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Google Drive

Collaborating: Benefits of collaboration

Google Drive enables multiple people in different locations to collaborate simultaneously on the same doc from any computer with Internet access.

For example, Alice and Meredith are working on a project together, and they need to write a document, keep track of their work in a spreadsheet, and create a presentation to share with other people involved in the project. Alice lives in New York, and Meredith, in Los Angeles.

When Alice makes changes to the document, spreadsheet, or presentation, Meredith can see them in real time and respond to them immediately. Both of them work on the same docs, so there's no need to go back and forth, comparing and consolidating individual files.

To start collaborating in Google Drive, simply sign in with your Google account, click on the apps button and choose Drive.

Creating Documents

To create a new document, go to your Drive list, click the New drop-down menu, and select the type of document you would like to create.

Types of Documents:

Google Document  Document

Google Presentation  Presentation

Google Spreadsheet  Spreadsheet

Google Form  Form

Google Drawing  Drawing

As you're working on your document, click the Save button in the top right corner of the document, enter a name for the document in the window that appears, and click OK. Then, you'll see your document in your Docs list.

If you'd like to save and close a document, click the Save & close button.
To save a local copy of a document, you can download it to your computer. To do this, open your document, click the File menu and point your mouse to the Download file as option. You'll see these file types: HTML, RTF, Word, Open Office, PDF, and plain text. Select a file type and click OK in the browser window that appears.

Uploading a file

You can upload existing files to Google Drive at any time. Here's how:

1) Click the Upload button at the top of the sidebar in your Drive list page.

2) Click Browse and select the document.

3) Click Open.

4) Click Upload File. The uploaded file appears in your Drive list.

Sharing your document

Now that you've created your Google document, you can share it with your friends, family, or coworkers. You can do this from your Docs list or directly from the document.

  • From the Drive list, select the checkbox next to the document you want to share (you can also select multiple documents), and click the Share drop-down menu in the toolbar.
  • From your document, click the Share drop-down menu in the top right corner of the page.

Then follow these instructions:

1) Select Invite people...
2) Select To edit or To view, depending on your preference.
3) Enter the email addresses or mailing lists that you'd like to add.
4) If you'd like to add a message to your invitation, enter some text and click Send.

Note: To skip sending an invitation, click Add without sending invitation. Your collaborators and viewers will still be able to access the document from their Drive lists, but won't receive an email invitation.

In the Share dialog, you can also check who has access to your document, remove collaborators and viewers, and change editing rights.

  • You can explicitly share your document with up to 200 combined viewers and collaborators; however, if you publish your document, anyone will be able to access it.
  • Up to 10 people may simultaneously edit and/or view a document.

Revision history

While you and your collaborators are editing a document, you can keep track of changes (and of the person who made them), and even revert to an older version by using Revision history. From your document, click File > See revision history.

On the next page, you'll see a list of the revisions, the date and time each was last edited, and the changes made. You can also compare two revisions at a time.

If you change your mind about the most recent edits you or your collaborators made to the document, simply revert to an older version. Here's how:

1. Click any revision from the list you see. If you select the wrong one, you can click Older or Newer until you find the version you want.

2. Click Revert to this one on the right side of the page.

  • Your document is reset to the version you selected. When your collaborators view this file, they'll see the version you selected.
  • If you want to go back to the latest version of your document, open 'Revision history' and click Newer until you get to the latest version.

Sharing: About owners, editors, and viewers


  • Can edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations, and invite more editors and viewers.
  • Can delete documents, spreadsheets and presentations, and thereby remove access for editors and viewers.

Please note: To fully delete a document, spreadsheet or presentation, and remove access to it, you must delete it and then Empty Trash.


  • Can edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
  • Can invite or delete other editors and viewers (if the owner has given them permission).
  • Can export a copy of the document, spreadsheet or presentations to their local hard drive.
  • Can view the list of editors.
  • Can make a copy of a file, and copy the list of file's editors.


  • Can see the most recent version of a document, spreadsheet or presentation, but can't make any changes.
  • Can export a copy of the document, spreadsheet or presentation to their local hard drive.
  • Cannot view the list of editors.
  • Can make a copy a doc, but can't copy the list of doc's editors.

Learn how to remove collaborators and viewers from your documents, spreadsheets, or presentations.

Access with Google Accounts

  • If your files are published, anyone can view or access them by invitation without a Google Account..
  • If another user has enabled offline access to Google Drive on your computer, you'll need a Google Account to view all files.