how to force copying of a shared Google Doc

In working on internal processes lately, I decided to create a Google Doc template to share with clients. This is part of an automated process, so I won’t be manually creating a unique document to share with a specific client.

Because of that, I wanted to create a public link that forces the viewer to create a new copy of the document in their own Google account. Here’s how I did it.


Step 1 – create Google Doc template

This part was already done. I name these files ‘TEMPLATE – Name’ so I don’t accidentally edit the wrong file.


Step 2 – make document shareable

While viewing your document, click the blue ‘Share’ button in the top right.

In the box that pops up, under Get link, click the blue link that says ‘Change link to (org name)’.

Now click the organization name, and change to ‘Anyone with the link.’

Anyone with the link can now open this document. But we have one more step to force viewers to copy this document.


Step 3 – add ‘copy’ to the end of the URL

In the same popup, click ‘Copy link’ to copy the URL and paste it in your email or wherever needed. You could also close the popup and look at the URL in the browser bar. At the very end of the random letters and numbers, you’ll see /edit. Replace it with /copy.



Step 4 – copy the link, and paste wherever needed

When opening the link (if you’re logged in to your Google account), you’ll see this:

And you’re done. A little extra thought and effort, and you’ve made copying your Google Doc much easier for your end user.


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