Week 3: Share and collaborate with files

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Collaborate with coworkers by sharing filesTo start sharing files and efficiently collaborating with your colleagues, complete the tasks below.

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1. Manage your Drive and Docs editors files

CheckboxUpload files to Google Drive to access them on every device

You can store any file in Drive: pictures, drawings, videos, and more. You only need to store a file in Drive on one device, and it will automatically be available on all your other devices. There are three ways to get your files into Drive.

Upload files to Drive on the web:

  1. Go to Drive.
  2. Click Plus Newand thenFile upload or Folder upload, and then choose the file or folder you want to upload.
  3. Click Open.

Upload files from your mobile device:

Note: If you decide later to uninstall the app, your Drive files won’t be affected and can still be accessed from Drive on the web.

  1. Depending on your device, choose one of these options:
    • Android phone or tablet: Tap Google Play Google Play.
    • iOS devices: Tap App Store ios app store.
  2. Find and install the Drive app.
  3. Open the app containing the file you want to upload, tap Share, and then tap Drive.

(Advanced) Upload files to Drive from your desktop:

If you want to upload files from your desktop, install and use Drive File Stream

Note: Drive File Stream is only available if your G Suite administrator has turned it on for your organization or team

Learn more 

CheckboxCreate new Docs files with URL shortcuts

Instead of constantly creating new files in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Forms you can use a shortcut URL.

In your browser, enter one of these URLs:

Docs
  • docs.new
  • doc.new
  • document.new
Sheets
  • sheets.new
  • sheet.new
  • spreadsheet.new
Slides
  • slides.new
  • slide.new
  • presentation.new
Forms
  • forms.new
  • form.new

A blank file opens, and you can start editing right away.

Learn more

CheckboxHighlight important folders with stars and folder colors

Star important files and folders:

Flag important files or folders to find them later.

  1. Right-click a file or folder.
  2. Select Add to Starred.
  3. (Optional) To see all your starred files and folders, in the left sidebar, click Starred.

Color-code Drive folders:

Organize your Drive visually with color-coded folders.

  1. Right-click the folder you want to change.
  2. Click Change color and choose the color you want. 

Learn more 

CheckboxManage file versions

In the past, you might have kept multiple drafts of your files in case you needed to refer or switch to earlier versions. Drive keeps all your drafts in one file. You can easily view or restore earlier versions.

View or revert to earlier versions of Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files:

  1. In Drive, open your file.
  2. Click Fileand thenVersion historyand thenSee version history.
  3. Click a timestamp to see a previous version of the file. Below the timestamp, you’ll see:
    • Names of people who edited the document.
    • A color next to each person’s name. The edits they made appear in that color.
  4. (Optional) To revert to this version, click Restore this version.

Download or revert to earlier versions of non-Google files in Drive:

  1. In Drive, click the file and at the top right, click More Moreand thenManage versions.
  2. Click More Moreand thenDownload Downloadto download the file.
  3. (Optional) To revert to an earlier version (such as the one you downloaded above), click Upload New Version, find the version of the file, and click Open.
  4. Click Close.

Learn more

CheckboxAccess your files offline

Internet outages shouldn’t prevent you from working in Drive. Set up offline access so you can view and edit your files any time.

Important: To make sure other people can’t see your files, set up offline access on devices that only belong to you.

On the web

Chrome Browser only

Set up offline access for Docs, Sheets, and Slides:

  1. Install the Google Docs Offline extension.
  2. In Drive, click Settings Settingsand thenSettings.
  3. In the Offline section, check the Create, open and edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files on this device while offline box.
  4. Click Done.
  5. Right-click a file and turn on Available offline.

On mobile

Chrome Browser only

Set up offline access for Docs, Sheets, and Slides:

  1. On your Android or Apple iOS device, open the Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides app.
  2. Tap Menu ""and thenSettings.
  3. Turn on Make recent files available offline.

On your computer

Set up offline access for PDFs, Microsoft Office files, and more on your desktop:

  1. Click Drive File Stream ""and thenOpen Google Drive Folder.
  2. Right-click the file or folder you want to access offline.
  3. Click Drive File Streamand thenAvailable offline.

