trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts...

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trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... trillich 12/30/08 7:10 AM
We're having trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts...

- for our team, we have some GMAIL accounts <*@gmail.com> and some NON-gmail accounts <*@serensoft.com)

- when a GMAIL account creates a spreadsheet and tries to share it with a NON-gmail account, the non-gmail account either doesn't see the document at all ("all items" and "search" do not help) OR the non-gmail account gets a permission error when trying to view/edit the file

- this is only for recently-created spreadsheets: older spreadsheets (and all word-processing docs) are visible and editable by the non-gmail account

- we've tested several different computers, different browsers, different accounts; the only variation seems to be gmail accounts vs non-gmail accounts. (i.e. something new in the permissions structure of the spreadsheet server)

this has only been a problem lately -- a month or so ago, gmail and non-gmail accounts could create and share at will. but now we've got this odd permission/display issue. anybody else experiencing this? is there anything we're able to tweak on our end, or is this entirely a wait-until-google-gets-to-it issue?

2009-01-14
This isn't related to forms and spreadsheet columns, and it's not related to user account settings from what we can tell:

For about a month, we've had trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts. Two months ago we had no problems at all -- in fact we've been doing this online collaboration with these specific people and these specific accounts, successfully, since before Writely joined the google family.

Something changed about four or five weeks ago and now x...@serensoft.com can't edit spreadsheets created by p...@gmail.com any more. The *@serensoft.com accounts CAN still read and write older spreadsheets from months or years ago, but NOT the new spreadsheets. Sometimes the new spreadsheet doesn't show up in the user's list, other times it does but then the google-docs app gripes about permissions when the user tries to open it. And again, older spreadsheets still work just fine, it's only newer spreadsheets that have the problem.

Freaky, eh?
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... ukrduane 1/3/09 5:53 AM
I have pretty much the same problem as mentioned above. Back several months ago I could share a spreadsheet or doc with all my students at once.  They have all various email addresses besides gmail.  That worked then, but the past few weeks something has changed when I try to share new documents or spreadsheets or forms.  Sometimes I get the server error even when trying to share with gmail addresses.  I've tried sending to one at a time (a real hassle) or several with commas and without or with semi-colons or without and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

It'll be nice to have someone there at Google figure this out.  We like how most things works on Google Docs, but there should be an easier way to share our documents than to send one invite at a time to 30 people.  Thanks for the help ahead of time.
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... TIMSMarketing 1/4/09 11:01 PM
I'm now having a similar problem with individual invitations [for gmail and other email addresses]. I don't get a server error, but the invited collaborators get view access only, regardles of the options I allow for editting the shared spreadsheets, with or without login required. Can anyone advise ?
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... ukrduane 1/5/09 2:12 AM
Some of my students have ".net" email addresses and some have other country extensions that cause the error.  For example, "mail.ru" and "ukr.net" If I include gmail addresses in with a list that has even one of those other addresses the error comes up.  I've had my students change to gmail, but some still have the old addresses and need to get my files.  I haven't heard that they can't edit them.  If I do get files to them they seem to be collaborating ok.
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... ukrduane 1/5/09 2:34 AM
Correction, I tried it again today and the invites go to mail.ru and inbox.ru but not to the .net addresses like ukr.net  So as it stands for me it is only to the .net addresses that I have the problem.

Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... lissismore 1/5/09 12:07 PM
I have the same problem.  This is very frustrating.  Zoho does not have the same constraint.
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... Christine 1/5/09 1:48 PM
Thanks everyone for posting about this issue.

At the first glance it looks like there may be several things causing difficulties with sharing. trillich, ukrduane, TIMSMarketing and lissismore, I will be following up with each of you over email to get some additional details about your experiences.

In the meantime, please try the following workarounds:

- if you are getting server errors when trying to share a spreadsheet: clear your cache/cookies, try logging into Docs through https://

- if you are trying to share a spreadsheet with a non-gmail account, and they are only granted viewing rights (i.e. can't edit): check if user in question has Google Account associated with the email address you are trying to share with. 

