How to Find Public Google Docs (and Slides, Forms, Sheets, and Drawings too)

44917 How to Find Public Google Docs (and Slides, Forms, Sheets, and Drawings too)

Sharing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, and drawings publicly allows collaboration and transparency. Google offers easy ways to find publicly shared files on their platform. This guide will show you how to locate open Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms and Drawings.

Search Google Itself

The easiest way to find public Google files is to use Google search with advanced operators. Here’s how:

Use Site: Operator

The site: operator allows searching a specific website. To find public Google Docs, use:

site:docs.google.com

Add keywords after to narrow it down. For example:

site:docs.google.com how to knit a scarf

This works for Slides, Sheets, Forms and Drawings too. Just change the domain:

site:slides.google.com
site:sheets.google.com 
site:forms.google.com
site:drawings.google.com

Search by File Type

Use Google’s file type search to show only specific Google file kinds:

filetype:gdoc
filetype:gslides 
filetype:gsheet
filetype:gform
filetype:gdraw

Again, add keywords to narrow it down.

Find Publicly Editable Files

Adding "viewers can edit" will show Google files left open for public editing:

site:docs.google.com "viewers can edit"

Use Google Site Search

Google Site Search allows searching within sites. Here’s how to use it to find public Google files.

Navigate to Site Search

Go to Google Site Search and sign in with your Google account.

Create Custom Search Engine

Click “Add” to make a new Custom Search Engine. Name it whatever you like.

Configure Sites to Search

Under “Sites to search”, add the Google domains you want to search through, like:

docs.google.com
slides.google.com

Save your search engine.

Use Your Search Engine

You can now search just within Google Docs, Slides etc. Add keywords to narrow by topic.

This works well for niche searches, while using Google search is better for general queries.

Check Out Public File Directories

Some public directories collect and categorize open Google files.

File Cabinet

File Cabinet has a directory of publicly editable Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. Files are organized by topic areas like education, health, finance and more.

Awesome Public Datasets

The Awesome Public Datasets GitHub repo gathers links to public Google Sheets and Docs. Datasets are available on topics like government, finance, machine learning and more.

Browsing these collections can uncover cool public files.

Use Third-Party Search Engines

Specialized search engines index the wider web, including public Google files.

Searx

Searx is an open source metasearch engine that aggregates results from other search services while protecting privacy. It indexes public Google files.

Add site:docs.google.com or another Google domain to narrow the results.

Oscobo

Oscobo is a visual search engine covering many sites. It turns up some public Google files in its results.

Conclusion

Finding publicly shared Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Drawings is easy once you know where to look. Use Google search operators, Google Site Search, public directories and alternative search engines to discover open files on any topic.

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