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Collaborate on Google files

Collaborate on Google files?

Whether you are embarking on writing support documentation, creating a survey, proposing an agenda, drafting a newsletter, scripting a presentation or finalising data for a report, collaboration enables transparency with your co-workers. Best practice at the University of York is to create your document in a shared space at the outset, either a folder that is shared with your team or a Shared drive. In this way the file will inherit the sharing permissions of the shared space it is created in.

Access Permissions

Granting access to your documentGoogle Docs

Whether you have created a Google Doc in a shared space or not, you can allow others to collaborate with you by granting View, Edit or Comment permission to your document. This can be done by either sharing with a single email address, a Group or by Link Sharing. We recommend using Link Sharing only when it is not possible to share with individuals or groups. For Drive folders and documents you own you can turn off sharing at any time.

At every stage of working on your document you can invite people to comment who don't already have comment permissions by adding a + sign to their email address within the comment.

Invite People to comment on your document

For instructions on how to do this see Add comments and Replies Comments Box

Changing access permissions:

If the sharing is by virtue of the file being in a My Drive shared folder, you can still change access levels in individual files for those who have already have folder access. To Share files from a Shared drive you will need at least Contributor access and cannot take away access to your document for members of a Shared drive, only extend it.

The permissions are:

  • View: you can simply view the document, and cannot edit content, or view, add and edit comments.

  • Comment: you can add and reply to comments, make edit suggestions, but not add or edit content.

  • Edit: you can either edit the document directly, changing it for everyone, or change to suggesting and suggest changes or add comments.

Collaborate with slides sheets and forms

Suggest editsGoogle Docs icon

Google Docs enables those with Edit and Comment Permissions to also Suggest edits. If you are in editing mode then you will see a pencil image Edit Pencil Image in the top right hand corner of the screen. You can switch to Suggesting mode here in the pull down menu. When you Suggest edits, content is not deleted but instead struck through and suggested changes appear in a comment box to the right of the text. Anyone with Edit access can choose to accept or reject these changes.

Collaborate with Slides and Sheets Google Sheets icon Google Slides icon

You can collaborate with co-workers in these Google applications. The rules for View, Comment and Edit access apply to Google Sheets and Google Slides however you cannot Suggest edits in these applications. The Google Workspace learning centre has additional information on how to Share and collaborate with Google Slides and how to Share and collaborate with Google Sheets.

Collaborate with Google FormsGoogle Forms icon

Google form screenshot

Google Forms is the exception here in that when you add collaborators to a form there is only one permission level and that is Edit, when you invite people to be a collaborator on a form they will be able to edit any part of your form, including responses and where they are saved.

3 top tips for Sharing

  • Prevent collaborators with Edit permissions from changing access and adding new people to your files. Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets give you this option from the Advanced options within the Share menu. Share menu In forms it exists in the Add collaborators options via the 'more' menu (3 dots) at the top right hand side of the form.
  • Disable options for Commenters and Viewers to download, print and copy your files. Accessed as above, however this option is not available for Forms.
  • Set an expiration date for how long users can access your files. Select the Share menu>Advanced options, hover the cursor next to their name and select the clock that appears and selecting the date.