You have a presentation or a spreadsheet or some other Google thing (which I shall henceforth refer to as a document for ease of reference). You want others to have your document, too. BUT you don't want them to be able to edit yours. Is there a way to "force" them to make a copy of their own? Why yes . . . there is! In fact, there are a couple of ways!
With either method, the first thing you will need to do is to access the sharing settings by clicking on the blue Share button in the top right corner of your document. When the window opens, click on the tiny word "Advanced" near the bottom of that box:
In the new window, you will have the ability to adjust the who and the what by clicking on the permissions and the access level options. In order to share this copyable document, the permissions will need to be set to at least the level of the people you want to make the copy. If this will only be shared within your domain (ie... the teachers in your district), then selecting "On - Anyone at your domain with the link" will be sufficient; I typically choose a level or two up because I may want someone outside of my domain (ie... students!) to be able to have the copy, too. Once you have chosen who has access, then you will decide what they can do with that link. Since you are going to have them make a copy anyway, the access level "Can view" is sufficient.
Once the permissions and access level have been selected, click "Save." In the final window, you will see that the sharing link is now accessible, and probably even hi-lighted for you. Simply click on that link (be sure the whole thing is hi-lighted, and then COPY it by using a keyboard shortcut, by right-clicking, or by using the Edit menu. Once it is copied, simply click the blue "Done" button.
Forcing a copy: Method 1
Once you have copied that link, you will open a new tab and paste it into the Omnibox. BEFORE HITTING ENTER/RETURN, you are going to tweak the URL as follows:
In a nutshell, change "edit" to "copy" and get rid of everything else to the right. Hit ENTER/RETURN and you will then be directed to a page that looks like this:
Users will click the blue "Make a copy button," which will be theirs to edit as they wish. All you need to do is to get them that newly modified URL.
Forcing a copy: Method 2
This method is similar except for a few things. Most notably, the screen where they are taken when clicking on your link will give them a preview of the document they are about to copy. In addition, their new copy will retain the name you originally gave it, instead of "Copy of . . ."
Again, once you have copied the sharable link in your document from the steps above, you will open a new tab and paste it into the Omnibox. BEFORE HITTING ENTER/RETURN, you are going to tweak the URL, but this time, like this:
With this method, by changing "edit" to "template/copy" and getting rid of everything else to the right, recipients will then be directed to a page that looks like this:
Not only do they actually get to visualize what it is they'll be copying, but by clicking on "USE TEMPLATE," recipients will now have a document of their very own, with your original title, to edit to their hearts' desire.
The next post will walk you through methods to deliver those new URLs to your recipients.