Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How to Make a Copy of Google Docs I've Shared

Most of the documents I've shared over the past few years are Google Docs that I've made publicly viewable.  Anyone can see them, make a copy to their own Docs folder or save a copy on their computer.

The only thing I don't allow anyone to do is be added as an "editor" who can change these documents permanently, for obvious reasons. Yet I've been getting many email alerts that readers want to "share" certain documents, when I know what they really want to do is have a copy they can edit.

The key is that the "Share" button is not the one you want to use:

To save a copy of something I've shared to your Google Docs, simply click File > Make a Copy.  Google will create the copy immeadiately and you'll see the filename change to "Copy of..." and then the original name.  This is your copy to edit, save, print or even share as you please.

You can also download any Google Docs you can view in multiple formats by clicking File > Download As. Sometimes the formatting and fonts will change a bit in the conversion, but you'll be able to edit or print offline.

Here's a helpful how-to video if you need it: