How to Email a Google Doc

Learn how to download and attach documents for emailing

Emailing a Google doc is easy and can be done in a few ways. You'll be able to share the file with anyone so that they can download it to their computer or use it from their own Google account.

However, not everyone uses Google Docs. If you want to share a document with someone who won’t be using it from their Google account, you can instead save it as a PDF or Microsoft Word doc first.

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

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, then you need to either log in to your Google account or skip down to the other set of directions below for emailing 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 be embedded in the email. This will let the recipient see the contents of the document without needing to open it in a separate program, but depending on the file, it might not end up being formatted 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 will attach a real 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 with 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. 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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