Google is adding support for file shortcuts in Drive, a feature that lets users share a link to a Google Drive file inside Google Drive without necessarily creating a copy of the file.
The G Suite team explain:
Shortcuts are pointers to files that are stored in another folder or in another drive—like a shared drive or another user’s drive—that make it easy to surface content without creating copies of files.
For example, 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drives, Greta would need to create a copy of the document for her team’s shared drive, which could then quickly become out of date.
Files shared can be Google Docs, they could be Sheets, they could be PDFS etc. However, users would also need permission to access the original folder in order to see the file. This doesn’t change even if they have access to the folder the file is stored in.
Google is rolling this feature out to paid G Suite users first, and admins may request to be fast-tracked. While the firm has said nothing about regular users, most G Suite features roll out to the consumer edition — given time.