Monday, November 16, 2015

Make a Google Doc Open As a Copy?

When sharing a Google Doc via URL, you can make a change to the URL which will make the student create a copy of the Doc automagically.  All it takes is a simple edit at the end of the URL.

For example, I have a 8 Page Booklet foldable template that I want my students to use.  I have shared it with the world using the following URL:

If that link is in an email or on a webpage that they have access to, they can simply click the link and be able to view this template. The students will then need to File/Make a copy to use it for an assignment.

Now, I can save my students a couple of steps, which can be valuable in many classrooms, and give them a link that will automagically open up to the Google "Make a copy" dialog box.  When the students click "Make a copy", Google will place a copy (that the student now owns) into the students' Google Drive.
To do this, you need only edit the URL that you are sharing with the students.  Copy the URL above and delete everything at the end, starting with "/edit?....".   Replace it all with "/copy" and then share that new edited URL.  becomes:  .  That's it.

So, if you are not using Google Classroom to distribute templates to students, sharing Docs with this Copy tweak may just be the small time-saver that makes a difference in your day.