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Is there a way to install a Google Doc add-on and limit its access, so it can only access specific documents that I have designated (rather than gaining access to all of my documents)?

I am trying to limit the risk, when using an add-on from an unknown author, and wondering what options are available to me. If there was a way to install an add-on on an opt-in basis, so it only gains access to documents where I have enabled the add-on, that would provide some helpful risk mitigation.

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It doesn't depend on you, the user installing the add-on. It depends on the add-on developer.


Google Editor add-ons are created using Google Apps Script. Google Apps Script project creators / editors might add a JSDoc annotation to limit the add-on access only to the document where the add-on was activated.

/**
 * @OnlyCurrentDoc
 */

For details, see Authorization for Google Services.

The add-on developer should tell their add-on audience the required permissions and explain why they are required. Still, the authorization process will show the OAuth authorization screen showing the authorizations that will be granted.

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  • Thank you! I'm confused by what I read there. I don't know what it means for an add-on to get access only "to files in which the add-on [..] is used" (what determines whether a file is considered "used" by the add-on?). Maybe if the add-on hasn't declared @OnlyCurrentDoc, the add-on only gains access to a document if I click on one of the menu items associated with that add-on while that document is open? Can you help me understand the implications of the documentation there? Or would it be better for me to ask a new question?
    – D.W.
    Oct 30, 2023 at 1:14
  • @D.W. IIRC I already answered that... not sure if it was on SO or if it was on mentoring session. Give me moment to see if I can find the SO question Oct 30, 2023 at 1:15
  • @D.W. This is not exactly the answer that I was looking for but it's the same question follow-up Do Add-ons Travel with Google-Docs? Oct 30, 2023 at 1:21
  • Thank you for your time and attention to this! I am struggling to understand the implications of that for my question and for security risks. Does this mean that all Docs add-ons are already "opt-in" on a per-document basis, in the sense that the add-on only gains access to a document once a user clicks on a menu item to enable the add-on on that document, and the add-on doesn't have access to other documents where no one has clicked on the menu item?
    – D.W.
    Oct 30, 2023 at 1:26
  • It's not as simple as that because add-ons could install time-driven triggers. From a security risk perspective, one of these triggers might access all your documents, in Google Drive, when your computer is turned off. Oct 30, 2023 at 1:31

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