How to Share an Existing Document or Folder

Last week we showed the simple steps to create a new shared document. If you missed it, you can find that here. In this post we’ll cover how to share an existing document as well as an entire folder.

The main benefits of sharing are that others can contribute their knowledge directly without making you an intermediary and moreover you avoid the need to repeatedly update people who need to see changes you or others have made. The changes can automatically be seen whenever they open the document(s) anew.

You may have thought shared documents are really only useful in business or education. But this habit also streamlines collaboration for situations involving personal business and planning for fun! I’ve found it extremely useful in coordinating with family members in planning care and wellbeing of other family members.

It’s also a great way to divide the “work” of researching a joint vacation. Different people can agree the areas they’ll look into (eg accommodation, excursions, meal reservations) and report back onto a shared folder or individual document so that everyone is literally “on the same page” and can make informed decisions.

Share a Single Document (File)

On a computer, go to Google Drive . (See last week’s post if you need a prompt how to find it.)

Click the file that you want to share.

Click “Share” or “Share Share“.

If the document you’d like to share is not already in Drive, you can add it by ticking “New”. See below, circled in yellow.

This will show a drop-down menu. For a single file, choose “File upload” (see below, hightlighted in grey).

Once in Google Drive and you choose “Share”, as before (see previous post) you can choose with whom you want to share and which level of access you want to set.

Share the Contents of an Entire Folder

Simply choose the folder that you’d like (instead of file). Some points to bear in mind when you share a folder… the files and sub-folders inside are updated with the new sharing settings. Depending on how you shared the folder, the people whom you shared with will have access to the files inside according to the levels of access you give as follows (source: Google):

Editor: People can open, edit, delete or move any files within the folder. People can also add files to the folder.

Commenter: People can make comments and suggestions on files in the folder, but can’t change or share items in the folder with others.

Viewer: People can see the folder, and they can open all files within the folder.

If you’ve found the posts on getting started on shared documents/folders useful, let us know with your vote below:

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