Sharing with google docs and drive

I have a few very simple questions about this. Can I share through both docs and drive? Is one easy than the other to manage? Can I edit and comment in either? Thanks!

I’m not sure I understand the question. Google docs (which I haven’t used) are a set of applications like Office. Drive, which I do use, is the way to share things. You can share docs files, but you can also share anything else.

What is your question specifically?

Google Docs is like Microsoft Word. It’s a word processing program that you use in your browser (or in the Docs app on your mobile device). When you create a document using Docs, it’s saved to your Google Drive. You can also upload Word documents (or other types of editable documents) which then become Google Docs documents, saved on your Google Drive. You can edit those documents and use settings to share the document with others and let them edit too. Or not.

Google Sheets is the same as above but for spreadsheets/CSV files like Microsoft Excel.

Google Drive is online storage. You can put documents, spreadsheets, photos, PDFs, movies and any other kind of file on there. You can then share those items with others (or not). Editable documents can be edited but they’d be edited in Google Docs. Editable spreadsheets/csv files would be edited in Google Sheets. They’d just be stored on your Google Drive.

I think, but I’m not sure, you can have a shared Google Drive folder that people can upload to. Basically, it’s dropbox.

Google Docs is a set of applications, like Microsoft Office in a business. Anyone working there* could use Microsoft Word to edit a letter, for example.

Google Drive is an online storage location, like a shared hard drive at a business. Anyone working there* could read & write files onto that location.

So they are somewhat different things, though both involving stored data & sharing of it. Google Drive is a location for storing data, Google Docs are programs for working with that data. And many people use them entirely on their own, without sharing with anyone.

*Assuming the person working there is authorized. There are various access restrictions that can be used to limit which people can share the info, and even limit what each one can do with it. And it doesn’t have to be people actually working there; often businesses authorize their accountant to access their financial data, for example.

Thanks, that answers it for me. Editing and sharing would be through docs, drive is storage, thanks!

That explains it very well, drive for storage, docs for working, thank you!

That’s a great way to think about it… except it isn’t true! :smiley:

Google Docs started life as Writely, and cloud storage/online collaboration was its key feature from the get-go. Eventually Google bought the company that made Writely and rebranded it into Google Docs. It took six years after that for them to launch Google Drive, but Docs stored and shared files long before that. Google Drive just shows you links to the Google Docs as a convenience feature. When you click on a Google Doc inside Google Drive, it actually just takes you to the document stored on Docs.

Confusing, right? Fortunately, it doesn’t really matter.

You can use Google Docs to store and share files without ever touching Google Drive. They’re pretty well integrated!

The difference only really matters in enterprises that use those for business, since their administrator controls (and legal retention rules) are slightly different. Doesn’t really matter for home users. No matter whether you start from Drive or Docs, in the end it’s still the same Docs file/link that gets shared. Drive just gives you a shortcut but leads to the same place.

For sharing, you can either share a URL (and copy it paste it to people), or you can share it with specific Google accounts (requiring them to login instead of just knowing the magic URL). All the editing/commenting/viewing happens in Google Docs itself, even if you share from Drive. Sharing directly from Drive saves you a step or two, but shares the exact same thing as sharing from Docs.