For details, see Access your files

CheckboxAttach Drive files in emails and calendar events

Attach Drive files in Gmail:

  1. In Gmail, click Compose.
  2. In the Compose toolbar, click Drive "" and choose your file.
  3. Click Insert.
  4. When your message is ready, click Send.

Attach Drive files in Calendar events:

  1. Click the Add description or attachments field.
  2. Click My Drive or Upload and select your file.
  3. Click Select or Upload. Your file will be attached to the event

Note: If your G Suite administrator doesn’t allow sharing Google Drive files outside of your organization, you can send Gmail attachments to external guests instead.

Learn more

2. Learn sharing best practices

CheckboxCustomize sharing settings for files and folders

Share a file or folder with specific people and set access levels:

  1. Select the file you want to share.
  2. Click Share or Share "".
  3. Under Share with people and groups, enter the email address you want to share with.

    Note: If visitor sharing is on for your organization, you can invite someone who doesn't have a Google Account to collaborate on your Google Drive files and folders. See Share documents with visitors.

  4. To change what people can do to your file, on the right, click the Down arrow ""and then Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.
  5. Choose to notify people:
    • If you want to notify people that you shared a file with them, check the Notify people box. If you notify people, each email address you enter will be included in the email.
    • If you don't want to notify people, uncheck the Notify people box.
  6. Click Share or Send.

Share a file or folder with your organization and set access levels:

  1. In Drive, right-click the file or folder you want to share and select Share Share.

    In Docs, Sheets, or Slides, at the top, click Share.

    Note: You can only share files that you own or have edit access to.

  2. (Optional) To specify what people can do with your file when you share it, under your organization name, click Change:
    • To change the permission, at right, click the Down arrow "" and select Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.
    • To allow sharing the link outside of your organization, next to your organization name, click the Down arrow ""and thenPublic.

      Note: If you don't see this option, contact your administrator.

  3. Click Copy link.
  4. Click Done.
  5. Paste the link in an email, on a website, or wherever you need to share it.

Learn more

CheckboxChoose a sharing expiration date
  1. Open the homescreen for Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, or Google Slides.
  2. Click Share.
  3. Share the file with a user or select the user you'd like to give temporary permissions to.
  4. Click the Down arrow Down and then Give temporary access.
  5. Next to "Access expires," click the number of days to change the expiration date. Choose a date within one year of the current date.
  6. Click Save.

Learn more

CheckboxShare a link to a file

When you share from Google Drive, you can control whether people can edit, comment on, or only view the file.

Share the file's URL from your browser:

You can copy the file's link directly from your web browser's address bar. Then, paste the link in an email or any place you want to share it.

Note: Remember to check the file's sharing settings before you share it to make sure the person you're sharing with can access it. 

Use the Share button:

  1. Select the file you want to share.
  2. Click Share or Share Share and then Get link.
  3. Under “Get Link,” click Change to anyone with link.
  4. To decide what people can do with your public link when you share it, select ViewerCommenter, or Editor.
  5. Click Done.
  6. Copy and paste the link in an email or any place you want to share it.

People who aren't signed in to a Google Account show up as anonymous animals in your fileLearn more about anonymous animals.

Share a link:

  1. In Drive, right-click the file or folder you want to share and select Share Share.

    In Docs, Sheets, or Slides, at the top, click Share.

    Note: You can only share files that you own or have edit access to.

  2. (Optional) To specify what people can do with your file when you share it, under your organization name, click Change:
    • To change the permission, at right, click the Down arrow "" and select Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.
    • To allow sharing the link outside of your organization, next to your organization name, click the Down arrow ""and thenPublic.

      Note: If you don't see this option, contact your administrator.

  3. Click Copy link.
  4. Click Done.
  5. Paste the link in an email, on a website, or wherever you need to share it.

 

CheckboxChoose to share a file from a shared drive folder

Requires at least Contributor access

Just like in Drive, there are different ways to share files in shared drives with people who aren't members of the shared drive.

Note: Folders in shared drives can't be shared. Also, your ability to share files might be limited by your organization. Ask your G Suite administrator for more information.

