Canvas: Setting up Google Share Links for Content

Use Google apps for your content, link it in your course site, and update with one click!

  • Access anywhere you have the internet! Less risk if your computer crashes

  • Work/collaborate in G-Suite apps to make it really easy

  • No need to do PDFs anymore - everyone can open a Google Doc (Accessible!)

  • You can still see all your old versions with File > Version History


What to Share

  • Content that changes every semester 

  • Content you want students to change 

  • Content with dates 

  • Everything can be saved on drive and shared via links


Building the Drive Structure

Go to and sign in with your email or if you are a G-Suite app online, click the 9-square icon and choose drive.

  • Add "SHARED" to file names 

  • Add "NOT SHARED" to a folder for anything with student data (grades, scores, groups)

  • Sharing a folder allows you to move items in or out to control when they are shared.

  • For documents with dates (like a course schedule), have Fall, Spring, Summer versions that can be updated for the next semester without messing with the current semester.


Share Settings

  1. Right click and choose share on file name or click the share icon

  2. Choose "Get Shareable Link"

  3. Change the default "Anyone at University of Minnesota . . . with the link can view" by clicking the little down arrow

  4. Click More and choose" Anyone with the link"

    1. Can view links - students can only see and make a copy, cannot change original

    2. Can edit links - can edit/comment 

Adding the Hyperlinks

  1. Navigate to Canvas

  2. Modules: click + > choose External URL > paste in the link, type name > Save

  3. In Pages/Assignments editing box: Highlight text > Insert the link.



  • Using the Google Suite: Go to Canvas, click on it edit and close (no saving needed)

  • Using other software: (

    • Download file from drive and update it

    • Go to Drive, right click on file and choose Manage Versions > upload new version

    • Your download folder will get messy, and you may have lots of versions hiding on your computer


Presenter: Kalli Binkowski ([email protected]), Academic Technology Coordinator, College of Biological Sciences


Additional Notes:

  • FYI: If you try to always work and update in Word and then convert to Google docs each time for sharing, you will have tons of versions and get very frustrated with conversion issues.  Just use the G-Suite.