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Google Drive Tips: Sharing

Sharing files or folders is a new concept when you first start using your Google Drive. Working within Google Drive is different than working with traditional computer storage. For one thing, Google Drive is in the cloud. This means that each item that you save a file or create a folder to your Google Drive, that file or folder has its own unique URL. A URL is better know as a web address. Now you may be thinking that you don't want ALL of your information out there for all to see! Don't worry, your documents are secure. Google gives you the option to what you want to share and how you would like to share it.

Let's look at different share settings within Google Drive. Below are the different options you have for sharing files you store or create within Google Drive.

On-Public on the web
This option allows you to post your file or folder on the web for all to see. This just means that anyone on the Internet could possibly find your link. This is good if you would like to publish your files for others to find while they are searching the Internet.

On-Anyone with the link
This option allows you to post the link to your file or folder for others to access. This also allows you to share your file or folder with others that do not have a Google account. An example of this use would be to post a link to your teacher web page or to send a link through email to parents.

On-Tomball ISD
This option allows you to open your file or folder to all within our Google Domain. Meaning that anyone within TISD will be able to use the search feature within their Google Drive to find and access your file or folder. 

On-Anyone at Tomball ISD with the link
This option allows you to share links with others within our Google Domain without giving them direct access to the file or folder. This is the default for all of our files and folders within our domain. This does not mean every file you store or create is accessible by others within TISD. The only way others can access your file or folder is if you give them the link. Without the link, they cannot access or search for your information.

Off-Specific people
This option is for files that you never want to be seen by others. This setting makes your files and folders private only to you. You will choose this option if you do not want to give others access to your files.

When you open the share settings within Google Drive, you are in control of how much access you would like to give others. No matter how you share your file you always have control over what type of access you give others. In the image below you can see that I am selecting to share my file with anyone with the link. At the bottom of the window I have the option to choose the type of access to give others. In this example you see I can give others 'view' or 'edit' access. This is because I am sharing a folder. If I was sharing a file you have the option to give others 'view', 'edit', or 'comment'. View access allows others to see, but not edit. Edit access allows others to make changes. Comment access allows others to give suggestions or comments. Only give edit if you want others to make changes. NEVER give edit if you are not wanting others to make changes.

The last option you have is to give others specific access. This option opens first when you click on the share button. To share directly with others you type their name in the box and Google will find the user you are looking for.

This option is best for editing and commenting. If you would like someone to view your file or folder, it is best to just email them the link. They do not need to have specific access to view the document. There is a new feature within Google Drive that allows you to give others a time limit to how long they can view or comment on your files or folders. So if you do add someone to your file or folder as view only, you can set up how long they have access to the file. Just remember if you do not turn off the link from Anyone at Tomball ISD with the link can view, even after their access is removed, the user will be able to still view your file. For this option to work you must set your share settings to specific people.

Hope this information helps you to better understand the share settings within Google Drive.


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