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How to Allow Access to Google Docs

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  • Posted on 17th Aug, 2022 20:51 PM

You can allow access to Google Docs by sharing the link directly or typing in the email address of the person you want to share it with.

What to Know

  • Click Share. Enter the collaborator’s name or email and click Send.
  • If you don’t know the person’s email, click Copy link to share the document with them directly.
  • Collaborator permissions can be set to Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.

Google Docs is designed with sharing in mind, but you can set different levels of access to narrow or widen the number of collaborators on a given document. This article explains how to add collaborators to a document and how to use Google Docs' various sharing options to grant access permissions to each user.

How to Give Access to Google Docs

All access permissions are handled through the Google Docs share settings. You can access the sharing menu through either your Google Drive or in the document directly.

  1. Open the document you’d like to share and click the blue Share button near the top-right corner.

    Alternatively, open Google Drive and locate the document you want to share. Right-click the thumbnail and select Share.

  2. To add an individual collaborator, type their name or email address into the text box.

    If the person you’re sharing the document with is already in your contacts, the text box should autofill their name. Otherwise, you’ll need to enter their full email address in order to send a share invitation.

  3. Select an access level for the collaborator from the dropdown menu. You can change this at any time. 

    Google Docs lets you assign three different permission levels:

    Viewer: the user will only be able to view the document.

    Commenter: the user can view the document and leave comments.

    Editor: the user can edit the document directly.

  4. Click Send.

How to Give General Access to Google Docs

If you don’t know someone’s email address or simply want your document to be more widely available, you can also allow access by sharing a link to your document.

You can share Google Doc access with up to 100 people. If more than 100 people access a document, only the owner and users with editing permissions will be able to edit it.

  1. Open the document you’d like to share and click the blue Share button near the top-right corner.

  2. Click Copy link.

  3. Share the link with whomever you like. You can send the link by email, text message, and more. 

    By default, Google Docs sets General access to “Restricted.” Under this setting, you’ll need to approve access to anyone who clicks the link.

  4. To change a document’s accessibility, click the down arrow next to Restricted under General access.

  5. Select Anyone with the link. Any user who clicks on the link will no longer need your permission to open the document.

  6. Set General access permission levels by clicking the dropdown menu to the right of Anyone with the link. You can set roles to Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.

    Since anyone on the internet can now access your document if they have the link, it’s recommended you don’t put any private or sensitive information in the document.

How to Change Permissions on Google Docs

After adding contributors, you can modify their permissions at any time in the Share menu. Select the arrow to the right of their name and use the drop-down menu to change the access level to Viewer, Commentor, or Editor.

Additional options can be found under Share Settings:

  1. Click Settings (gear icon) in the top-right of the Share menu.

  2. Set whether collaborators can change permissions, share the document, or download, print, or copy it by selecting the corresponding checkbox.

  3. Google Docs saves your changes as soon as you make them.

  • How do I allow offline access on Google Docs?

    To use Google Drive offline, download and install the Google Docs Offline extension. To download your files to your computer for editing, install Backup and Sync for Google Drive.

  • How do I allow shared access to a Google Docs folder?

    To share a folder in your Google Drive, create a folder and go to My Drive > your folder > down arrowShare. Enter the recipients' emails or select Get link.

  • How do I allow Google Docs to access my microphone?

    To use voice typing in Google Docs, go to Tools > Voice Typing. Select the Microphone icon and start speaking.

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