Sometimes, I like to go back into my old school files and read the terrible essays I wrote in high school. However, on occasion, I will accidentally hit a key while reading, and this changes the edit date to way after the date on which I last worked on the document.

Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides have three view modes: Editing, Suggesting, and Viewing. The first two cause the file to accept input, which changes the edit date. Viewing Mode, however, displays the file in a read-only state, making it impossible to make (or suggest) changes accidentally.

Since I see many of my old Google-format files as "archived" in my Drive—heck, I have a massive folder named "Archive"—I would love to be able to open files last edited before a certain elapsed time—say, a year ago—in Viewing Mode so as to protect them from twitchy typing fingers.

Is there a way to enact this behavior using Apps Script? or some other way? Or do I just need to back away from the keyboard and mouse any time I want to read an old document or spreadsheet?

1 Answer 1


Short answer

Google Apps Script can't modify how the Google Drive UI behaves, but it already has features to open file on preview mode.


To open a file of the Google Docs editors type in preview mode,

  • Alternative 1: Right click the file and select Preview
  • Alternative 2: Select the file and click the preview button on the Google Drive toolbar

Preview - Google  Drive Toolbar

  • It's not exactly what I had in mind, but it serves the same purpose. Thanks! Nov 15, 2016 at 1:43

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