How to Share Documents on Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

96660 How to Share Documents on Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

Working on documents, spreadsheets, or presentations? Google’s office suite makes it simple to collaborate with others in real-time. Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides allow multiple people to access, edit, and provide feedback on files stored in Google Drive.

Whether you want to get input from colleagues or edit files together, Google’s collaboration tools streamline the process. This guide will teach you how to share and collaborate on Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

Sharing Files in Google Drive

To start collaborating, you first need to share files stored in Google Drive. Here’s how to get others access:

  1. Open Google Drive and locate the file.
  2. Click the Share button in the top right. Share button in Google Drive
  3. In the share window, enter email addresses to share with specific people.
    • As you type emails, suggested contacts will appear from your organization and personal contacts.
    • Separate multiple emails with commas.
  4. To the right, click the dropdown menu to choose access levels:
    • Can view: Viewers can see the file but cannot edit.
    • Can comment: Commenters can add comments but cannot directly edit.
    • Is owner: Editors have full access to edit, comment, and adjust share settings.
  5. Click Send to finish sharing the file. The users you shared with will receive an email notification and see the shared file in their Google Drive.

Sharing with Groups

To collaborate with entire groups or departments, share the file with Groups instead of individuals:

  1. In the share window, click Get shareable link.
  2. Enable On – Specific people.
  3. Click Groups to view suggested groups from your organization.
  4. Select the groups to share access with.
  5. Choose the access level for groups.
  6. Click Done then Send to finish sharing.

All members of the selected groups can now access the file through Drive.

Real-Time Collaboration in Docs, Sheets, and Slides

Once a file is shared, collaborators can work together in real-time:

  • Google Docs for word processing and documents
  • Google Sheets for spreadsheets and tables
  • Google Slides for presentations

Multiple collaborators can edit simultaneously with changes appearing instantly for everyone. Cursor colors help differentiate each person’s edits.


Collaborators can provide feedback using comments:

  1. Highlight text to comment on.
  2. Click the comment icon in the toolbar. Comment icon in Google Docs
  3. Type your comment and click Comment to post.

Comments appear in the right margin with icons indicating who left each comment.

Tagging and Replying

Engage collaborators in discussions using @ mentions in comments:

  • Type @ followed by the person’s email address to tag them. “@[email protected], what do you think about this section?”
  • Tagged users receive a notification and see your comment highlighted.

To continue discussions, click Reply beneath any comment. Threads are indented to keep conversations organized.

Setting File Access Levels

File owners can modify access levels anytime from Google Drive:

  1. In Drive, right-click the file and select Share.
  2. Click the user or group to adjust.
  3. Change the access level using the dropdown menu.
  4. Click Save Changes.

Access is updated instantly without needing to re-share the file.

Access Levels

Choose an access level suitable for each user’s role:

  • Can edit – Editors can change files and share settings
  • Can comment – Commenters can add comments only
  • Can view – Viewers see read-only versions

For more control, click Advanced to enable/disable:

  • Downloading, printing, and copying
  • File access expiration dates
  • Ability to reshare with others

Sharing Options

There are a few ways to get your files in front of the right people:

Share Directly from Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

Collaborators added directly when sharing from an open file are automatically given edit access.

  1. With the file open, click the Share button in the top right.
  2. Enter email addresses to share with individuals.
  3. Click Send.

Recipients can open the shared file right from the email notification.

Share Entire Folders

Give access to multiple files by sharing folders:

  1. In Google Drive, right-click a folder.
  2. Select Share.
  3. Add collaborators and choose an access level.
  4. Click Send to share the folder.

Insert Files into Google Chat

To share files when chatting:

  1. When chatting in Google Chat, click the attachments icon.
  2. Select Drive to browse files.
  3. Choose a file to share into the chat.

Anyone in the chat can now open the file.

Get a Shareable Link

To share a file publicly:

  1. In Google Drive, right-click the file and select Get shareable link.
  2. Enable On – Anyone with the link.
  3. Copy the link to share.

Send the link to anyone that needs access.

Attaching Shared Files

Recipients of shared files can attach them to emails and messages:

  1. In Google Drive, right-click the file and select Get shareable link.
  2. Copy the link.
  3. Paste the link when attaching files to email, chats, etc.

The shareable link gives anyone access, allowing them to view or edit based on permissions.

Best Practices for Sharing

Keep these best practices in mind when collaborating:

  • Be selective when sharing files – only add collaborators that need access.
  • When sharing entire folders, review permissions to prevent exposing sensitive files.
  • Revoke access if collaborators leave the project to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Check sharing settings often to ensure documents are not shared publicly unintentionally.

Wrap Up

With Google Drive’s extensive sharing options, you can enable seamless collaboration using Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Whether working on internal team projects or getting feedback from clients, Google’s office suite streamlines the process.

Try sharing your files today to kickstart real-time collaboration!

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