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Collaboration in Google Native Files

All file types imported from Google Drive support the lock/unlock feature that will block and unblock the internal content of an opened document, but not all file types support a synchronized collaboration experience for all users inside the opened application.

Lock/unlock will allow/disallow participants to interact with the opened document in all cases.

The options to interact once unlocked will depend on the support for synchronized collaboration.

Given that, depending on whether the file type support collaboration or not, the experience when opening and unlocking a file imported from Google Drive will be:

Unlocked document 

Experience when synchronized collaboration is supported:

  • All participants will be able to collaborate on top of the document at the same time.
  • A google account can be used when collaboration is opened but if there is no google account, the collaboration will still happen with anonymous identities.
  • Page synchronization is not supported to allow better collaboration. When collaboration is supported, all participants can work on the same file but that does not mean that all participants will be working or looking on the same page.
    • Please, take into consideration that when viewing a Google slides document, this is also true. The presenter can move between pages but the participants will not be synchronized with those actions.


Unlocked document 

Experience when synchronized collaboration is not supported:

  • When opened, the platform will display the file in the best way possible. Most of the time showing a preview of the contents just like Google Drive will do when opening that file.
  • When unlocked, the participants can interact with that previsualization depending on the file type (apply zoom, download, move between pages, also play a video).
  • These interactions will not be synchronized.


The following chart summarizes these scenarios:

File Type
Google Documents-
Google  Sheets-
Google Slides-
Google Drawing-
Google My Map

These files will be opened like a regular google maps application.

All metadata will not be displayed (locations, directions, layers etc…).
Collaboration will only allow other users to move and focus the map.

Google Jamboard-
Google Forms

If the form has been created without anonymous answers, all anonymous users will not be able to see the form.

Google Apps Script-
Google Sites-
Google Fusion Tablet


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