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Can You Share Google Docs With Non-Google Users?

Laurie from Biloxi, MS writes:

I have created a spreadsheet in Google Docs that I would like to share with a group member that does not have a Gmail account. Do I need to request they get a Gmail account or can I share it with them another way?

Hi Laurie, great question, you’re definitely not alone on this one. Let’s start by clarifying that a Gmail account and a Google account are not the same thing:

Gmail Account – a free email account through Google ending in @gmail.com

Google Account – a user name and password that you use to login to Google applications such as Docs, Maps, Sites and Search. A user can sign up for a Google account with an email address other than Gmail.

If they don’t have either account, however, there is still hope. You can choose send them the Doc as an email attachment (File>Email as Attachment) or change the visibility setting to ‘anyone with the link‘ and send them the link. Keep in mind both options will only give viewer permission. They will need to login to a Google account to edit the document.

I hope this helps!