From creating a shareable link to assigning editing or commenting rights to different users, you’ll probably already know the basics of sharing a file or folder in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. This tutorial aims to highlight a few little tricks you may have missed, to improve the collaboration experience.

Collaborate with chat

A feature that lends itself very well to the real-time nature of collaborating in Google apps is chat.

Enhance your sharing abilities in Google Apps with chat and comments

If more than one person has a particular file open, simply click on the speech bubble icon in the top right-hand corner of the document to open a group chat with whoever has the file open. The conversation can therefore take place directly inside a file.

Google Apps collaborate with chat

Collaborate with comments

If collaborators are not accessing the file at the same time as you, you can instead leave comments that others can look at when they open the file.

To do so, select a section of text you want to comment on and right-click to insert comment, or click Insert > Comment. Once you’ve typed in your notes, click Comment. You can edit or delete your own comments.

Google Apps collaborate with comments

You can also get an email notification when comments are made to a file, by clicking Comments > Notification in the top right-hand corner of the file.

To highlight a comment to a specific collaborator, add their email address to the comment by pressing enter + and choose the email address. They will then receive an email notification to the comment. However, make sure you have already set the sharing permissions of the document with the recipient, otherwise they will receive a notification but not be able to view, comment or edit the file, depending on their assigned permission.

As well as creating a shared, live document, you might choose to publish a document as a web page, with its own URL.


Publish as a web page

As well as creating a shared, live document, you  might choose to publish a document as a web page, with its own URL. This published web page will always have the most up-to-date content, and be viewed by anyone with the URL.

There are a number of reasons why you might publish the file, instead of just share it among a select group of people.

First of all, it allows you to create an HTML version of a document that you can embed online, in blogs, Google sites and so on.

Secondly, it opens up your document to a large web audience, who will be able to see one version of a changing document.

Thirdly, it allows you to publish sections - individual sheets or cell selections - of a Google Sheet.

To publish a document, go to File > Publish to the web

If you want the published document to remain static, uncheck Automatically republish when changes are made. Otherwise, tick the box if you want to make the published document to be always ‘live’ and updated in real-time.

You can also tick a box that requires viewers to log in to look at the file.

Publishing the file as a web page doesn’t mean that it will be in the public domain forever - you can stop publishing the file at any time by clicking File > Publish to the web > Stop publishing.

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