Visibility of documents, spreadsheets, and presentations published to the web

When you publish Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides to the web, anyone who has the URL to your publication can view them no matter what link sharing option you’ve chosen – private, anyone with the link, or public.

Link sharing options don’t apply to a publication because the publication isn’t the original item but a separate webpage version. In other words, by publishing Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides, you’re creating a copy of them that’s a unique webpage with its own public URL.

When you publish to the web... ...a copy of your original item is published as a distinct, lightweight webpage.
Please note that when you publish a Google Doc or Sheet, you can uncheck "Automatically republish when changes are made" to make sure that the published version does not update as you make changes to the original file. Google Slides always auto-updates so that changes made to an original presentation will be reflected in the published version.

Publishing charts and the visibility of the underlying data

When you publish a chart to the web, the underlying data could be accessed even though it's not seen in chart. As a result, it's not recommended to publish a chart that is combined from individual data points with sensitive information.

Private Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides published to the web

Not sure how a file with a “private” link sharing option can be published to the web? Here's an example that may help:

You’re working on an event flyer in Google Docs that’s set to the “private” link sharing option and shared only with a small committee of people. Just before the event, you publish your document to the web and post a link to your now published flyer on a variety of websites. Anyone who comes across the link can visit the published web version; however, only committee members you’ve invited to view or edit the private document will have access to the original.

Matt is a Docs & Drive expert and author of this help page. Leave him feedback below about the page.

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