Google Drive a Collaboration in 2020

Google Drive a
Google Drive a

Google Drive a Collaboration in 2020: Many people consider Google Drive a as a cloud storage and sync service, and it’s that — but it also encompasses a set of online office apps that are comparable Microsoft Office. Google Docs (the word processor), Google Sheets (the spreadsheet app) and Google Slides (the presentation app) can import, export, or natively edit Microsoft Office files, and you’ll use them to figure alongside colleagues on a document, spreadsheet or presentation, in real-time if you would like.

With a Google Account, individuals get free use of Docs, Sheets and Slides and up to 15GB of free Google Drive a storage. those that need more storage can upgrade to a Google One plan starting at $2 per month.

Businesses can choose Drive Enterprise, which also includes Docs, Sheets and Slides also as business-friendly features including shared drives, enterprise-grade security, and integration with third-party tools like Slack and Salesforce. Drive Enterprise costs $8 per active user per month, plus $.04 per GB used.

[ Become a Microsoft Office 365 administrator in record time with this quick start course from PluralSight. ]

Finally, Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides are a part of the company’s G Suite office suite, alongside numerous other communications tools including Gmail, Google Calendar, Hangouts Meet, and Hangouts Chat, plus security and administration tools. G Suite plans range from $6/user/month for the essential plan with 30GB of storage to $25/user/month for the Enterprise plan with unlimited storage and advanced administration, security and e-discovery tools.

[ Further reading: 10 ways to figure better with G Suite ]

The G Suite and Drive Enterprise versions of Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides are mostly just like their free counterparts but with a couple of extra features for the business environment. Whichever version you’re using, here are the essentials to understand so as to effectively use Drive and its related apps to collaborate.

Most of this text is about sharing and collaborating via My Drive, the drive controlled by individual users whether or not they use Google Drive a through a private Google account, a G Suite account or a Drive Enterprise account. a neighborhood at the top covers Team Drives, shared drives that are available only through Drive Enterprise and G Suite Business, Enterprise and Education accounts.


  • Sharing and access options
  • How to share a document for collaboration
  • How to collaborate on a document
  • How to share documents in Team Drives
  • Sharing and access options

Google Drive a gives you fine-tuned control over who can see your files and what they will do with them.

Public vs. private sharing

There are two ways you’ll share a Google Drive a document, spreadsheet or presentation with people . (For simplicity’s sake we’ll just say “document” from now on, but an equivalent steps apply to spreadsheets and presentations.)

Publicly: Anyone can access your document by clicking a link thereto . No sign-in is required. you’ll give out this link to anyone, or publish the link on an internet site or message board.

Privately: You enter an email address for every collaborator. Google Drive a will email everyone a link. Only the people that receive the e-mail can click the link to access your document.

To edit or discuss a personal document, your collaborators must have a Google account. If any of your collaborators already features a Gmail account, then they will immediately collaborate as long as they’re signed into their account. Anyone who doesn’t will need to register for a user account employing a current email address, which does not got to be a Gmail one.

Viewing vs. commenting vs. editing

Regardless of whether you publicly or privately share a document, you’ll choose one among 3 ways on how people can interact with it.

View: Others will only be ready to scroll through and skim your document.

Comment: Others are going to be ready to add comments but not change the body of the document.

Edit: Others are going to be ready to actually edit the document (change text, add images, etc.) and share the file with others.

You can combine the sharing and interaction options any way you select — as an example , you’ll share a document publicly and grant view permissions only, otherwise you can share it privately and grant comment permissions. With private sharing, you’ll give some people view permissions and let others comment or edit the document.

Less common scenarios are public sharing with commenting or editing enabled. Why would you ever want to publicly share a document and let anyone discuss it? Maybe, for instance , you would like to collect opinions a few rough draft of a presentation. So you share a public link thereto on a message board for colleagues in your line of labor , inviting them to comment.

As for why you’d allow public editing access, a plausible scenario could be if a collaborator you recognize doesn’t wish to register their email address with Google for a few reason. Without a Google account, they can’t be granted private access. Under this circumstance, you ought to only enable public access to edit at the time when this person are going to be online to edit your document. As soon as they’re finished, you ought to disable public access with edit capabilities.