Share files with individuals or groups:

  1. Select the file you want to share.
  2. Click Share or Share Share.
  3. Under "Share with people and groups," enter the email address you want to share with. 
    • Important: If you share with an email address that isn’t a Google Account, they can only view the file.
  4. To change what people can do to your doc, on the right, click the Down arrow Down and then Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.
  5. Choose to notify people.
    • If you want to notify people that you shared a doc with them, check the box next to Notify people. If you notify people, each email address you enter will be included in the email.
    • If you don't want to notify people, uncheck the box.
  6. Click Share or Send.

Share a link:

To make a file widely accessible and avoid managing access in your organization, you can share the file with a link. Anyone in your organization who gets the link can access the file. Optionally, you can let other users share the link with people that are not in your organization.

  1. In a shared drive, click the file or folder you want to share.
  2. At the top, click Share Share.
  3. (Optional) To specify what people can do with your file or folder when you share it, under your organization name, click Change:
    • To change the permission, at right, click the Down arrow "" and select Viewer, Commenter, or Editor for files; Viewer, Commenter, Contributor, or Content Manager for folders.
    • To allow sharing the link outside of your organization, next to your organization name, click the Down arrow ""and thenPublic.

      Note: If you don't see this option, contact your administrator.

  4. Click Copy link.
  5. Click Done.
  6. Paste the link in an email, on a website, or wherever you need to share it.

3. Create and collaborate on files with your team

CheckboxEdit documents simultaneously with your team

After you've shared a Docs, Sheets, or Slides file, multiple people can work at the same time. You'll see people's changes as they make them, and every change is saved automatically.

CheckboxAdd comments and assign action items
  1. In Docs, Sheets, or Slides, select the text you'd like to comment on.
  2. Click Add comment "".
  3. Enter your comment in the box.
  4. (Optional) To direct your task or comment to a specific person, enter a plus sign (+) followed by their email address. You can add as many people as you want. Each person will get an email with your comment and a link to the file.
  5. (Optional) To assign the comment to a specific person, check the Assign to box.
  6. Click Comment or Assign.
CheckboxSet up comment notifications
  1. Open a file in Docs, Sheets, or Slides.
  2. Click Comment ""and thenNotifications.
  3. Choose when you want to receive notifications:
    • All: Whenever any comments are made.
    • Only yours: Whenever others reply to your comments or comments you are added to.
    • None: Never receive emails about comments for that file.

Learn more

CheckboxAdd and review suggested edits

You can propose changes directly in a document without editing the text by suggesting an edit. Your suggestions won’t change the original text until the document owner approves them. You must have edit or comment access to the document to suggest changes.

1 In the top corner, make sure you’re in Suggesting mode, which may also appear as Suggest.
2 To suggest an edit, simply begin typing where you think the edit should be made in the document. Your suggestions appear in a new color, and text you mark to delete or replace is crossed out (but not actually deleted until the document owner approves the suggestion).
3

The document’s owner will receive an email with your suggestions. When they click any suggestion, they can Accept Checkmark or Reject Close it.

Suggest edits

Learn more

CheckboxChat within Docs files

You can collaborate within documents, spreadsheets, or presentations over chat, too. If more than one person has your file open, just click Show chat Show chat to open a group chat. You can get instant feedback without ever leaving your file.

Learn more

CheckboxSee who changed your files

See all changes to a file or revert to a previous version:

  1. In Google Drive, open your file.
  2. From Docs, Sheets, or Slides, select Fileand thenVersion historyand thenSee version history.

    Note: You need Owner or Editor access to the file.

  3. Click a timestamp to see a previous version of the file. Below the timestamp, you’ll see:
    • Names of people who edited the document.
    • A color next to each person’s name. The edits they made appear in that color.
  4. (Optional) To revert, name, or copy a previous version, click:
    • Restore this version to make it the active version.
    • More""and thenName this version to name a previous version. 
    • More""and thenMake a copy to create a copy of a previous version.

See who commented, edited, moved, or shared a file:

  1. In Drive, at the top right, click View details "".
  2. The Activity tab is automatically selected and all the activity for My Drive is listed. For each activity, the details include:
    • The file or folder affected
    • The user that made the change
    • The date and time of the activity
    • Any other users affected by the activity
  3. In My Drive, select any item to see specific details.

