There are multiple ways to attach a Google Docs file to an email. Each option has its own advantages and limitations. While some methods work great on Gmail, they may not work at all on other email services. Here’s a handy list of all the ways you can attach a Google Docs file to an email on Gmail or any other email service for that matter. Pick the one that suits your needs.
Let’s begin with the default option that’s baked right into Gmail.
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How to Attach Google Docs File to Gmail
If you use both Google Docs and Gmail, the ecosystem works better for you. Every document you create in Google Docs is stored in Google Drive. On the other hand, you have the option to upload files from Google Drive directly from Gmail itself.
Attaching Google Docs File to Gmail With Google Drive on Desktop (Web App)
1. Open Gmail, click on Compose to start composing the email, and then click on the Drive icon on the bottom bar to attach files from Google Drive.
2. This will open Google Drive in a pop-up where you can select any Google Docs file and click on Insert. If you cannot find the required Google Docs file, you also have the option to search Google Drive directly in the pop-up window.
3. Once the Google Docs file is attached and the email is written, click on Send.
4. This will open the permissions pop-up window for the recipients with whom you are sharing the Docs file. You can either permit to View, Comment, or Edit it.
Note: All future changes made to the document will sync on recipients’ end with whom you have shared the file.
5. Once done, click on Send to send the email with the Google Docs file link.
Attaching Google Docs File to Gmail With Google Drive on Phone (Android and iOS)
The steps for attaching Google Docs files to Gmail on the phone are different. Here’s how you can add a Google Docs link to an email on the phone with the help of Google Drive.
1. First, open the Gmail app and tap on the Compose button. Here tap on the attachment icon at the top right corner.
2. Now select the Insert from Drive option and select the Google Docs file that you want to add.
3. This will add the Google Docs file as a link. Now tap on the Send button at the top to send the email. This will open a similar permissions pop-up as you saw on the desktop.
4. Here you can give permission to View, Comment, or Edit it. Once selected, tap on Send button to send the email.
While the process is easy, there are 3 things you need to remember. First, this will only send a link to the Google Docs file, so it is not exactly attaching the file. Secondly, the changes you make or the changes he/she makes to document will be reflected everywhere as the file is in sync and stored in the cloud. So you are not actually sending a file, you are sharing or inviting to collaborate on the file.
This can be so much helpful rather than just sharing a file. But if this isn’t what you want and you want to just send the Google Docs document as a file, then read on.
And thirdly, this method will only work in Gmail or some select third-party email apps that support cloud storage services. Not all of them do. For example, Outlook from Microsoft only supports OneDrive.
How to Attach Google Docs File to Gmail From Docs
While sending a Google Docs file using Drive directly from Gmail is easy, it isn’t exactly attaching a file. If you just want to share the document as a file, you can do that directly from Google Docs itself. Here’s how.
1. Open the Google Docs file that you want to share. With the document open, go to File > Email and select Email this file.
2. This will open a pop-up window with a form. Fill the form with the contact details of the recipient along with a message.
3. You can also change the file format here. By default, it is set to PDF, but you can change it to Microsoft Word format to share it as a document file. Useful if the person is using Outlook which integrates deeply with Word, also by Microsoft.
4. Once done, click on Send at the bottom right of the pop-up window. You have successfully sent an email with a Google Docs file attached.
While the process is easy and shares the document as an attachment, it only works with a Gmail account. The option is also not available on the Google Docs app on the phone. To attach the document to other email services or share it via phone, you will need to use the download method discussed below.
How to Download and Attach Any Google Docs File to Any Email
While both the previous methods are easy, they are restricted to Gmail. But if you want to share the document using another email service, then here’s how you can do so.
Downloading and Attaching Google Docs File to Email on Desktop (Web)
1. First, open the Google Docs file that you want to send. When the file opens, click on File at the top right corner and then hover on the Download option.
2. This will show multiple file formats for you to download the file in. As you are willing to share it as a document, you can select Microsoft Word and save the document to your local storage.
3. Now you can open the email app of your choice and upload that Word document as an attachment.
Downloading and Attaching Google Docs to Email on Phone (Android & iOS)
The process of downloading a Google Docs file on the phone is completely different than the web.
1. First open the Google Docs file that you want to share as an attachment. Now tap on the three-dot menu at the top right corner.
2. In the pop-up menu, scroll down and select Share and export and then select the option Save As.
3. This will open a small pop-up window. Choose a file format that you want to download and tap on OK. Just like on the desktop, select Word if you like to share it as a Word document.
4. Now you can open the email service of your choice and upload that document as an attachment.
You can use this method to download Google Docs file in any format and then attach and send it via email using any service. Note that using this method, you can only attach files but there would be no online collaboration possible. That requires the document remains in sync across computers/users using cloud services like Drive.
Wrap Up: Attach Google Docs to Any Email
You can directly add the Google Docs link from Google Drive on Gmail, but it shares the link for you to collaborate online on the document rather than just sending the document file as an attachment. That’s because Google Docs is a web app and not a desktop app.
You can also use the email option on Google Docs to instantly share the Docs file as an attachment, but the caveat is that it works only on Gmail. While the download option shares the Google Doc as an attachment and works on any email service, there are a few additional steps involved. On the plus side, you can share as PDF, Word, or even ePub.