I sent out links (read-only) to a number of people and am curious if there is a way to see whether people are actually going out and viewing that document.

I understand it likely won't have names for everyone/anyone that looks at it, but I'd be interested at least in knowing how many "hits" it got to make sure that at least some of those I sent it too actually looked at it.

3 Answers 3


This page describes a method to do so.

Track Visitors To Google Docs; Know When People Open & Read Your Documents

It suggests to add a blank image to the document which can then be counted using statcounter.com

  • It looks like editing the HTML of a document is no longer supported, and there does not appear to be a menu option for inserting a gadget in a document either. Gadgets are however supported in spreadsheets.
    – gavaletz
    Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 14:19
  • I posted an updated answer basing on Paul's to workaround the "no HTML editing is there any more": webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/12798/… (moderators here suggested me to post as a new answer rather than to edit Paul's)
    – yurkennis
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 16:19
  • 1
    Looks like this doesn't work at all any more. Now Google Docs Presentation seems to retrieve image-by-URL once upon inserting, and therefore no pixel-based web site tracking tools work at all.
    – yurkennis
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 11:38

Update 2013-Oct-4: Looks like this doesn't work anymore. Now Google Docs Presentation seems to retrieve image-by-URL once upon inserting, and therefore no website tracking tools work anymore.

Update 2014-Jan-11: Seems to be working for Sheets but not Docs

Any web site analytics tool can help. For example, www.statcounter.com (it's free):

  1. Go to statcounter.com and register for a free account.
  2. Under “Install Code”, choose the following options:

    Invisible Counter -> Google Pages -> HTML only counter.

    Statcounter will now generate some HTML code enclosed in a <div> tag. Strip everything except the URL in the IMG tag, it looks like this:


  3. Open the Google Docs document that you want to track.

  4. In Google Docs menu, choose: Insert > Image > By URL > Paste an image URL here:. Insert the above URL.

Currently, it works at least for Documents, Spreadsheets and Presentations.

This answer is based on Paul Rowland's answer and the blog post he linked to.


On August 21, 2018 Google launched for all the activity dashboard for Google editors (documents, forms, slides and spreadsheets) but it could not show what you are expecting as users could disable showing their activity and G Suite administrators have administrator settings that affect how this feature works for their users.

Anyway, this could be helpful in certain scenarios especially if you share documents with a group of users that have the view history turned on.

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