One Google Document in Multiple Folders

One File, Two Folders

Sometimes, it can be beneficial to have one Google Document in two different folders. Maybe you are meticulous about organizing your files, but you have a file that could easily be in two different folders.

This can happen when you are collaborating with one group and need to give another group access to the document in a specific folder (for the sake of organization).

*Please note that files can’t be added to Team Drives; they must be moved.

Fortunately, this is easy to do.

  1. Click once on the file that you want to “add” to a different folder (the file should be highlighted in blue).
  2. On your keyboard, press the following keys: Shift + Z.
  3. The “Add” window will open.
    The Add Panel
  4. Navigate to the folder that you want to “Add” the document to. (Note that you will get an > symbol to navigate deeper into folders).
    Add panel selection showing steps above.
  5. Click “ADD” (this will say “ADD HERE” until you select a folder).

Note that this will mean that there will only be one document. Any changes to the document will be reflected in both folders. Also note that the privileges on that document will be the highest privileges of any document.

Let’s say that you create a Google Doc called “My Great Document” in a folder titled “My Team Work”. Then, you are asked to place this document in a “District Team Work” folder that is shared with lots of people with Editing privileges. Using the method above, you create a link to “My Great Document” and add that to the “District Team Work” folder. Anyone who has editing rights to the “District Team Work” folder will also have editing rights to “My Great Document”.


Need to remove the file from one folder but not the other?

  1. Simply locate the file (it doesn’t matter which folder).
  2. Click on once to select it.
  3. Click on the i in a circle to reveal the details of the file.
  4. Click the X to the right of the folder from which you want to remove.

Screen shot illustrating steps to remove a document from a folder.

Two Files, Two Folders

Please note if you want to share a document, but not have the original affected, you can use the File | Make a copy option. That will make a copy of the file at the moment in time. Any changes on one copy will NOT be reflected on the other.


Document and Calendar Sharing

Every once in a while, life provides opportunities to test our patience, our learning and our trouble shooting skills. We’ve discovered another of these opportunities.

Essentially, we had a database file go asunder. This file syncs with our Google Groups. We were able to locate the database and recreate it. The file sync was rerun. However, the groups ended up being recreated.

The end result of this is that the groups are now “new”. They have the same names. They have the same individuals in them. However, they now have new identifier numbers. These new identifier numbers are crucial.

Calendar Items and Documents that are shared will most likely need to be shared again.

The exceptions are calendars and documents that are public. These will remain public. We have put some additional procedures in place so that we can maintain the same identifiers should this ever happen again.

Until our next learning opportunity…

Merge Cells in Tables

You can now merge cells in tables in a Google Document. This has always been a feature in Spreadsheets, but it is now available in Docs as well.

This launch adds the ability to merge the cells of a table in Google Docs. Merged table cells can span more than one row and/or column.

To merge table cells, highlight the cells to be merged in your table and select Merge cells from the Table menu (or right click and select Merge cells).

Merged table cells in Word documents can now be imported as well.

Google Sharing

One of the powerful features of Google Apps is sharing. The rights that you can give vary from just letting people view something to making them the owner of the item.

A question has come up over Folder Sharing. Here is the scoop:

TL/DNR version: If you don’t want people moving anything in or out of the folder, share as “View only”. 

The rest of the story:

As you know Google Drive offers three types of sharing. “Can edit” ,”Can comment” and “Can View”. Last two are not complicated but the first one can be a real pain sometimes. Let me give you two different cases.

1) Suppose you shared a document created under “My Drive”. The collaborator will find the document under his/her “Shared with me” folder. This is the basic information about this type of sharing. The collaborator can move the file into any of his folders and moreover if he/she had installed Google Drive into the computer then the document will be synced automatically. This is an intermediate information and now I come to the advanced part. What happens if the collaborator deletes the file? Before answering consider that when you share your document with “Can Edit” right the collaborator can “edit” the document by all means. Another question; who is the owner of the document after sharing?

The answer of first question is (fortunately) the document will be erased from collaborators account but not from yours. And the owner of the file is always one person. This fact never changes according to type of sharing. BUT these facts will change in a minute :)

2) Suppose you had created a folder and shared it with someone. Some time later you entered the folder and created a document. As you know Google Drive prompts and asks if you really want to “create and share”. You said yes and moved on. The collaborator can see the folder and the document under “Shared with me”. Now, what will happen if the collaborator erases the document? The answer is not same as the previous one. When one of the collaborators erases a document Google Drive thinks that the document doesn’t belong to the folder so it moves the document out of the folder! Without asking the owner!


If you have such a situation don’t panic. Remember that it is not deleted just moved out of the folder but where is the document located? Nowhere, literally. You will not be able to find it under any folder except “All items”. If you click on “All Items” you can find your document there and you can move it to any folder you want. What about the ownership of the document? Well, the answer doesn’t change. You are still the owner.

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