How to Email a Google Doc

Learn how to download and attach documents for emailing


What to Know

  • Gmail: Go to the Doc's File menu > Email > Email as attachment. Fill out the form and choose your preferences> Send.
  • Other email clients: Open the document and go to File Download. Pick a format and save it. Send the file as an attachment.
  • You can also share the document directly via Google Docs.

This article explains how to email a Google doc via Gmail or by saving it as a PDF or Microsoft Word doc then sending it from another email client.

These directions work from any modern web browser and on most operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.

How to Email a Google Doc

Google makes this simple, but the method you use should depend on two things: how you want to send it (from your Gmail account or a different email program) and which format you want it saved in (i.e., what file type the recipient should receive).

Send With Gmail.com

Here’s how to use Gmail’s website to email a document in Google Docs:

  1. With the document open, go into its File menu and choose Email > Email as attachment.

    Email as attachment option in Google Docs.

    If the Email menu is greyed out, you need to either log in to your Google account or skip down to the other set of directions below to email it with a different program.

  2. Fill out the form. This lets you send yourself a copy, define who should receive the document, and write a subject and message.

    The send as attachment form in Google Docs.
  3. Choose Don’t attach. Include content in the email if you want the document to embed in the email. Then the recipient can see the document's contents without needing to open it in a separate program. However, but depending on the file, it might not end up formatting correctly. Here’s what that might look like from their perspective:

    Screenshot of a Google Doc embedded in an email

    Otherwise, leave that option unchecked and then choose a format from the menu below it. Google Docs will convert the file for you automatically before sending the attachment. For example, if you pick PDF, it will convert the Google Doc to PDF for you. Other options include Microsoft Word, RTF, and a few others. This method will attach an actual file to the email that the person can download to their device.

  4. Select Send.

Send With a Different Email Client

If you don’t want to use Gmail’s website to send the Google doc, you can download the file first and then email it however you wish, like a desktop email client or a different online provider.

  1. Open the document and go to File > Download.

  2. Pick one of those formats. They include PDF, DOCX (Word), RTF, EPUB, and a few others.

    Download file format options in Google Doc.
  3. Save it somewhere easy for you to access again.

  4. Open your preferred email program and then attach the file to the message.

You can download multiple documents at once through Google Drive. Select all the files you want to save, right-click them, and choose Download to get a ZIP full of the DOCX equivalents. Doing this is the fastest way to email several docs at once. They'll be fully compatible with Google Docs, Word, and similar programs.

Sharing Google Docs Might Make More Sense

Another way to let someone else use your Google docs is to share them. Especially when collaborating on documents that will continually change, sharing helps keep everyone’s updates in sync at all times. You can also avoid using up your own hard drive space with file attachments and still use email to do the sharing.

We have a guide on how to share and collaborate with Google Drive if you need help. You can even share an entire folder of documents with Google Drive.

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