How to Email a Google Doc as an Attachment

Do you know how to add a hyperlink to a Google Spreadsheet?

NOTE – Video has been updated to reflect updates to Gmail and Google Drive. Please disregard the instructions below. To view a detailed instruction, please visit Adding Google Docs as Email Attachments

1. While composing an email, click the ‘Attach a file’ link below your subject line.

2. A window will appear, displaying various folders saved to your computer.

  • Navigate the window to the Google Drive folder and open it.
  • Select the document you would like to attach. You will notice that your Google Drive documents are represented by the Google icons, not Word, PowerPoint, or Excel.
  • Opening the file should attach it to your email, and you are free to send.

3. Keep in mind that the document must be shared with the person beforehand. This will allow them to open the document upon receiving your email.

There are plenty of ways to share documents in Google Docs, but this option is much more intuitive for users who are new to Gmail and Google Apps. We hope you like the video, and if you have any questions or ideas for new videos, be sure to leave us a message in the comments section below. Thanks!

Comments (27) Write a comment

  1. I think the best way to attach multiple Google Docs to an email is going to be using a Collection. Here’s my video on adding Docs to Collections (including add to multiple collections).

    Once you have your Docs in your collection and are ready to send, hover over your collection in your collections list on the left hand side of the Docs interface. Click to downward arrow on the right hand side, click share, and then fill in who you would like to share those Docs with. That will generate an email to those people..

    Reply

    • PS I also replied on Google+ so that my followers could see my response and possibly add other suggestions.

      Reply

  2. Yeap, yesterday i was happy because of that simple improvement but today…. IT’S GONE :(at least form me)

    Reply

  3. did I miss something? this video shows how to share doc with a person not a group like the post title says

    Reply

  4. Thank you for this.

    What I would like to know is how to attach a Google Doc file to a reply in GMail.

    Case in point, a friend emailed a set of docs to a couple of us. I opened one in Google Docs for editing. I wanted to email that edited document in the reply. I had to save it to the local computer, then upload it to the reply email via the usual link for adding an attachment. There’s got to be a better way! (Or, should be)

    Thanks again!

    Reply

    • Hey hnk,

      I see your point, and this is a very common request. I’m sure Google will come out with a solution for this in the near future. There’s just too much demand for it.

      But in the meantime, there are several workarounds.

      Did you need to send your doc back in an offline format, e.g. MS Word? Or were you needing to send an actual Google Doc back to him?

      If you need to send a Google Doc back to him, you could simply send him the link. You would first need to add him to the shared list, or change sharing settings to “Anyone with the link”, and then send that link.

      What do you think? Does that work for your situation?

      Thanks again for visiting the site.

      Reply

  5. I would like to be able to be in GMail and click on the attachment icon and go direct to my google drive

    Reply

    • If you have synced your Google Drive with your computer, you should be able to access your Drive. It should appear like any other folder would on your desktop.

      After clicking the “Attach File” icon below the subject line, a window displaying your device should appear, allowing you to choose your Google Drive as an option to select files from. Hope this helps!

      Reply

  6. If I open a doc and use the email as attachment feature within the doc,
    so file>email as attachment; I am able to send the doc, but do not have a record of the sent mail.

    Any suggestions on this?

    Reply

    • Hey Nancy, sorry I missed your comment earlier. Given the new ability to attach Google Docs to an email using Google Drive (just browse to your Drive folder in the attachment window), if having a sent email record in your Gmail is very important, I would suggest going that route.

      I still prefer, however, to email from the Google Docs interface as its easy to select from a list of collaborators who you would like to send the message to.

      Reply

  7. I want to send it as a email fax, but it puts the address in the cc box, how do I make it go in the to box, so that it will work

    Reply

    • Hey Michael – I’m not sure I’m following the issue correctly. Are you trying to send a Google Doc as a fax? I believe HelloFax has a good integration with Google Drive that allows you to send faxes from Google Drive itself.

      Let me know if that answers your question or if you’re dealing with a different issue.

