It is no secret that I love spreadsheets.  However, I also love to share my spreadsheets.  If you share a Google doc with viewing rights users have to use the file menu to create their own copy if they want to edit it or have it for themselves.  Google Sheets has a nifty trick that allows you to share your spreadsheets and to automatically create a copy.

Example: Click Here to link to a template for creating a self grading rubric.

Notice when you click on the above link you are prompted to make a copy of the document.  This is relatively easy to do and is great for sharing your spreadsheet work with colleagues or more importantly with students.

Having students create spreadsheets has so many practical applications for any subject area.  Just using it to organize text is incredibly useful, let alone having it set up as a graphic organizer or template with project requirements already organized for the student.  Sharing the link to create their own copy will allow for the teacher to more quickly and easily get students to work.

Step 1: Create a Google Spreadsheet or a Google Form that uses a spreadsheet as the response destination.

Step 2: Click on the blue share button in the upper right hand corner to make the spreadsheet visible by anyone with the link.

Step 3: Modify the spreadsheet URL.

Notice at the end of the URL you have #gid=0 or #gid=24 or #gid=a number
The #gid= is the reference code to the tab the spreadsheet is displaying.  Notice if you click on different tabs the #gid= displays a different number.

Remove the #gid=0 from the end of the URL.

Step 4: Replace #gid=0 with &newcopy

Original: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AiqrAI5UxSJNdE93dHAyTmNXVE9Bd0w2ZGg4TTViREE#gid=0

New: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AiqrAI5UxSJNdE93dHAyTmNXVE9Bd0w2ZGg4TTViREE&newcopy

Step 5: Share this new link with students.
Suggestion to use a URL shortener such as http://goo.gl to create a short URL that students can more easily type into their computer to access the spreadsheet template.  http://goo.gl also creates a QR code automatically for the teacher to possibly make it easier for students to obtain the template on their mobile devices.

Shortened URL: http://goo.gl/Lnn3z

For more information on QR codes visit: http://alicekeeler.com/qr

A big thank you to Mark Hammons @mhammons for showing me this trick.