Google Drive provides a variety of ways to share documents with others, but some of these share options require the recipient to have a Google account before viewing or editing a shared document. Requiring a recipient to have a Google account may not be possible or may not always be convenient. Google Docs does provide a share option where the recipient does not need to have a Google account to view a shared document. In an open document, click the share button in the button bar.
A share pane will open so we can provide the email address of recipients, but this option requires a Google account to view the document. Instead of sending the recipients an email through this pane, we will send them a different link. At the top of the page is an option that reads, Get shareable link. Click on this link option.
A link to this document will be generated and highlighted for us. We can click the copy link button to copy the link into the computers temporary memory. Above the link we see the permissions granted to the document. According to the permission, anyone with this link can view the document.
The view permission is automatically selected but we can change this option to edit or comment by clicking the triangle next to the permission. If we change the permission to edit, the recipient can still edit the document without the need to log into a Google account.
We can now compose an email message using any email service and paste this link into the email. The recipients that receive the link can click the link to view the document without the need to have a Google account. The recipients can then print or download the document in a variety of formats. If we gave the recipients permission to edit the document, then they can edit the document without the need for a Google account.
If the document is given view only permissions, then the link can be posted onto a web page, Google Group or other service for the public to access.
We can create a shareable link inside of Google Drive. Click once on the file to select it.
Click on the share button in the button bar.
The same share pane will open with the get shareable link option at the top of the pane.