You can grant viewing rights to your spreadsheet to pretty much anyone with an email address. However, if you would like them to have editing rights as well, they would need to have a Google Account associated with the email address in question. You can find more details here: http://documents.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=53355&topic=15174


- if you are getting error 'We're sorry, this document cannot be shared with (email address)' when trying to share a spreadsheet with users from certain domain. This error is generated when user with whom you are attempting to share a spreadsheet is a member of the 'closed' Apps domain, i.e. administrator of their domain had chosen to not allow any documents from outside the domain to be shared with them. More info here: http://documents.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=97997&topic=15174

- if you are using Google Apps account, and cannot share with any user outside your domain: check with your administrator if sharing outside the domain is allowed for your domain. Sometimes Apps admins choose to not allow sharing outside the domain.

Thanks a lot,
Christine
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... RachelS 1/5/09 2:30 PM
Sorry Christine, but when you say "try logging into Docs through https://" - how do I finish the address?  Sorry to be dim.  I've been happily sharing google docs for a couple of years without problems but this evening I've been playing with forms (Fab!) and have been getting all the server error messages mentioned above.  This was not solved by clearing my cache/cookies or just trying to share view only.

Supplementary question on forms - sometimes the columns in the results spreadsheets seem to move themselves into a different order than that on the form eg.  I had put 'father's nationality' and mother's nationality' in the middle of the form, but on the spreadsheet, the mother's one appeared as the last column on the spreadsheet?
Thanks for getting back to me
Rachel
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... RachelS 1/5/09 2:48 PM
Hi again
Have been reading some of the other threads on forms and clearly the issue of moving questions around on the form but the spreadsheet columns not always shifting in response (sometimes they do, but i can't track the reasons why sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't) is a major glitch that I'm sure you great google people will have sorted soon. 
best wishes
Rachel
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... Christine 1/5/09 3:16 PM
Hi Rachel,

If your spreadsheet URL looks like this: http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx&hl=en, you can try changing it to https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx&hl=en.

Re: your forms question - yes, there's an open bug for new order of questions in the form not saving: http://docs.google.com/support/bin/static.py?page=known_issues.cs

We're working on fixing it. Sorry for an inconvenience :-(

Christine
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... furn 1/13/09 12:31 PM
Smoking Gun?Our problem - Student A sends invitation to Professor A using his full email address (x...@exchange.tc.columbia.edu) and he gets and invitation with a link like this:
http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dgb7dwnz_6gs63g2dh&invite=5kb7gv

But the same student with the same document sends the same invitation to an alias to the same address (x...@tc.edu) and he gets this:

Which is an invitation to log into Google Apps  - which neither professor nor the student have ever used or have accounts with.
Because someone with an email address ending in tc.edu setup a team account for that domain and google is checking for google app accounts for target domains (Could be setup by anyone in that domain - not just admin). I do know who set it up but I don't know what to do.  I have screen shots with all the details - 

Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... Gill 1/13/09 3:07 PM
Yes, this explains it very clearly - and it is a real problem which Google should look at and fix. 
<<which neither professor nor the student have ever used or have accounts with.>> this is the crux of it - the actions of a third party completely wreck things for both the student and the prof (and anyone else with a tc.edu account now or in the future I suspect.

There should be NO overlap between normal email and team email accounts in my view.
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... Paul T 2/5/09 12:28 PM
Furn that is exactly my issue. I sent myself an invite to collaborate to my corp address x...@ampf.com, well the link I got sent to corp account sends me to the same login page telling me to login to ampf.com, well that didn't work so I set up an account with my x...@ampf.com e-mail (which I am using right now to post this response). However I still cannot get into collaborate on the doc as the login page I get from the link will not accept my user id: xxx and password. For something supposedly so bloody simple it really is a pain in the arse!
 
All I want to do is send non gmail users a document and have them be able to view and make changes easily.
 
Thanks Paul
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... Paul T 2/5/09 12:46 PM
To follow up my post, if I set privacy so that users do not have to sign in then the link works and I can see the spreadsheet. The problem is that anyone can now see and edit my bloody spreadsheet if they manage to stumble across the link.
 
