Thank you to Erin Bas for this tip!

One of Google’s greatest strengths is that collaborators can work on a document in real time. This can be a problem, however, if you want to provide a Google document to a class for individual or group work. Asking them to make a copy usually ends up with several working on the original. Google Classroom can be used to distribute a copy to every student, but for a quick fix to this problem, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the doc, sheet, slides, etc.
  2. Set the sharing properties.
  3. Replace the ending of the document URL /Edit (and any information after the word edit) with /Copy. Copy this new URL.
  4. When you share the URL, the individual will click on the link and be prompted to Make a copy, which will then add a copy to their drive that is not shared.

Example

Before
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tEciQ_py5YenkCmn3_AyEwouy0Xe3XfHXSCrvobG2bc/edit

After

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tEciQ_py5YenkCmn3_AyEwouy0Xe3XfHXSCrvobG2bc/copy


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