Create and manage documents

This Google Docs API page describes how to perform certain high-level tasks involving Google Docs documents, such as:

  • Create a document
  • Copy an existing document

The following paragraphs describe these tasks in detail.

Create a blank document

To create a document, use the documents.create method on the documents collection.

The following code sample shows how to create a blank document with a specified title:


private static void createDoc(Docs service) throws IOException {
    Document doc = new Document()
            .setTitle("My Document");
    doc = service.documents().create(doc)
    System.out.println("Created document with title: " + doc.getTitle());


$title = 'My Document';
$document = new Google_Service_Docs_Document(array(
    'title' => $title

$document = $service->documents->create($document);
printf("Created document with title: %s\n", $document->title);


title = 'My Document'
body = {
    'title': title
doc = service.documents() \
print('Created document with title: {0}'.format(

Work with Google Drive folders

There’s no option to create a document directly within a specified Drive folder using the Docs API. By default, the created document is saved to the user's root folder on Drive.

However, there are two alternatives to saving a file to a Drive folder:

For either alternative, you'll need to add the appropriate Drive API scopes to authorize the call. For more information on Drive scopes, see Choose Google Drive API scopes.

To move or create a file within a shared drive folder, see Implement shared drive support.

Copy an existing document

To copy a document, use Drive API's files.copy method.

The following code sample shows how to copy an existing document. You can find the ID to use for the Drive API call in the document URL. For more information, see Document ID.


String copyTitle = "Copy Title";
File copyMetadata = new File().setName(copyTitle);
File documentCopyFile =
        driveService.files().copy(documentId, copyMetadata).execute();
String documentCopyId = documentCopyFile.getId();


var copyTitle = "Copy Title";
let request = {
  name: copyTitle,
  fileId: documentId,
  resource: request,
}, (err, driveResponse) => {
  let documentCopyId =;


$copyTitle = 'Copy Title';
$copy = new Google_Service_Drive_DriveFile(array(
    'name' => $copyTitle
$driveResponse = $driveService->files->copy($documentId, $copy);
$documentCopyId = $driveResponse->id;


copy_title = 'Copy Title'
body = {
    'name': copy_title
drive_response = drive_service.files().copy(
    fileId=document_id, body=body).execute()
document_copy_id = drive_response.get('id')

Note that you need to use an appropriate Drive API scope to authorize the call. For more information on Drive scopes, see Choose Google Drive API scopes.