      Thanks!

      Google Gooru

      Reply

  8. When sending an attachment from docs Google MANGLES the “From:” line by adding a ridiculous “Google Drive” as part of the name:

    “John Smith (Google Drive)”

    Can this be controlled? I am using the business version of Google Apps so this “advertisement” is beyond irritating.

    My clients ask me what this means all of the time – it is very unprofessional…

    Reply

    • Dan,

      I’ve noticed that before but honestly never thought it was an issue, I guess I just love Google too much! But I can see how that might be a problem for you though, especially if you work with people at organizations that don’t use Google Apps.

      My suggestion would be to either attach the doc to an email in Gmail, or to send the link to the doc in Gmail. Personally I prefer sending emails through Google Docs (like you were) but I don’t think there is any way to alter your sender name with that method.

      Hope that helps!

      Google Gooru

      Reply

  9. I wish to share a document with a few friends but restrict accessibility to them alone. Testing it out on my various email accounts, however, it seems that even if I restrict accessibility in Google Docs, an email recipient can forward the attachment to others without my permission. Can I prevent that from happening? Thanks.

    Reply

    • Richard,

      When you share a Doc, you can either let them edit, comment, or view only. If you make it so that they can view only, then in order to share it with someone else, they will have to ask for permission from you, the owner of the document.

      If you want these people to have the ability to edit the document but NOT the ability to share with others, here is what you do: Underneath the space where you add people to share the document with, you’ll see in small print “Editors will be allowed to add people and change the permissions.” To the right of that, you will see a blue link that says “change.” If you click on this, you will see an option that says “Only the owner can change permissions.” Mark off this box, and the people that you share your Doc with will no longer be able to share it with others.

      I hope this answers your question. Let me know if you need any further help.

      -The Google Gooru

      Reply

  10. Any update on the function of attaching multiple Google drive files to a gmail without downloading or syncing it to the local drive? I like Google, but this is a huge frustration, I don’t get why it’s even an issue for what is positioned as a cloud-centric application. Thanks.

    Reply

    • Hey GD – Unfortunately there haven’t been any updates relevant to this particular annoyance, but one interesting thing to note – Chrome OS does exactly what you want.

      I’ve been using a Chromebook and Chromebox exclusively for the past 2-3 months and it’s been very nice to hit “Attach” and have that open up my Google Drive for file selection.

      Reply

  11. Pingback: Enterprises Adopting “Ask the Gooru” as Their Go-To Resource for Google Apps | Market Updates

  12. Pingback: Enterprises Adopting “Ask the Gooru” as Their Go-To Resourcefor Google Apps | Market Updates

  13. Hey this great video , have got a full list of all the video you done. so i can just search on one page for keywords of useful topics with the video links.
    Also is there a way for me get my clients to fill in a form and that to be emailed to me and then saved to my drive and then series of steps done to it like copy text and put it into one new large text file.
    I am web marketer wanting to automate my stuff like aweber and infusion sequence intiation and list building tools.

    Is there easy way to create a online count down using google calender clock and time zone. I need 4 main time zone on one page with the count down to use it to show end of offer with common timezone of people.

    what you top tips with using google for business -things to activate or add or use.
    Is there a way to create a online top 30 chart of all my top people with top scores from a google online excel document.They can view the embeded excel but not change the info on excel.
    Great video so far i can see .
    http://www.googlegooru.com/how-to-email-a-google-doc-as-an-attachment/

    Reply

  14. Is there a way within Google Drive Spreadsheets to “email as attachment” the selected sheet and not the entire workbook?

    Reply

    • Unfortunately, I don’t believe there is a way to attach a single sheet of a workbook, rather than the entire thing. I believe your best bet would be to separate the single sheet into a separate workbook, and then share that.

      Reply

  15. How about haveing Google docs email the entire workbook or set page at a set time/date?

    Not fond of the email stating google docs has been updated, click this link. The projest may be only needed once a week but get updated daily.

    thanks

    Reply

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