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 2. Learn sharing best practices 3. Create and collaborate on files with your team


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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.

gray barUpload 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.

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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.

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(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 star.
  3. (Optional) To see all your starred files and folders, in the left sidebar, click Starred.

gray barColor-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.

gray barView 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.

Note: You need Owner or Can edit access to see the version history.

gray barDownload 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 files 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 Menuand 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 Drive File Streamand thenOpen Google Drive Folder.
  2. Right-click the file or folder you want to access offline.
  3. Click Drive File Streamand thenAvailable offline.
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 Google Drive and choose your file.
  3. Click Insert.
  4. When your message is ready, click Send.

gray barAttach Drive files in Calendar events:

  1. Single-click your event and click Edit Edit.
  2. Open your event and scroll down to the event description and click Attach Attach.
  3. Click My Drive or Upload and select your file.
  4. Click Select or Upload. Your file will be attached to the event.
  5. Click Save

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

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

  2. Under People, enter the email address of the person or group you want to share with.

    Note: If you can't add people outside of your company or organization, contact your G Suite administrator.

  3. Click Edit Edit and choose the access level:
    • Can edit—Collaborators can add and edit content as well as add comments.
    • Can comment (Select files only)—Collaborators can add comments, but can't edit content.
    • Can view—People can view the file, but not edit or add comments.

    Everyone you share with receives an email with a link to the file or folder.

  4. (Optional) To add a note to the email, enter your note. To skip sending an email, uncheck the Notify people box.
  5. Click Send.

gray barShare 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.

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

  2. At the top right, click Get shareable link.
  3. Click Anyone at your organization with the link can view and choose an access level:
    • Can edit—Collaborators can add and edit content as well as add comments.
    • Can comment (Select files only)—Collaborators can add comments, but can't edit content.
    • Can view—People can view the file, but not edit or add comments.
  4. Click Copy link.
  5. Click Done.
  6. Paste the link in an email or any place you want to share it.

Learn more

CheckboxChoose a sharing expiration date
  1. In Drive, open the file.
  2. Click Share.
  3. If the file isn’t already shared, share it.
  4. Click Advanced.
  5. Hover over the person’s name and click Set expiration History on.
  6. Change the access expiration date.
  7. Click Save changes and then click Done.
Note: You can’t set the expiration for the current day. If you need to restrict access immediately, just unshare the file.

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.

gray barShare 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. 

gray barUse the Share button:

  1. Access the file you want to share:
  2. At the top, click Share.
  3. Click Advanced.
  4. On the right, click Change.

    Note: If you can’t see this option, your ability to share files outside your organization might be restricted. Ask your G Suite administrator for more information.

  5. Select On - Public on the web.
  6. Next to Access: Anyone (no sign-in required), choose your permission settings:
    • Can view: People with the link see the file but they can’t make any changes to it.
    • Can comment: People with the link see the file and can add comments to it.
    • Can edit: People with the link can make changes to the file.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Click Done.

gray barGet a shareable link:

  1. Right-click a file or folder and click Share.
  2. At the top right, click Get shareable link.
  3. (Optional) Click Anyone at your organization with the link can view and allow editing or commenting. 
  4. Copy the link and click Done.
  5. Paste the link in an email or any place you want to share it.

For more details, see Get started with Drive.

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.

gray barShare files with individuals or groups:

  1. In a shared drive, click the file you want to share.
  2. At the top, click Share Share.
  3. Add names, email addresses, or groups from Google Groups.
  4. (Optional) To change the permission from Edit, click the Down arrow Down Arrow and choose another permission.
  5. (Optional) Add a message.
  6. (Optional) If you don't want to send notifications, check the Skip sending notification box.
  7. Click Send or Add.

To limit sharing options, see Restrict sharing options on sensitive Drive files.

gray barShare 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 you want to share.
  2. At the top, click Share Share.
  3. Click Who has access.
  4. Next to Link sharing off, click the Down arrow Down Arrow.
  5. Next to Link Sharing, click Turn on Turn on to make the link accessible to anyone in your organization.
  6. Under the URL, click the Down arrow Down Arrow and select a permission level.
  7. (Optional) To allow sharing the link outside of your organization, check the Allow external access box.
    Note: If you don't see this option, it could be turned off by your G Suite admin.
  8. (Optional) To make the document searchable in Drive, check the Findable in search results box.
  9. Click Copy to copy the link.
  10. Click Done.
  11. 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 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 Commentand 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 edits.
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 over chat, too. If more than one person has your document open, just click Show chat Show chat to open a group chat. You can get instant feedback without ever leaving your document.

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 Can edit 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) Do any of the following:
    • Click Restore this version to make it the active version.
    • Click MoreMoreand thenName this version to name a previous version. 
    • Click MoreMoreand thenMake a copy to create a copy of a previous version.

gray barSee who commented, edited, moved, or shared a file:

  1. In Drive, at the top right, click View details Information.
  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.

gray barUse 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.

gray barUse 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 Add to add the text and a footnote.

gray barSearch 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

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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.

gray barStart 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

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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.

gray barAdd 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.

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

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

gray barGet suggestions for images:

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

gray barGet suggested content for presentations:

  1. In Slides, open a presentation and click Explore Open Explore.
  2. In the Explore window, next to Search 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 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.
 
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