Sharing Google Docs with QR Codes

Robert Abraham
Instructional Strategist
Blog on November 19 2021

There are many different ways to share documents using Google Docs. It is one of the features that draws so many users to the platform. The big blue and white share button on the document makes it very easy and user-friendly to share documents and set sharing permissions. One overlooked method of sharing that’s also very easy is using a QR code.

What is QR?

QR stands for Quick Response and is a type of barcode that can be read by a digital device with a code reader and also many camera apps. They store information as a series of pixels in a square-shaped grid. When read by the device, the QR code can direct a person to a website or other options like a video or audio file. 

There are many uses for QR codes in the classroom, including creating easy access to websites, to build digital scavenger hunts, and more. Creating QR codes for a Google Doc is a quick and easy way to share Docs with students, colleagues, and parents. It is a very simple process and can be done in two ways, both of which are outlined below.

Using QR codes with Google Docs

There are a couple of methods to making this work. Before we move on, please note that when you share a Google Doc with a QR code, you are essentially just sharing a link to the document. This means that you will still need to be cognizant of the sharing permissions set on the document. Best practice is to set the sharing permissions as appropriate first, then generate the QR code to use as an easy digital link to the file. With that said, let’s take a look at how this works:

Method 1: Chrome Omni Bar

  • Open up your Google Doc
  • Left click on a blank spot in the omni bar on the top of the page (where you would type a website address)
  • Look for a square on the right side of the bar and click on it  (the square will not appear unless you left click  in the address bar)
  • This will generate a QR code you can download as a direct link to the document (as well as a URL link)
  • You can actually use this method on ANY web page to create a QR code link!


Method 2: Google Doc Toolbar

  • Open up your Google Doc
  • Right click on a blank spot on the toolbar abovethe document
  • This creates a popup menu. The option for the QR code is midway through the popup

  • This will generate a QR code you can download as a direct link to the document (as well as a URL link).

Here is an example of a QR code generated with the first method above. Use your QR reader on your phone to see where it takes you!

For more tips, tricks, and tools for teaching in and out of the classroom, check out more articles on the Teq Talk blog.

We also offer virtual professional development, training, and remote learning support for educators with OTIS for educators. Explore the technology, tools, and strategies that can spark student success — no matter where teaching or learning are happening.

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