Google Docs: Copy-n-Paste Made Simple

There are tons of great Google templates available online. In this mini-session, learn how to make a copy of those Google documents for your own use.

The Problem

Need to make copies of resources others share? Hey, you're not alone. Copy-n-paste is OKAY. Don't feel guilty about remixing other people's work so long as you credit them. Much of what ends up on the web is intended to be shared in some spaces. Other Office Suites make it a pain to collaborate and share stuff. Not G Suites EDU.

For example, is one online space where fantastic Google Docs are shared.

Here are a few TCEA blog entries that share Google templates:

Be Ready to Receive

Please note that templates need you to first log in with your G Suite EDU or Google account. That is, in your browser (e.g. Chrome or Chromium-based), you should have logged into a Google account.

This can be a work (G Suite EDU) or personal (free Google account as part of your Gmail) account.

Sharing Options

Anyone who has a Google account has sharing options. We can choose to share individual templates with the options shown below. If we have a LOT of templates or documents, we can share an entire folder in Google Drive.

Let’s explore what each of these look like and what you can do to get what others offer.

You Have Options

To get these templates for your own use, you will need to take these steps:

1-Log in to your Google account (school or personal)

2-Click on the links above for what you want, such as the Google Slide Scavenger Hunt link

When someone shares a Google Doc/Slides/Sheets document with you, you often have the option to go to FILE->MAKE A COPY. It looks like this:

People who share Google Docs want to make it easier for you. They don’t want you to go hunting for FILE->MAKE A COPY. They want you to get their file in one quick click. Where does the copy end up? It ends up in your Google Drive.

When someone wants to share a Google Doc/Slides/Sheets document with you, they can save it in several ways. For the links you click on, you are likely to encounter one of these three options.

Option 1: Make A Copy

When somebody shares a “MAKE A COPY” link, they are trying to save you a step. The person sharing assumes you want a copy of the document. So they take the traditional SHARE link and change one word. Instead of edit, they type in copy.

Original Share Link

In this image, you are in VIEW mode. To get a copy of this document saved to your Google Drive, you will need to go to FILE->MAKE A COPY.

You can change the name at the moment you decide to make a copy, as well as save it to a specific folder in your Google Drive.

Revised link for Make a Copy version

You can see that the ONLY change is adjusting the link to reflect the word copy instead of edit. You can see from the screenshot underneath each that you get a different result.

The goal is to make the process easier on you to get a copy of this document saved to your Google Drive. Keep in mind though that this doesn’t allow you to preview the template/document before downloading a copy.

In the image shown left, you will not see the content of the page, only the option to make a copy. This eliminates a few steps outlined above

Option B: Use a Template

This is another way someone who wants to share a Google document with you can use. The benefit of this option is that before you click on “USE TEMPLATE” button, you get to see a preview. This preview assists you in deciding if you are getting what you want.

This is like Make A COPY. Notice what the link appears as. As you can see, instead of the whole copy or edit area, you see template/preview. This is the key to make your own Google documents available as templates that others can get.

The result is the same as the previous option though. When you click on USE TEMPLATE button, you will get the chance to save it in your Google Drive.

Option C: Folder/Directory of Documents

What happens when the person sharing with you has a folder (a.k.a. directory) of content to share with you in Google Drive? It may look like the image shown right...

Or, if you are NOT logged into a Google account, like this one below:

When you go into the folders, you will see individual documents. For example, you can see a list of infographic templates for Google Slides. There are so many documents, you may not want to grab them one at a time. What you want is the entire folder.

When you encounter a folder share like this, you will need to get a copy of the entire folder. As you can see, you can choose to ADD TO MY DRIVE an entire folder of documents.

Here’s how to do that:

These three options make it easier to get a copy of the templates shared. Remember, you must first have a Google account. You will need to log in before you click on a link to a Google Document you want to get. Once you click, realize you will encounter one of the three options discussed above.