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Install doctopus from any Google Spreadsheet, though preferably one that you can use as a one-time roster for tracking a particular project with a particular group of students.

Install from the Script Gallery...accessible from the "Tools" menu in a Google Spreadsheet.

Currently, Doctopus is in the "featured" section of the gallery! 

If you are unable to locate Doctopus in the script gallery, copy the spreadsheet linked (File->Make copy) below and it will already be installed on your copy.

Some things have changed since the first release of Doctopus:

  1. It now has a "Individual - Differentiated" option which allows individual assignments to be distributed by student "level."
  2. It now allows whole class comment ability to be added to facilitate peer review.
  3. It lets you distribute folders full of resources in addition to Documents, Presentations, Spreadsheets, and Drawings.
  4. As of Doctopus 4.0 it now connects to a Chrome extension called "Goobric" which lets you associate a rubric with your Doctopus assignment and do rubric-based grading right in the top corner of your browser.

+Jay Atwood did a crystal clear video documenting the use of Goobric with Doctopus:


If you like Doctopus, you'll probably also like:

autoCrat - easy to use, flexible Docs merge utility that does personalized creation, sharing, and emailing of templated Docs using Google Spreadsheet data.

formMule - a multipurpose, flexible merged email creator that runs from Google Spreadsheets

First time users might also find this interview / blog post about Doctopus useful.


Push my thinking

What features of this script do you find most helpful? What do you wish it did? What creative uses have you found for it?



Launching Doctopus

I apoligize if this question is already asked.  I recently installed the Doctopus script to my spreadsheet.  When I launched the script, a window pops up asking me to verify the app and install Goobric, which I did.  My question is, how do I move on?  I close the box and click on the launch button, but the window returns.

Any help?

Bob DiPietro

Pima JTED Fire Service


Unembargo Not Working

I have a teacher I am working with who is reporting that when she unembargoes student work the documents remain locked. Any ideas?


Doesn't Work

Tried your script with a test group of students with Google Apps accounts today.  Wouldn't send the emails.  I didn't attach an actual "template" just a Google doc I use.  Is this the problem or is it something else.  Looking forward to help.


Removing/Adding Editors


I've been using Doctopus all semester with my university students. Google Drive wouldn't be the same without this tool! One thing I have learned is that I can quickly delete all editors on individually shared documents so that students can no longer access their documents. I select all the documents, click share, and then remove all editors quickly. Then, after writing feedback, I open up Doctopus, Embargo and Unembargo, and all the editors are back. Students can access their documents again. It's wonderful. I understand this feature is unintentional, but its great!

However, I just learned this does not work if students are in Project Groups and there are multiple students shared via Doctopus on a single document. Is there anyway to fix this?


PDF's with Doctopus

I'd like to be able to distribute PDF's using Doctopus but it seems that they are not a valid file format.  Is there any way to do this?

You're probably wondering why I would want to do this since you can't edit PDFs.  I have my students write on PDFs using GoodReader.  They can flatten their annotations and save the changes that they make.


Transfer Doctopus / Goobric to another Teacher

I have a teacher using Doctopus / Goobric.  The teacher is leaving and we are trying to transfer the assignment, which is a year long assignment to a new teacher.  Still works on the old teacher account, but the new teacher receives the an error message:


Oops! Looks like you don't have access to the Doctopus spreadsheet for this assignment, which means you may be logged into multiple Google Accounts (unfortunately a bit of a problem for Apps Script). Please log out of all accounts other than the one you used to set up this Doctopus assignment and try again;(her

The teacher is only on one account on her machine.  I have tried to fix by transferring ownership of ALL files to the new teacher, but no change in the state.  Any ideas on how I can fix this issue?





Goobric Not Emailing to Students

¡Hola from my Spanish classroom!

I used Doctopus & Goobric to grade a Google Presentation that my students did.  When I started to grade the Presenations using Goobric, the rubric was not emailed to my students nor did it show up in the Presentation.  My tech coordinator and I worked together, and (on this site's comments) we discovered that rubrics are not copied into Presentations, however that rubrics should have been emailed to students.  Would you know why my students haven't been able to receive their emailed rubric?

¡Gracias for all your help!


Transferring ownership

Thanks for this fantastic program. I'm no longer able to see the option to tranfer ownership and wondering if I'm doing something wrote. I did previously try to transfer ownership, and the script timed out. Went back to try again, and I'm now only able to refresh time of last edit and send personalized emails to students. Any help you could provide is greatly appreciated.