How to share a document for collaboration

From the most page of your Google Drive a user account (listed under the heading My Drive), click the file name of the document you would like to share in order that it’s highlighted in blue.

To share publicly: Click the link icon (it seems like a chain) on the toolbar above the list of your folders and files. A panel will open, showing you an internet link. you’ll copy and paste this link to share with people . By default, they’re going to only be ready to view your file once they visit this link.

Google Drive a collaboration link sharing on IDG

To allow the general public to discuss or edit this document, click “Sharing settings.” this may open a “Share with others” panel. within the first gray box, click to vary “Anyone with the link can view” to “…can edit” or “…can comment.”

Google Drive a collaboration public sharing permissions IDG

You can change a document from public to non-public at any time by clicking an equivalent gray box and selecting “OFF – only specific people can access.”

Conversely, there’s how to form a document even more public. By default, once you create a shareable link, only people that have the link can access your document. But if you click that very same gray box and choose the “More…” link, you’ll see an option that says “On – Public on the online ,” which suggests that your document is accessible by anyone on the web and should happen in Google searches. Warning: Choose this feature as long as you truly do want to share your document with the planet .

(Note that you simply can additionally send private email invitations to the document from the “Share with others” panel, as detailed below.)

To share privately: Click the icon of the silhouette head with the + check in the toolbar. this may open an easier version of the “Share with others” panel. Type within the email addresses of the people you would like to collaborate with. To the proper of this entry box, you’ll click the grey box to grant each collaborator the power to edit, comment, or only view. (“Can edit” is chosen by default.)

Google Drive a collaboration – sharing a document privately IDG

If you’ve chosen to share a document privately, you’ll make it public at any time by clicking “Get shareable link” within the upper-right, which creates a public link and opens an equivalent expanded version of the “Share with others” panel that we saw when public sharing was enabled.

You can use both public and personal sharing options for an equivalent document — as an example , you’ll allow the general public to look at your document but let only specific people edit or discuss it.

Clicking the “Advanced” link at rock bottom of the “Share with others” panel opens a good more expanded version of the panel that creates available all the settings for enabling public or private access to your document. additionally to the sharing options outlined above, you’ll prevent people with view or comment permissions from downloading, printing or copying the document. you’ll also prevent anyone with edit permissions from sharing the file or changing its access permissions.

Google Drive a collaboration – advanced sharing paneI IDG

The G Suite and Drive Enterprise versions of Google Drive a also allow you to set an expiration date for a shared document. After this date passes, the person or people you’ve shared the document with will not be ready to view it.

From the “Sharing settings” window, under “Who has access,” hover the cursor over the name of the person you would like to line an expiration for. Click the timer icon that appears by their name.

Google Drive a collaboration share file set expiration 1IDG

Next to “Access expires,” click the drop-down box. Select the number of days from the present day that you simply want that person to possess access to the file before they will not view it. Or click “Custom date…” to select a selected date of expiration from a calendar. Click “Save changes.”

Google Drive a collaboration share file set expiration 2 IDG

Note that this expiration function doesn’t work on a document that you simply want to share with someone to edit. It can only be applied to users who are allowed comment or view access to a file.

There are two other ways begin sharing a document in Google Drive. From the most My Drive page, you’ll right-click the file name or thumbnail of your document and choose “Get shareable link” or “Share…” from the panel that pops hospitable enable public or private sharing, respectively.

Google Drive a collaboration share right click IDG

To share a document that you’ve already opened and are currently viewing, click the blue Share button at the upper-right corner. this may pop open the simpler version of the “Share with others” panel, which you’ll expand as required .

How to share from the Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides mobile apps

To share a document from the mobile app version of Google Drive, tap the three dots to the proper of the file name. From the panel that slides up, you’ll tap “Share” to share privately; that brings up a screen where you’ll send email invites and set editing permissions even as with the Google Drive an internet app.

For public sharing, when the three-dot menu slides up, tap “Link sharing” (in Android) or “Link sharing off” (in iOS) to show on link sharing for the document. once you do so, a web link to your document is copied to your phone’s memory; you’ll paste it into an email, for instance, to share it with others.

