If I want give access to a Google Docs by sending an invitation email from Google Docs (link sharing enabled), when the recipient opens the link from the email, it only allows them to view it, and requires in bold red letters that they must log in to be able to edit it. Which is the opposite of what it said when creating the invitation: Access:Anyone (no sign-in required) Can edit
How to make it send an URL that works as advertised?
- I (the document owner) open the document in my browser
- I click
Who has accessto : Anyone who has the link can edit (that is: Link sharing is On , Access:Anyone (no sign-in required) Can edit)
- add email addresses to the
Invite people:field (
Notify peopleis enabled by default)
- add a message like: This is the document we talked about...
The link sent to the recipients opens the Docs, but does not allow editing unless they log in to Google.
What I found out:
- The culprit is the
invite=xyZFOOparameter in the URL. If it is deleted and the resulting URL opened, it works (the Docs is displayed and can be edited).
- it seems Google Docs appends this parameter to the URL in the invitation mail based on the recipient address (whether it is a Google account or not - for Google accounts it sends a "working" URL, for other it appends this invite parameter), but it is not consistent (or I am running out of test recipients)
- if I enable
Send a copy to myselfthen the URL sent to me is always without the problematic parameter
Is there a way to "just make it work"?
In my situation asking the recipients to manipulate an URL is the same as asking them to perform brain surgery.
PS: Example links:
- works as is (allows editing without login): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zlBBvQuQ1mDF_lutpmqrAErjaZHYsxio5r5SHVtP1YE/edit?usp=sharing
- requires login to edit: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zlBBvQuQ1mDF_lutpmqrAErjaZHYsxio5r5SHVtP1YE/edit?usp=sharing_eixpa_nl&invite=CJmZ4bsF&ts=5839d305
- Forget what I wrote in "What I found out". Suddenly both links allow access. It seems random.
- Apparently this is a very old issue, at least from 2011. See this Google forum topic: Google Docs Insists in sign-in required even though I selected "Anyone with a Link"
PPPS: As noted in comments the links now both allow editing without logging in. I created a new test file and links for it:
- test 2 (requires login): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WvgBVQSmXoIbzPL55hsj8VnvAKC-xsr2ideDJA1rGzk/edit?invite=COW5_b4O&ts=583b0e26
- test 2 (same but with invite parameter deleted): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zlBBvQuQ1mDF_lutpmqrAErjaZHYsxio5r5SHVtP1YE/edit?usp=sharing_eixpa_nl&ts=5839d305
Now for me the first one requires logging in to edit, while the seconds does not. I guess after a while it starts to work as expected. Please someone try the second link (the one labeled "test 2 - requires login")