I also tried cutting and pasting the link into a tab within the browser that I am signed into google docs as x...@ampf.com and it said that x...@ampf.com did not have permission and please send request to my x...@gmail.com. Did that and still I cannot get on, and by now I am getting bloody frustrated.
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... dwbc 2/8/09 11:21 AM
This thread seems the closest to the problem I am having.  If I invite viewers to look at a google doc, many never receive the invitation.  If I send the invitation to myself at various email addresses, the invitation arrives at one or two addresses but not at others.  If I try and forward or even cut and paste the doc link from the address which received the invitation to the address that didn't again, nothing shows up.  There is something about the presence of the link, itself, that seems to be causing the problem.  I have my ISP investigating from their end, but the same problem is also showing up with other major ISPs used by other of my contacts.  So, it seems to be a Google issue, and this forum seems to be the only way I can find to bring it to their attention.

Any and all suggestions gratefully received.  :-)

Don
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... tennisguy 2/13/09 5:14 PM
Sorry, the spreadsheet cannot be shared with the following people--

All of these people have the same domain. The twist though is that out of the entire list I had, some invites to share went through and some didn't - all the same domain.

I must say I've been using Google Docs for awhile and it's harder and harder to stay here. I'm not even sure Google cares since it's apparently been a long time since any real upgrades.

But if anyone can solve this problem please let me know. I've got a third of my group invited and 2/3rds hanging out waiting. If I don't hear soon I'm taking everything to Zoho and giving up. This is really pretty ridiculous.
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... Christine 2/13/09 5:44 PM
Hi tennisguy and all -

Spreadsheets did roll out an update last night which included a fair number of changes. Would you mind checking if this problem is still happening? If it does, we'll investigate.

Thanks for your patience,
Christine 
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... John Snedden 2/20/09 6:11 PM
I am a victim of a problem which sounds similar to what furn has described above.
I hope that a Google rep (Christine, are you still tracking this thread?) can help me because I feel like I am being spammed in my docs account and this is soooo not the nature of google.

I am nothing to do with schools and neither am I part of a docs team account nor am I trying to collaborate my google docs on a large scale but I am getting swamped with hundreds of documents from a school group and I cannot get this to stop and I can rarely ever delete the messages because I constantly get the error message: "The server encountered an error. Please try again later."

A group of San Diego school children and their teacher are sharing docs, if I open the docs I can see there are sometimes in excess of 400 collaborators, most of the collaborators seem to be using x...@gmail.com addresses, my gmail address is nowhere to be found in the list of collaborators though yet I still see these documents in my google docs list.

What I have noticed is that they have added a non @gmail.com address which happens to have the same name as my gmail account but with the school domain, e.g myn...@sandi.net is in the list of collaborators where myname is equal to my google & gmail account name.

There are so many of these documents, I can rarely delete them and they keep coming.  I have cleared my cache, tried using https connection and tried deleting again but still get the error.  I have even tried contacting the teacher at the school but am getting nowhere.  Please help before I go craaaaaaaazy.

Why is there not a function to 'block documents from sharer', it seems so wrong that anyone in the world can make their docs appear in my list and I am helpless to be able to stop them from continually adding more or even being able to delete them.

Help :(


Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... Gill 2/21/09 2:58 AM
<<What I have noticed is that they have added a non @gmail.com address which happens to have the same name as my gmail account but with the school domain>> I think that is the root of the problem - Christine can you please sort this out?

capcrib - when you log in to your docs account in which these rogue files appear, does it have .../a/..in the URL? [if not, Christine, this is kind of the reverse of the normal glitch whereby shared docs are routed to the apps/team account]

<<Why is there not a function to 'block documents from sharer'>> That is a great idea.

<< I am being spammed in my docs account and this is soooo not the nature of google.>> says it all!
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... John Snedden 2/21/09 4:38 AM
Hi Gill, thanks for your response, to answer your question I do not have .../a/.. in the URL when I log into my docs account.
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... Gill 2/21/09 5:12 AM
OK, thanks.

Over to you Christine....
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... sportphoto 3/9/09 12:00 PM
I'm having the same issue with sharing my PDFs.

