This Super Simple Google Docs Trick is Life Changing #edtech #gafe


A few months back, I discovered  through Twitter a super simple Google Docs trick that changed how I share Google Docs links with staff that I work with. I’ve performed this trick a handful of times, and every time I do, no matter what our topic of training is, everything stops because multiple teachers ask, “How did you do that!?” Once I show the trick, it is followed with…“Are you kidding me!? It’s that simple!?”

The problem…

Sharing a doc link and asking a group to Make a Copy inevitably would lead to mass confusion. Most would be able to follow File > Make a Copy without any problems. But there are the handful that begin making changes on my original and therefore making changes for everyone else. In a group of 25 or larger, this can be a time killer.

The Trick…

Google has made it simple for me to FORCE my participants to Make a Copy with these steps…

  1. Locate the URL of your Google Doc.
  2. Change the last word in the URL from EDIT to COPY.
  3. Hit enter, and…voila!

Now you can take that URL and share it with whomever, and they will have no choice but to Make a Copy. See the brief video below.

Force Make a Copy with Google Sheets and Slides Too…

With help from fellow colleague Deb Henkes (@dhenkes), we discovered you can do the same with Google Sheets and Slides, but it’s a slightly different process…

  1. It must be a Google Sheet that YOU have created. Not just one shared with you.
  2. Create a shareable link by going to the blue button in the upper right-hand corner.
  3. Choose any option that allows you to share with Anyone.
  4. Click Done.
  5. Locate the URL of your Google Sheet.
  6. change the last part from edit#gid=0 to copy.
  7. Hit enter, and…voila!

The process isn’t quite as slick as it is with Google Docs, but this video shows the steps for Google Sheets. It’s the exact same steps for Google Slides.

Final Thoughts…

I hope this tiny little step can make the difference when sharing Google Docs/Sheets/Slides with a large group where you want them to Make a Copy. It’s something that takes seconds to set up and hopefully saves headaches as well.

Jarod Bormann
#edtech rocks


15 responses to “This Super Simple Google Docs Trick is Life Changing #edtech #gafe

  1. Pingback: This Super Simple Google Docs Trick is Life Changing #edtech #gafe | teaching knowledge and creativity·

  2. Pingback: OTR Links 02/23/2015 | doug — off the record·

  3. Hello, I am writing because I have a question about
    finding the x and y coordinates of a shape in the Google
    Drawing program. Is there another Google drawing program
    where I may be able to find the x and y coordinates of a shape?


  4. Pingback: This Super Simple Google Docs Trick is Life Changing | Instructional Know-How·

  5. This is awesome, Jarod! Thank you so much.

    Two more tips on this theme…

    1. To share Google slides as a slideshow (and not in the editing mode), change the end of that URL from /edit to /present!

    2. To force a copy of a form, open the form’s responses sheet. Click on Form (from the top menu), select Edit Form. When the form opens in the editing mode, change the end of its URL from /edit to /copy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Ggle Lunch Feb. 23, 2015 Led Zeppelin, Louisville Leopard Percussionists, Chinese New Year, Google Docs, Edtech Bytes with Bormann. | Ggle Lunch·

  7. Pingback: This Super Simple Google Docs Trick is Life Changing #edtech #gafe | EdTech Bytes with Bormann | Learning Curve·

  8. Do you know of any website or document that has a list of all the things you can do with any Google doc by changing part of the URL? I know there are other things besides forcing someone to make a copy, but haven’t been able to find a comprehensive list.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jared – tried this and it works create with computers; however, when I sent it to ipad users, it did not work. Any ideas? My middle schoolers use all ipads and we want to force them to make a copy of our google document. Let me know if I need to do something different.


  10. Pingback: Three-and-a-half Tips Using Google Docs - OSC IB Blogs·

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