Remote Learning A-Z: F is for Forced Copy

One of the easiest tricks in Google Suite is one of my very favorites: the forced copy. When you send a forced copy link, it does just what the name implies: it gently (and very politely) forces your recipient to make their own copy that doesn’t end up changing anything on your original.

How did you live without knowing this? In case I haven’t sold you yet, you want to use this trick when:

  1. You want to share a document but you want each student to have their own copy.
  2. You want to share a template you made for students to use as a model.
  3. You don’t want to share a document and tell students to make their own copy, because let’s face it…sometimes they don’t. And then stuff gets messy.
  4. You don’t want to make 32 copies of the same document and have it cluttering up your Drive and never find it again because you can’t remember what you originally called it.
  5. You want to share something with a colleague but you want to keep your own copy intact.
  6. You want to save time.
  7. You want to look super tech savvy and impress others.

Convinced? Okay then, here’s how to do it. This works with docs, slides, forms, jamboards, anything! Also, it’s so easy!

Step 1: Adjust Sharing Settings

First make sure the sharing settings are correct on your doc. Click the Share button in the corner and make sure your file is set to anyone with the link can view. (Note: on Google Forms you have to set it to anyone can edit.)

Click DONE.

Step 2: Change the Link

Up in the bar of your browser, you will see the very long link for your doc. See that backslash and the word edit? Delete everything that comes AFTER the backslash and instead type the word copy. The select that whole link and share it!

If you want to test it, you can do this in an incognito window. I would tell you more about that, but I need something to tell you when we get to Letter I. So stay tuned!

What They See

When someone else clicks on the link, they will be asked if they want to make a copy. They’ll click the blue button and get a file that is called “Copy of” and the name of your document. That’s it!

Remember, if you are sharing with students, they should usually rename it using a standard convention (First name in the front of the title, initials, etc.). They will also need to share that file with you; right now it is private only to them.

Hope this made your life a little easier! Enjoy!

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