Goobric Error

I ran the Doctopus script, and my students complete their assignments individually.  I had already attached a rubirc using Goobric.  When I started grading the first one and tried to call up the rubric, I received this error: "TypeError: Cannot call method "getLastRow" of null."  I went back to the spreadsheet and Doctopus had uninstalled.  I reinstalled it, but it would not show the full activity that had already gone.  I did not want to run the script again because my students had already produced finished documents.  Can I recover the rubric for the completed assignments?  Do you know what happened?  Unfortunately, if I cannot recover the rubric, I have no easy way to attach one and update scores.  I'd love some help.  Thanks!


Multiple Tasks in one Spreadsheet

G'Day Andrew,

I am getting into Doctopus and I think its excellent.

My question is;

Can I have one Google spreadsheet (workbook) per class with multiple tasks (shared templates) attached?

I am doing this at the moment by having each sheet within a workbook with the student's names and emails in them and have been able to share a different item. BUT some functionality like refreshing last edit only works with the last itme shared and I think the embargo would be the same. Is there a way of achieving this or do I need one spreadsheet for each task


Ideally I would like to set out school up with one spreadsheet per class as I need to train people in the use of this.






Peer Assessment with Goobric?

Is it possible to use Goobric as a peer assessment tool or does the rubric only set-up to be used by the teacher?


Goobric Request

To follow on my Doctopus request, I also have one for Goobric (which I thought had it's own page, else I would have included it previously) - 

Is it possible to make the Goobric pop-up a pop-out, or open in another window?  If the student writing starts at the top of the document, and/or if I use my Chromebook, the Goobric pop-up covers up the text I am trying to grade with the rubric. 

Again, many thanks for all your effort! 


-Steve T.


Good suggestion

Good suggestion! Chrome extensions are pretty limited in the kinds of access they can have to the user's browser.  Will need to look at whether a pop-out option.


Doctopus Request

Howdy, Andrew.  Great work - I'm using Doctopus regularly.  One request to make for future updates:

It would be great if it was possible to limit the folders Doctopus looks at/lists when picking spots for file distribution and storage - my folder list is literally hundreds long, and it's becoming unwieldy to have to go through them all every time, or come up with an even-more-alphabetically-first name for each folder.  Maybe there can be a "Doctopus Files to Distribute" folder and a "Doctopus Files - Results" folder or somesuch.

Please, keep up the outstanding work! 

All the Best,

Steve T.



The way folders are handled in the dropdowns is pretty obnoxious.  I used to limit to only subfolders of the folder the doctopus spreadsheet was in, but it created lots of user confusion.   Wish there was a folder-picker UI in Apps Script;)  Star this issue if you agree:


"Some email address were unable to be shared on these Docs"

Hello. When I try to copy and share assignments in step 4, I get the following message: "Some email address were unable to be shared on these Docs. Here they are: [LIST OF EMAIL ACCOUNT HOLDERS]". Does anyone how to fix this? Thank you.

Image shows pop-up window with the message, "Some email address were unable to be shared on these Docs. Here they are: [NAME OF EMAIL ACCOUNT HOLDERS]".



Are you saying that the emails spitting out the error are in fact correct email addresses?  Do you have anything special about the way your domain is set up vis a vis student accounts? 

What sharing options do you have selected?


I got the same error when trying this for the first time today

Yes, they are viable google apps email addresses.  What do I need to do to make your script work?




Fault after step 4.



I have noticed that there is an error iafter you press the button to share with your students. The error is also present in the demo file you have provided. I am wondering if Google has changed something which has broken your script?


The error is shown below:



This should now be fixed...


Several others had reported this same error to me and it should be fixed on the newest version.  Can you look at your Script Editor (from Tools menu) and tell me which version you are running?




Same Error



I am receiving the same error with my students.


 Is there a solution?




inserting Goobric results into a presentation


great work.  i met you at the summit at Kean U.  I have been using Doctopus and Goobric anf the work GREAT! how do I get the Goobric results paste into a presentation (or other docs besided document which worked automatically). thx



Goobric can't paste into Presentations

Unfortunately, the Apps Script service doesn't yet allow for modification of Presentations, so Goobric is limited to pasting into Documents.  It will, however, email the rubric for all other assignment types.


Send to students

Good Day,

I'm not accustomed to posting questions to a forum, but I need help.  I have been experimenting on and off with Doctopus and Flubaroo for several months, and appreciate the work put into these scripts.  I wish I were smart enough to help out and write some of my own, but I tend to be a slow processor unless I get my hands dirty.  So, I want to do that now unless what I am looking for is already out there.

I want to take my google form that I am using for anecdotal records of student, and send each student a comment from that days observation.  I have one form for each class, with various check list comments and a written comment section.  But how do I send different student notes, from different days to them?  I would be more than happy to share my process  for better understanding, or maybe there is a better way that I am unaware of.  Any help/suggestions would be great.




