The window will display three sharing options.

  • Public on the web
    • The public setting is the new kid on the block here.  It’s nearly the same as the “anyone with link” option, except that docs set to public are indexed by Google Search and will show up in search results.
  • Anyone with the link
    • I demonstrated how to use a link to share a document in a previous article.  The news here is that Google is adding a new feature that will let you reset your link.  Once a link is reset the old link becomes invalid, so you can use the link reset to better control who is viewing your documents.
  • Private
    • Only people with Google accounts can view private docs.  In addition to having a Google account, you’ll also have to grant permission to individual users and groups for them to view or edit the document.

new sharing dialog and options in Google Docs

If you use Google Apps, by default documents will only be shared within your organization.  Hence a Public setting would really just mean that only everyone in your Google Apps domain would have access.   Your administrator can change this setting and allow you to share outside of your Google Apps domain, but it’s unlikely that most will.

Do you use Google Docs for sharing things on the net? Would love to hear about some of the creative things people are doing with Google Docs and Online Sharing!



  1. Robert

    I use google Wave for sharing/editing docs.

    • MrGroove

      Really? Editing docs as well? Do you edit them in Google Docs or ?

      • Robert

        Ive said it wrong. Me and my coworkers copy/paste complete docs in wave. So just the text, not a .doc document as a file. So we can all edit the doc, and then later make a file out of it.

  2. Sam

    When my friend was 14, he started writing down the names of girls he’s kissed in a book. Now he’s 20 and the list has moved to Notepad, Excel and now to Google Docs. Now he’s 20 and the list has a colour-coding system to track more than just kisses.

    Recently, he shared the spreadsheet with me. Now I subscribe to changes via email so I know when to high five him.

    • MrGroove

      Wow. That story just got more and more bizarre!

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