Learn more

CheckboxUse the Docs editors Explore tool

Use the Explore tool with Docs:

Find and add suggested content to documents in Google Docs. The suggested content is related to what’s in your document. You can also search your docs and the web from within a document.

Use a suggested topic:

  1. At the bottom of your document, click Explore Explore.

    On the right, you’ll see suggestions based on your content.

  2. Click a topic.
  3. Click links that are relevant to your topic.
  4. Copy and paste any text from suggested content into your document.

    Tip: To clear any text formatting, select the text and click Formatand thenClear formatting.

  5. In the document, select where you want the footnote. Then, in the Explore results, hover over the source you quoted and click Cite Cite as footnote to add a footnote.

Use related research:

  1. At the bottom of your document, click Explore Explore.

    On the right, you’ll see suggestions based on your content.

  2. (Optional) Click a research item to see the entire contents online.
  3. Hover over a research item and click Add "" to add the text and a footnote.

Search for a topic:

  1. At the bottom of your document, click Explore Explore.
  2. In the Search box, enter information that is relevant to your citation (book, author, article title, and so on).
  3. Click links that are relevant to your topic.
  4. Copy and paste any text from suggested content into your document..

    Tip: To clear any text formatting, select the text and click Formatand thenClear formatting.

  5. In the document, select where you want the footnote. Then, in the Explore results, hover over the source you quoted and click Cite Cite as footnote to add a footnote.

Learn more

Use the Explore tool with Sheets:

A spreadsheet full of data can be daunting. Get summaries and charts of your data with the click of a button in Google Sheets.

Start exploring your data:

  1. In Sheets, open a spreadsheet with data.
  2. Select a range of cells, columns, or rows. Otherwise, you’ll get insights based on where your cursor is.
  3. At the bottom, click Explore Open Explore.
  4. Depending on the data in the sheet, you can:
    1. See which data a chart is based on—Hover over a chart to highlight its data in the spreadsheet.
    2. Ask questions about your data—Enter a search or choose a suggested question. If your answer includes a formula, you can drag it into a cell to add it.
    3. Add a chart—Hover over a chart and click Insert chart Insert chart.
    4. Add a pivot table—Hover over a pivot table and click Insert pivot table Add table.

Learn more

Use the Explore tool with Slides:

You don’t have to switch to another application or own additional software to add and edit great images for your documents and presentations.

Add and edit an image:

  1. In Google Drive, open your document or presentation.
  2. Drag an image from your computer, or do the following:
    1. Click Insertand thenImage and choose where to get your image from (Drive, Photos, the web, and more).
    2. Double-click the image you want to add.
  3. (Optional) To edit the image, click the imageand thenImage options or Format options.
  4. Make any changes:
    • Choose a different color option.
    • Adjust the transparency, brightness, or contrast.
    • In Slides, add a drop shadow.
    • In Slides, add a reflection.

    To undo these changes, click Reset image Reset image.

Crop an image: 

  1. Click your image to select it.
  2. Choose an option:
    • Click Crop "" and drag the box where you want it.
    • In Slides, to crop your image into a shape, click the Down arrow "" next to Crop "" and select a shape.

    To revert to the original image, select the image and click Reset image Reset image.

Get suggestions for images:

  1. At the bottom of your presentation or document, click Explore Explore.
  2. In the Explore window, click Search "" and search for text related to the image you want.
  3. Click Images, then hover over an image and click Add "".

Get suggested content for presentations:

  1. In Slides, open a presentation and click Explore Open Explore.
  2. In the Explore window, next to Search "", enter your query and press Enter.
  3. Choose an option:
    • To open a web result, under Web, click a link.
    • To add an image, click Images. Hover over an image and click Add "".
    • To open a Drive file, click Drive and then click a file.

Learn more

CheckboxCreate surveys and quizzes

Forms lets you manage event registrations, create quizzes, analyze responses, and more.

 

Next steps

Want to get a jump start on becoming productive on G Suite? See the Week 4 checklist.



Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

 
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