Monday, September 30, 2013

How to Put Downloadable Files on Your Weblog

Sharing files demystified...
I ran into this problem when I started out with this blog. Occasionally I'd want to share a handy file with my readers, but Blogger really didn't have a way to store and disseminate files on your blog.  Here's a handy workaround that allows you to post a link on your blog or even in an email to a friend that allows them to go grab a file you want them to see.  There are a wide variety of online file storage sites. Many are free and most are relatively easy to use.  I stumbled on Google Docs and use it because it's really easy to use.  Here's how to fix it so you can send people a link to upload your files.

1.  Set up an account with Google Docs.  Just click on the link I just gave you and go there to set up an account.  Once you've done it, whenever you want to make a file available, just go to your Google Docs home page.  I've got mine on a tab on my Mozilla Firefox Browser.  One click and I'm there.

2.  When you get to your Google Docs home page. In the top left side of the screen you'll see a red button that says "Create".  Next to it is an up arrow.  Click on the arrow, choose "files" and the page will give you a series of prompts to help you upload your file.  For fun, I uploaded Uncle Tom's Retirement Leisure Interest Inventory, a tool I use to help older folks find ways to have fun they may have forgotten about or didn't know existed.  It's fun to do whatever age you are. 

3. Once your file is uploaded, Google Docs will display a box with the name of the file in it.  To the left of the filename will be the word "Share" in blue letters.  Click on "share".

4. The share menu will open.  Highlighted at the box is the link to the file.  Below that there's a line that tells who has access to the file.  There are three ways you can offer access.
  1. To anyone who has the link
  2. Public - To anyone on the web
  3. Private - only those you give permission to may access the file.
5.  Click on the word "change" and choose one of these three options.  In this case, I've chosen "Public".  Not only people with the link and people I've invited may upload my file, but also anyone who stumbles on my file in a Google Search.

6.  Close the change menu and then copy the link and close the share menu by clicking done.  Now all you have to do is create a hyperlink in your document like this one and then anyone who wants to may click on that link and download the file.

Quick, clean, no additives, no preservatives.

Just make sure not to post things you don't own the copyright to.  That can save you all sorts of trouble.

© 2013 by Tom King

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