Simple Google Drive URL Tricks You Need to Know

Learn secret URL tricks for Google Drive to quickly create direct download links, copy or preview shared files in Drive.

With Google Drive, you can store files in the cloud and easily share them with anyone. Open any file in Google Drive, click the Share button, and you’ll get a URL (link) that others can use to access your file. It’s common knowledge, but Google Drive has plenty of URL tricks up its sleeve that will make those simple Drive links even more powerful.

Tips for Google Drive URLs

Google Drive web reader

Google Drive includes a built-in web viewer so users can view your shared files – from Microsoft Office documents to videos to AutoCAD drawings – right in their browser. You can use this web viewer to view files online without having to download the files to your computer.

https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=FILE_URL

To replace FILE_URL with the full http link of the online document and everyone can see your file in the browser itself. Here is an example.

Drive mode for Google Drive files

You can view native Google Docs in reader mode (without the Google UI) by simply replacing /edit in Google Drive file URL with /preview.

So, if the original sharing link of a file in Google Drive is:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/SHEET_ID/edit

You can view the same document in a clean reader mode using the link:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/SHEET_ID/preview

Here’s a Google Sheet, Google Doc, and Google Slides presentation in preview mode that’s less cluttered, has no menus or toolbars, and therefore loads faster.

Embed Google Docs into Web Pages

the /preview is useful when you need to embed a document, spreadsheet, or presentation from Drive into your webpage using the IFRAME tag, like in this live example.