I've been getting this error for the past couple of weeks. I've uploaded some PDFs and I share them with about 10 people. Then inevitably, somebody else wants access so I try to add that person and when I click on the options 'Collaborators can invite others' or the 'Invites can be used by anyone' options I get the 'The server encountered an error. Please try again later,' message. Then when I go back and I try send each PDF invite to the person separately, I can get it to work with the exception of three documents.

I can do nothing with those documents such as share or move into a folder. I've tried deleting them, re-uploading and sending out the invitations again which initially works. Then when I try to do something else with them, I get the error. It's just those three PDFs. I don't understand.
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... Christine 3/16/09 1:04 PM
Hi capcrib and Gill,

First off, let me say we are sorry for any inconvenience this issue had caused you. Couple of questions before we can start investigating:

- is this still happening?
- if yes, are you having this problem with documents or spreadsheets? (if the problem is with documents, I would need to ask guide Marie to look into this)

sportphoto - we know about this issue (see http://docs.google.com/support/bin/static.py?page=known_issues.cs  (see 'Actions not "sticking" in Docs list') and are working on a solution. Thanks for posting about it.

Christine
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... trillich 3/16/09 2:23 PM
It's still happening (2009-03-16):

- create spreadsheet as *@gmail.com
- share with *@somewhereelse.com
- log out
- document is NOT in the listing
- paste emailed link into browser (after logging in, should go directly in)
- get "Sorry, *@somewhereelse.com does not have permission to access this spreadsheet." message

but it's working just fine for word-processor docs:
- create wp doc as *@gmail.com
- share with *@somewhereelse.com
- log out, log in to docs.google.com as *@somewhereelse.com
- wp doc is shown in the listing
- viewable, editable, tra la, tra la

Note the URL for opening a DOC is quite different from the one to open a SPREADSHEET.

Very aggravating! Cloud computing is getting quite rainy at google (spreadsheet) docs.

Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... Geraint 3/28/09 3:26 PM
I think this is similar to something i am trying to work out, I am trying to create a spreadsheet with my google apps account and then publish the spreadsheet online but when i go to the published spreadsheet online i can view it no problem but if i click the edit spreadsheet link at the bottom it takes me to the Google Apps Login page even if i am logged in to my normal gmail docs account and everyone is having the same problem that does not have an account with my google apps domain.  what i want to happen is if i click on the edit link it display a login box that allows someone with either a Google apps account or a standard google docs account log in to make changes.

There should not be any difference whether the person has a google apps account or a standard account, these accounts need to be made standard across all of google now as this seems to be causing a lot of problems through out google

any help would be great.

Thanks
Geraint
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... ahab 3/28/09 3:49 PM
Geraint,
I take it you are the admin for your Google Apps account. Did you allow sharing outside your account?
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... Geraint 3/28/09 4:05 PM
Hi Ahab,
 
Yes i am the admin of the apps account.
 
I have just tested this again now by creating a test spreadsheet and publishing it, going to the published link and viewing it no problems but this is where i get the problems, i have made sure that i am not logged it to any google account or apps account and click on the edit link and i have just noticed it takes me to the google std login not the apps login.  but this spreadsheet was created by the apps account. so if i want to edit this i cant use the link at the bottom as it only allows a std google login not apps i have to login in to my apps account as normal and go to the spreadsheet and edit.  I have just checked my apps settings and it does allow sharing outside the domain. just got a bit confused with the login box its showing the std login not apps login so if i shared the spreadsheet with my std login it will prob be fine i have not tried this yet.
 
in summary
 
Create spreadsheet with apps account
publish online
not logged in to any account
when you click on edit link at bottom
only allows std login not apps login
 
Thanks
Geraint
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... ahab 3/28/09 5:20 PM
Geraint, try inserting your Google Apps domain path in the published document link. E.g. https://docs.google.com/a/YOURDOMAIN.EXT/Doc?docid=<id_code>&hl=en and check if the Edit button brings you to the correct login now.

