How-To

Your Guide to Sharing Documents in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

You can easily collaborate with Google’s web-based apps. Here’s your guide to sharing in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides with the permissions you want.

One of the greatest things about using web-based applications like Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides is the ability to share documents easily. This lets you collaborate with your coworkers or team on reports, brochures, charts, slideshows, and more.

Like when sharing documents with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, the Google apps give you different options. You can select how you want to share the document and what you want to allow collaborators to do with it. If you’re new to sharing with one or all three, this tutorial walks you through it.

Share With People or Groups

One way to share a document in Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides is to share it directly with certain people or a group. This way, you can add an email address for each person or choose a group of people from your Google contacts.

  1. Click the Share button on the top right or File > Share from the menu.
  2. At the top of the pop-up window, click Add people and groups.
  3. Select people from the list or enter their email address(es) in the box.
  4. In the drop-down list to the right of that box, choose Viewer, Commenter, or Editor. The privilege you allow applies to everyone in the “Add people” box. To adjust those permissions, click the Settings button (gear icon) on the top right.Share With People Settings
  5. Optionally, you can check the box to Notify people (via email) and add a Message if you like.
  6. Click Send when you finish.

Share With People and Groups

If you share with others who do not have a Google account associated with their email address, you’ll see an alert. If you want to continue to share it, click Share anyway.

Share With a Non-Google Account

Set Different Permissions for People

When you use the above steps to share a document, the permissions you give apply to everyone in that group (Step 4). But you can give individual people or groups different privileges if you like.

Simply follow the steps to add each person with the permissions you want separately. For example, maybe you want one person or group to have Viewer privileges and another to have Editor permissions.

You would add each person, pick Viewer, and then Share. Next, for those you want to have Editor privileges, add each person, pick Editor, and then Share.

You’ll then see each person along with the permissions you give individually.

Individual Permissions

Share a Link to Your Document With Certain People

Another easy way to share your document is with a link. This lets you copy and paste the link yourself in an email, note, or another spot.

  1. Click the Share button on the top right or File > Share from the menu.
  2. Click anywhere in the bottom of the pop-up window within the Get link
  3. Before you copy the link, select the drop-down box below that link and pick Restricted. This means that only people you add in the above section can access the document.
  4. Follow the first set of steps in this tutorial for “Share With People or Groups” to add people. You can uncheck the Notify people box for Step 5 since you’ll be sharing the link with them yourself.
  5. Click Copy link to put the URL on your clipboard and then paste it where needed.
  6. Click Done.

Get Link for Restricted Access

Share a Link to Your Document With Anyone

If you plan to share the link with many people, like on your company intranet, you can simply copy the link without adding people.

  1. Click the Share button on the top right or File > Share from the menu.
  2. Click anywhere in the bottom of the pop-up window within the Get link
  3. Before you copy the link, select the drop-down box below that link and pick Anyone with this link. This means that anyone with the link can access the document.
  4. To the right, click the drop-down box and choose Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.
  5. Click Copy link to put the URL on your clipboard and then paste it where needed.
  6. Click Done.

Get Link For Anyone

Remove People, Adjust Permissions, or Change Access

If you want to remove a person you’re sharing a document with, adjust their privileges, or change who can access the document with the link, you can make these changes after sharing.

Click the Share button on the top right or File > Share from the menu. Then do one of the following.

  • Remove a person: Click the Share with people and groups section of the pop-up window. In the drop-down list next to their name, pick Remove.
  • Adjust permissions: Click the Share with people and groups section of the pop-up window. In the drop-down list next to their name, pick from Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.
  • Change link access: Click the Get link section of the pop-up window. Pick Restricted or Anyone with a link from the drop-down list below the link.

Be sure to click Done after you make any of these edits to save and apply the change(s).

Change Permissions or Remove

Sharing in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides is Simple

As you can see, sharing in Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides is super easy. Whether you want to share with a coworker who can edit the document or post a link for others in your company to view, it’s simple!

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