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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Posting documents on the Web

The more we rely on electronic communication, the more often people ask "how do I post my documents on my website/blog?" The answer depends on how you want the recipients (parents or students) to use the document.

Google documents can be easily linked to your website so that they open in the Google Docs viewer. Printing from this viewer will generate a PDF file that is "universally formatted' for any computer and printer.

To make documents viewable online:

1) Upload the document to Google (look for the upload symbol next to "Create").

2) Rename the new Google Doc to remove the file extension (.doc) from the filename. This avoids confusion about what type of document it is.

3) Share the document and make it "Public" so everyone can view it.

4) With the document open, copy the URL (web address) of the Google Document (keeping in mind that a Google Doc is a web page!)

5) Switch to your blog or webpage and Edit the page or post where you want to link from. Type whatever text you wish to make into a link (usually a short description or title of the document).

6) Here's the TRICK: highlight the text you just typed, and find the link icon (looks like an infinity symbol) in the toolbar. In the next window, click on "Web Address" on the left (not "Existing Page" in Google Sites), and paste in the URL you copied in step 4.  Another nice touch is to check the box for "open in new Window," which will make the document open in a separate tab for the reader's convenience.

7) Save your changes and test your link!