The Best Ways to Share PDF Documents Safely (Tools & Tips)

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the best tools for sharing PDFs (and other files) online as safely and quickly as possible. Some really cool tools even allow you to set multi-layered permissions so that multiple groups of people can perform different actions without compromising security.

The Easiest Way to Share a PDF – Your Email!

If you’ve created a PDF, the most basic – and some would say most secure way – to share it is via good ole’ email.

Sharing via eMail comes with a very distinct advantage: You control the recipient.

Thing is, email isn’t very convenient. You either have to share in a big group or, if you want to send to multiple people, send dozens of emails.

And worse, your recipients won’t have any editing permissions. So, for example, if it’s a lease or any other form or contract, they will have to print it, fill it out, scan it, and resend it to you.

Better than going to the office, but still not convenient.

If you still want to send via email, just:

  1. Open Gmail or whichever provider you use
  2. Click the attach icon:
  3. Upload your document
  4. Click Send

That’s really it. You’ve just shared a PDF.

Did you know?: An AOL survey found that 32% of people had accidentally forwarded an eMail to the wrong person? Maybe eMail isn’t as secure as we all think it is…

OK, to be fair, that was really “sending” a PDF. If you want to “share” in the sense of “collaborate”, things get a bit trickier.

Here’s what to do:

Share Via Google Drive

Google Drive is one of our favorite ways to share PDFs with the public.

In case this is the first you’ve heard of it, Google Drive is a cloud storage – meaning storage hosted by another company online – division of Google that stores your documents in a single safe, easily accessible place.

If you already have a Gmail, you have a Google Drive account.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Go to
  2. Click “New” then “File Upload”

3. Choose your PDF from your computer

4. Once uploaded, right click on it in your drive and select “Share”

5. Click “Copy Link”

6. Share it with whoever you want!

That’s it. You just shared a PDF with anyone you send the link too.

You don’t have to use Google Drive, it’s just the most popular tool. It depends on what you use or what your business uses.

Other popular tools are:

  • Dropbox
  • Evernote
  • Onedrive
  • Box

PRO TIP: With Soda PDF, you can make all of these cloud storage services integrated with our Desktop or Online products. What does that mean? It means you can easily open and save your PDF documents directly to these services!

How to Share PDFs so Others Can Edit

If you use email or cloud storage, you’ll still run into the same issue: Others can’t edit or do much markup.

So, say you want to send a lease for someone to sign, or a contract for a prospective client to fill out and review, you won’t be able to.


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