How to share GoogleDocs - Google Privacy Tips

GoogleDocs are set to private by default.  Only you, the owner, will have the ability to view and edit the document.  In order to have other members of the Blake community or outside of Blake view and/or edit the document, you will need to "Share" the document.  

Jonathan Rochelle, a Google employee, explains in the following YouTube how you can control the sharing settings for your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations when using Google Docs.

For more information, please see the "Share and collaborate" help section of GoogleDocs.   
To change the visibility of a document.  
Step 1: Select the "File" menu > "Share"
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Step 2: Please read the following GoogleDocs help article "Change the visibility of a GoogleDoc. " 

Change the visibility setting of a doc

The privacy level of a doc or file that you share with others is called the visibility setting. Google Docs puts you in control of your Google Docs and files that you own. Depending on how private you want to keep an item, you can keep the default Private setting, set it to Anyone with the link, or make it Public on the web.

Below, you'll find detailed instructions. In the sharing settings dialog, you can add individual peoplea mailing list, or copy and paste the link at the top to distribute to collaborators.

Set a doc to Private

Google Docs are set to Private by default. This setting limits access to only people to whom you give permission. If you're working in a Google Apps domain whose docs aren't private by default, or if you'd like to make a doc private, here's how:

  1. Click the blue Share button in the top right of your doc.
  2. Next to the current visibility option, click Change....
  3. Select Private.
  4. Save your choice.

Set a doc to Anyone with the link

The Anyone with the link setting is great for easily sharing a non-private doc with a large group, such as a reading list that needs to be accessed by members of a book club. With this setting, you can copy and paste the link of your doc or file and send it directly to collaborators.

Here are some things to consider about docs that are Anyone with the link:

  • Anyone who learns the exact URL or web address of your doc will be able to see it.
  • They aren't private: people may come across links to these docs if those links are posted on a blog or forwarded in an email, for example. If you prefer to share a doc with a closed circle of users, share your doc with specific people.
  • You can set docs in this category to Private at any time. Once you restrict access, old links to the doc will no longer work.

How to set your doc to Anyone with the link

  1. Click the blue Share button in the top right of your doc
  2. Next to the doc's visibility option, which is the first item in the sharing dialog, click Change....
  3. Select Anyone with the link. If you'd like people to be able to edit, view, or comment on your doc, change the setting next to "Access: Anyone (no sign-in required)" at the bottom of the window.
  4. Click Save.

Set a doc to Public on the web

If you want your doc to be findable and accessible to anyone on the web, you can set its visibility option to public on the web.

Here are some things to consider about docs that are Public on the web

  • Public docs might appear in search results or on your Google profile, if you have one.
  • Anyone on the web will be able to view your doc. You may also provide public commenting and editing access, if you like.
  • People won't need to sign in to access the doc. That means you may not know who is viewing (or editing) your doc at any given time.

If you want to share a doc with a closed circle of people, you should share your doc with specific people.

How to set your doc to Public on the web

  1. Click the blue Share button in the top right of your doc.
  2. Next to the doc's visibility option, which is the first item in the sharing dialog, click Change....
  3. Select Public on the web. If you'd like people to be able to edit, view, or comment on your doc, change the setting next to "Access: Anyone (no sign-in required)" at the bottom of the window.
  4. Click Save.
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