Collaborating on files is one of the best features in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. However, when you complete the document, you might need to limit someone else’s permissions before you can finalize and close it.
When you finalize a document, it means the last edit has been made and there’s nothing left to add. So, when you’re collaborating with others, you might want to prevent them from making any additional revisions to the final product. Luckily, it’s easy to limit—or stop altogether—sharing a document at any time.
Fire up your browser and open Google Drive. Locate the file you want to finalize, right-click on it, and then select “Share” to open up the Share settings for this document.
If you’re unsure whether a file is shared or not, look for the icon that looks like the silhouette of two people.
If link sharing is on, and you want to keep it on while allowing people to view the file, click the drop-down menu and click “Anyone with the Link Can View.”
If link sharing is on, and you want to turn it off, click the drop-down menu and then click the “OFF—Only Specific People Can Access” option.
Next, click the “Advanced” button.
Under the “Who Has Access” section, click the drop-down menu next to a collaborator’s name and select “Can View” to change their permissions to view-only.
If you’re the owner of the file, you can restrict access to the file even further with two settings at the bottom of the window. The first option prevents any other editors—if any still exist—from changing access or adding new people.
The second option disables downloading, printing, and copying the file for people who can view or comment, strictly making the file read-only.
Click the “Save Changes” button.
When you finish, click “Done” to close the Share settings.
Lastly, to let everyone know the file has reached the final stage of the process, you should put the word “Final” in the name. This tells anyone who accesses the file after you’ve restricted all permissions that the document no longer requires any more edits.
Right-click the file and select the “Rename” button.
Type “[FINAL]” at the beginning or end of the file name and click the “OK” button.
That’s it. You’ve successfully finalized your Google file and limited who can edit or view the document.