Google is finally making it easier to share in Docs and Drive

Google has rolled out an update to Docs and Drive that makes file sharing a little easier. As 9to5Google originally reported, the new Share menu is considerably smaller, and all of its items are more compact and better organized.

The first thing you’ll notice is that “Share with people” and “Get link” have been condensed into a single box. In the last version, sharing with people was a standalone box, with another box for sharing links directly below. In the new sharing interface, the “Get link” box has been removed entirely, and you can now simply copy the link using the button in the lower left corner. It’s cleaner, it removes a lot of unnecessary text, and it’s much easier to find than before.

The “Share with people” section has hardly changed. It has been renamed to “People with access”, but the other steps for sharing files with people are unchanged. Below is the new “General Access” section, which allows users to determine who can see the link. It is possible to define restricted access (where only added people can see the link), a specific workspace (a defined group of users, such as a company), or anyone with the link. These settings were previously located in the “Get Link” section.

The “Copy Link” button is directly below General Access, as I mentioned above.

There is also a settings shortcut in the top right corner that adjusts user settings. These parameters are:

  • Editors can change permissions and share
  • Viewers and commenters can see download, print and copy option

A small but useful feature

Disabling these settings limits sharing and permission changes to the creator of the original file, and prevents users from downloading, printing, or copying the document (at least in a practical way).

All in all, these are useful changes to the sharing UI. The consolidation of the Copy Link button, in particular, will save many people searching for a frequently used function.

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