Note there have been continuous problems with Jekyll & Hyde accounts that have the same login and password and have a public and a Apps login. We are still waiting for a final fix of these problems... :(
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... MarkSpotwerks 3/30/09 3:35 PM
Sigh. Two off-topic notes about this forum interface:
1. Don't subscribe to the RSS feed until AFTER you've posted your answer; subscribing blows away your entry and navigates away from this page with no warning, your text is NOT in cache, so back button doesn't work. This behavior might make sense to a sw engineer, but it fails to impress this idiot user.
2. The forum session will time out without telling you until AFTER you hit Post answer, again blowing away your entry. Usage suggestion: save your entry in your fav text editor before hitting Post answer. I'm trying now to image how elegant the code must be to make up for the horrible user experience. Now retyping the following for the third time...

I'm having similar user setup and rights management problems.
We have 19 users spread across 7 different email domains (companies 1 thu 5, yahoo.com, and gmail.com)
Case 1: Situation: Use...@company_2.comUse...@company_3.com, and Use...@yahoo.com rights were changed auto-magically from Edit to View Only (auto-magic changes are another problem by the way). Action: attempted to change rights back to Edit en masse and one user at a time. Result: still View Only after each change attempt.
Case 2: Action: Add Use...@company_3.com with Edit rights, include email to self. Result: get email, Use...@company3.com on People with Access list with View Only rights. Similar to Case 1, I cannot upgrade Use...@company3.com to Edit rights.
Case 3: Action: Add Use...@company_3.com with Edit rights, include email to self. Result: no email, no user on People with Access list.

Note that I've tried the magic solutions: log-out / log-into account, close / reopen browser, delete / re-setup users, the MS solution - reboot, and even continuously banging my head against the wall hoping that one bang will give me something other than a headache and a forehead bruise.
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... mg17 8/17/09 9:01 AM
I'm having this problem with NEW non-gmail accounts. Steps:

  - I share spreadsheet with us...@domain.com
  - user clicks on link in email, goes to Google docs sign in page
  - user doesn't have an account, so they create a new account for us...@domain.com
  - after verifying their account, it says:
      We're sorry.
      The spreadsheet at this URL could not be found. Make sure that you have the right URL and that the owner of the spreadsheet hasn't deleted it.
  - clicking on the link in email again gives same response

Work-around:
  - I send a 2nd invitation
  - user clicks on that link (which is the same except for the invite=xxx part)
  - user gets the "do you want to accept invitation to view document" screen
  - user clicks accept and can see the document

So it seems to loose the 1st invitation somewhere.
  -mark

Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... Gill 8/17/09 2:29 PM
My guess is your user has an alternative account - ask him to sign in to docs.google.com/a/domain.com - using the same login name and password - he may find the file(s) there.
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... Christine 8/17/09 6:01 PM
Thanks mg17, Gill.

mg17, the behavior you describe is actually not a bug. If there's no account with this name, invitation won't work. Issuing the new invitation once the new account was created and verified is the best way to go.

The error message is misleading though. Let me bring this up with Docs team, hopefully they'll be able to fix the error soon.

Thanks for reporting this issue.

Christine
The Google Team

 
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... Gill 8/18/09 11:38 AM
Thanks Christine.

"The error message is misleading though" You can say that again!
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... lampion.lists 1/10/10 9:13 AM
I'm not too happy with google docs. I set up a google doc for my class. The application says  that people can edit without signing in, but then demands a google account to accept the invitation to the google doc. Thus, this feature is absolutely useless for a large group of people, as I cannot demand that students acquire a google account! Is there anything I can do without starting over with a more accessible tool and abandoning the google doc?
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... Gill 1/10/10 10:59 AM
You can indeed share without the need to log in - though some browsers are funny and require you first to visit www.google.com to set a cookie!

On the Share dialogue go to see who has access and look above the Save and Close button - this has a message similar to
Sign-in is required to view this item.  Change

Click on the " Change" to get the option to allow sharing without logging in.
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... Anairb 2/15/10 1:39 PM
Tried that.  When I now try and send an invite to a non Gmail account the send button doesn't work.  Why is this now happening?  I've never had a problem sharing with non Gmail accounts before.   The file I'm sharing is a normal doc file.
Re: trouble sharing new spreadsheets with non-gmail accounts... Gill 2/15/10 4:15 PM
No idea I'm afraid. You have treid the old standby of emptying your cache/browsing data?
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