How to share Google docs with non-Gmail users

Google Docs is a powerful tool that lets you invite collaborators, control document permissions, and discuss your documents through shared comments. Sharing and simultaneous collaboration are huge benefits of working on Google Docs. Google Docs makes it simple to share and collaborate on documents. Let’s dive deep to know how to share Google Docs with others and non-Gmail users.

How to Share Google Docs with others?

It is very simple to view your Google Docs document’s current sharing settings. To know, just hover over the blue colored ‘Share’ button at the top right of your document. You can see a popover that shows the current document privacy, which is always ‘private’ by default.

share Google docs with non-Gmail users

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Visibility Options to share Google Docs with others

Google Docs has Visibility Options that allow you to control who can view your Google Docs documents. Google Docs documents are private by default, but the “Share” option gives you the freedom to choose to make your documents visible to certain individuals, anyone with a link to the document, or public on the web.

  • To change the setting, click on the ‘Share’ button at the top right of the Google Docs document. The “Share with others” window will open. Before sharing, make sure you have saved the document.
  • You have two options — You can either type the names of people from your contact list or the email addresses of people you wish to share the Google Docs document.
  • You can add the names and email addresses of everyone you want to share the Google Docs document with. You can also add a note to your collaborators in the Add a note field.
  • Once done with adding people, Click the Send button in the lower-left of the “Share with others” window.
how to share Google docs with non-Gmail users

How to Turn on the Link Visibility Option to share with others?

Google Docs ‘Share with others’ screen lets you customize your link visibility options. 

Activating the link sharing option reduces the amount of control you have over who can see the Google Docs document. One of your reviewers could share the link with others, and those others would be able to access your Google Docs document. But, you can define who can see your Google Docs document.

“Get link” option is set to ‘Restricted’ by default. That is, only people added can open the Google Docs document with this link. 

How to Turn on the Link Visibility Option to share with others

Anyone With the Link

To give access to a large group of specific people, you can choose ‘Anyone with the link’ from the ‘Get Link’.This option assures anyone on the internet with this link can view. Anyone can view, comment, or edit your Google Docs document.

Collaborator Options

You have the complete control of how your Google Docs document will be shared on the public. If you are the document owner, you can authorize other individuals to view, comment on, edit, or become the owner of the document.

To change the Collaborator options, click the share button at the top right of the Google Docs document. Change the ‘restricted’ link to ‘Anyone with the link’.You can find the viewer dropdown option at the right corner of the “Share with People and Groups” screen. Click on the dropdown icon. You can choose from the Viewer, commenter, and editor.

How to share Google docs with others

Share with access – Viewer

If you want to allow others to only see your Google Docs document, select the Viewer option. By setting the Collaborator option to Viewer, collaborators will be forced to ‘Make a copy’ of the document in order to make changes, thus ensuring that no one is able to alter the template of your Google Docs document directly.

Share with access – Editor

‘Editor’ collaborator option allows other individuals to edit your Google Docs document. Collaborators can work in your Google Docs document simultaneously in real-time, so you can avoid sending emails for every change done. Each editor who is working in your Google Docs document will be visible as icons at the top right of the screen, next to the ‘Comments’ button.

Share with access – Commenter

People with Commenter option will be able to see your Google Docs document and make comments, but will not able to change the document in any way. You can see the highlighted sections and the comment boxes on the right side of your screen. To comment on a document, you have to highlight the specific text and right-click to select Comment. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Alt-M, or the Comments button at the top-right of the screen next to Share. 

Make owner:

You can make the collaborator as the owner of the document. To do this, go to ‘Share with people and groups’ by clicking the ‘share’ button. Click on the dropdown at the right end of the collaborator’s name. Click on the ‘Make owner’ option. Now your collaborator has access to share and edit permissions for your documents too.

share Google docs with others

Share Google Docs and Notify People

You can also notify the people you are sharing with a message. Once you enter the email address, a screen will appear that allows you to type your message and send it. 

Share Google Docs and Notify People

Removing a Collaborator

You can remove a collaborator from your Google Docs document. To do this, go to ‘Share with people and groups’ by clicking the ‘share’ button. Click on the dropdown at the right end of the collaborator’s name. Click on the ‘Remove’ option. Now the collaborator will be get removed.

Email the Google Docs file to the user as an attachment

How to share Google docs with non-Gmail users?

If you have created a file in Google Docs, it is common to share it with another Google Account user. But what if the user doesn’t have a Google Account?

can you edit a shared google doc without a gmail account?

You can’t edit a shared Google Docs file without a Gmail account. But there are some ways to handle this situation.

Email the Google Docs file to the user as an attachment

  • The best way to share your Google Docs file with a non-Gmail user is by sending via ‘Email as attachment’. To do this,
  • Open your Google Docs document and find ‘File’ in the top left of the document.
  • Click File > ‘Email as attachment’.
Allow anyone with link to edit your docs document
  • A dialog screen will appear that allows you to choose a file format and type in the recipient’s email address. Your Google Docs file will be sent via email as an attachment in the format you choose. 
  • It is an easy way to share files as HTML, PDF, Rich Text, or Microsoft Word. But you cannot collaborate with the recipient online.

Allow anyone with link to edit your document

  • Enabling ‘Anyone with link’ option lets you share Google Docs document to non-Gmail users. People don’t need a Google account to view the Google Docs file, just anyone who has a direct link can either view or edit your Google Docs document.
  • The key benefit of this method is that people who do not have a Google account can edit the document without having to log in to the Google account.

Google Account

Instead of being required to have a Gmail account to view the shared Google Docs document, users only need a Google account. This allows users to access Google Docseasily.

Publishing to Web

One of the best options to share Google Docs with non-Gmail users is publishing your Google Docs document to the Web. Any Google Docs document you create can be easily published as any other webpage on the internet. Then you simply share the web address to non-Gmail users. This method does not require access to Gmail or even a Google account to view your Google Docs document.

To do this,

  • Click File > Publish to the web
  • This opens a dialog screen that asks you to choose to publish as a link or embed.
google docs Publishing to Web
  • Select any one option and click ‘Publish’.
  • This will make your content visible to anyone by publishing it to the web.

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And voila! It’s a cinch to share Google Docs with others and non-Gmail users. Just follow the above-mentioned methods.

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