Google Drive a collaboration android app IDG

When you’re on the house screen within the Google Docs, Sheets and Slides mobile apps, the sharing steps are basically an equivalent as within the Google Drive a app. once you have a document, spreadsheet or presentation open in its respective mobile app, the “Share” icon for personal sharing is found at the upper-right. To share as a public link, tap the three-dot icon within the upper-right corner, and tap “Share & export” from the panel that appears.

Google Drive a collaboration – sharing from Docs app Howard Wen / IDG

Sharing from within the Google Docs app. Let’s hope any collaborators spot the error within the first sentence.

Sharing status

When a document on your My Drive page is about as shared, it’ll have an icon of two silhouetted heads to the proper of its file name to point this status.

Google Drive a collaboration shared files IDG

(An oversight on the a part of the Google Drive a developers: If you’ve got your My Drive page set to grid view, which shows your files and folders as thumbnails, this icon won’t appear over the thumbnail of a shared file.)

What if you’re on the receiving end: Someone has shared a document with you to collaborate on? Along the left side of your My Drive page, clicking “Shared with me” will show you an inventory of files that others have shared with you.

Google Drive a collaboration sharing status IDG

The mobile apps use an equivalent silhouetted heads icon to point a shared file and therefore the same “Shared with me” link to point out you files others have shared with you.

How to collaborate on a document

Google Docs, Sheets and Slides offer a couple of alternative ways for people to figure together: comments, direct edits, and suggested edits, with a couple of extras thrown certain real-time collaboration. (Suggested edits are available in Docs only, the opposite options altogether three apps.)

To add and review comments

Anyone who’s been granted comment or edit permissions can add comments to a document. Set the cursor within the document where you would like to insert a comment. Alternately, you’ll highlight text or a picture . Then, click the black dialog icon on the toolbar above the document.

google drive a collaboration comments 1 IDG

A panel will open at the lower-right corner, inside which you’ll type your comment.

google drive a collaboration comments 2 IDG

Comment cards created by you and your collaborators appear along the proper side of the document.

google drive a collaboration comments 3 IDG

Clicking the grey Comments button at the upper-right corner will open a panel listing all the comments made by you and your collaborators. you’ll scroll through them, and you and your collaborators can answer all with a quick message.

google drive a  collaboration comments 4 IDG

The mobile apps also allow you to add and review comments. With a document open, click the pencil icon within the lower-right corner. Put your cursor where you would like to insert the comment, tap the + icon on the toolbar at the highest of the screen and choose Comment from the panel that slides up. Type in your comment, then, in Android, tap the Comment button to insert it; in iOS, tap the check to insert it. To review all the comments during a document, tap the grey Comments icon.

To make direct edits

Anyone who’s been granted edit permissions can directly edit the document. As you’d expect, you’ll simply insert your cursor, then add or revise text, insert images then on. (In the mobile apps, tap the pencil icon within the lower-right corner to enter editing mode.)

With multiple people editing an equivalent file, however, it are often difficult to stay track of who’s done what. That’s where version history comes in. If you’re away when a collaborator makes changes to your document, subsequent time you open it, a standing line above the toolbar will tell you ways way back the last edit was made and by whom.

google drive a collaboration edit tracking 1 IDG

If you click this status sentence, you’ll be taken to a screen showing an inventory (on the proper side of the screen) of older versions of your document. The entry for every version states the date and time when the revision was made and by which collaborator. The text or images that a collaborator added are going to be highlighted during a color that matches the colour next to their name during this entry.

google drives collaboration version history 1IDG

You can also access this archive of older versions from the most document viewing window by clicking File > Version history > See version history.

google drives collaboration version history 2IDG

Click one among the dates, and therefore the version of your document that was saved at that marked time will show within the main window. (If you would like to offer an older version a singular name, click on its date. You’ll be prompted to type in words to exchange the date.)

To restore an older version so it becomes the one that you simply and your collaborators will work on together, click the large , blue “Restore this version” button at the highest of the screen. (The last version you were performing on will then be listed at the highest of the “Version history” list.)