Prepared by Michael Glock Ph.D.
When you’re sharing a Google Document with someone else, it’s usually because you’d like their feedback or their help with editing the presentation, document, or spreadsheet. But sometimes, you really just want your recipient to make a copy of the original document. In this tutorial, I’ll show you a trick that will force your recipients to make copies of shared Google Docs.
1. First, open your template document (the one you want to distribute), click on the Share button, then click ‘Advanced’.
2. You need to make sure that your recipients can view and edit this document. Finally, save your changes and close the sharing dialog box.
3. While viewing your document, select the document’s URL and press Ctrl + C to copy it.
4. Now, you want to get this link to your recipients via email, embedding it in a webpage, or sending it via a messaging app (like Hangouts). Whatever method you use, first you want to make an important change to this long string of gobbly-gook. Paste that copied URL, delete the word “edit” that appears at the end, and replace it with the word “copy”:
5. This new, modified URL you’ve created is the one you want to send to your recipient. When they click on your modified link, they’ll see a dialog box from Google asking if they want to make a copy of the document.
6. If your recipient clicks “Make a copy”, a new copy of the document will appear in their Google Drive. This new copy will be private to them. You won’t have access to it, and neither will editors or collaborators on the original template.