Soon, Google will add one of the most commonly requested features to its Drive file hosting, sharing, and collaboration service: shortcuts. These will allow users to create pointers to files from either the same drive or another, separate shared drive.
The new feature will work just like shortcuts in Windows—they are pointers to a file stored in another location. The shortcut can be stored anywhere without impacting the location of the original file. Google gave this example in its blog post announcing the feature:
If Paul in marketing shares a document from his team’s shared drive with the entire sales team, Greta in sales can create a shortcut to that document in her own team’s shared drive. Previously, because documents can’t be owned by two shared drives, Greta would need to create a copy of the document for her team’s shared drive, which could then quickly become out of date.
Google writes that supported content types for shortcuts include Docs, Slides, Sheets, JPGs, PDFs, folders, and Microsoft Office files.
The feature will roll out to beta users of G Suite, Google’s suite of cloud productivity and collaboration tools, sometime in the next few weeks. Google has not said when the feature will become public, or when it will be available to non-G Suite users, but it has been common practice for the company to bring many new G Suite features to the wider user base after a period of time.
To gain access to the feature, admins must “express interest” in the beta via an online form that Google is hosting. Google will add domains that have expressed interest in the coming weeks, at which time users will gain access to the feature.