Use formMule


Have a look at the formMule script, which is designed to allow any Google Form to trigger a custom email that uses the form values in the email body.




Doctopus not available in Script Gallery

Today, April 4, one of my teachers reported that the Doctopus script is no longer available in the Script Gallery.


Back in the gallery

Just looked in the gallery and Doctopus is back in there.


Transfer Ownership to Students

Quick question:  Why do I have the option on some sheets to transfer ownership and others I do not have that option.  I have one sheet that is individual assignment and no goobric attached and am able to transfer ownership. However on the groups assignment with a goobric I do not have that option.  Is there a way to always transfer ownership once the assignments receive their final grades?


File sharing and permission problem

Dear Andrew,


I try to share a document with six students(temp1,temp2, temp3, temp4, temp5 and temp6) with doctopus.  I've set the "whole class access level" with "allow comment only" and the "individual student access level" with "allow edit".  After finishing step 4, doctopus takes a long time to create file.  Is it normal?  Hence, it shows "Some email addresses were unabled to share on these Docs", but I'm sure I've typed in the correct email address.


Later, I have some of doc permission are not completed when I press the button "Share".  I've tried so many times but the file permission is not what I expect.  What 's the problem?




"This doc has no associated rubric"

I'm getting the "This doc has no associated rubric"  error, which others have reported in the past, when trying to open the Goobric using the extension.  I followed all the steps provided.  I'm wondering:

1. I associated the Goobric to a spreadsheet assignment shared through Doctopus. Is the fact that the shared student document is a spreadsheet, rather than a Google Doc then problem?

2. Does there have to be specific share settings for the Goobric spreadsheet?

3. Does it matter than I'm using a Google Account in my school's Apps for Ed sub-domain? Is that causing the No associated rubric error?

I'm just trying to throw some ideas out there because I really want this to work!  I love what you're doing Stillman!


Scott Schaefer

Multiple Graders?


Wonderful script.  

I have an idea to use this.  I am a science teacher and want to do a project with my English teacher.  My idea is for the students to complete a writing assignment and get grades in both science and English.  I was able to link the doctopus scripted spreadsheet, assignment, and rubric to two teacher accounts, but the rubric fill-in doesn't work.  If I fill in the rubric and save the scores, when another teacher brings up the rubric, it is blank.  Their scores will overide mine.  

My plan was to have a few standards go for science and a few for English.  I would fill in the science scores, the other teacher would fill in the English scores, and they would all save on the spreadsheet.  Is this possible?



No Permission to Use Goobric

I am trying to learn how to use all the functions of Doctopus and Goobric so that I could then show our teachers how to use this awesome tool. I have been able to set everything up with Doctopus. After that, I have been able to successfully attach a rubric. When I open a student google doc and click on the Goobric web app, I always get one of two errors. The first tells me that I don't have permission to open that file. Sometimes I also get an error telling me the file I need has been removed.

What can I do to get Goobric working?



Dear andrew when test runnin doctorpus, i get the following error msg

Service invoked too many times in a short time: properties. Try Utilities.sleep(1000) between calls

any ideas




Like everybody else, I am getting the error message from Goobric that there is NOT a rubric attached. I went through all the steps 3-4 times and it is still not working. I am doing all this work in Google Chrome do that is not the issue. Duh! I was actually relieved to see everyone posting about this same issue. At least I am not losing my mind. I hope there is a fix soon. I am excited to use this new tool.




This should now be fixed...

For all users who were having the "No rubric associated with this Doc" issue, thanks for taking the time to report this!  Thanks to your persistence I was able to track down the issue.  As of 3/11/13 at around 10PM the issue should no longer show up on NEW documents created with Doctopus.

Unfortunately, there's no way to make the fix retroactive to documents produced prior to 3/11. 


Goobric Error

Like some others, I am also getting the "This doc has no associated rubric" message even though I have installed the Goobric extension and attached my rubric to the assignment. TIA for any help!


Goobric - Not Working

First off! I just found Doctopus and I cannot thank you enough. It is perfect for my needs.

However, I connot get Goobric to work. I have tried multiple spreadheets, assignments, rubrics. Despite following the instructions exactly as Jay Atwoods video, whenever I click on an assignment with the goobric extensionI I get

"This doc has no associated rubric." 

I hace granted permission to doctopus, goobric, and refreshed the spreadsheet.

Any help would be great , and thanks for the great work.


Goobric--Not working

I'm currently having the same problem!  I love, love, love Doctopus and that is working wonderfully!  I've followed the directions as the video says and I am getting the same error.  I've tried multiple times and the error keeps showing up!  Any help would absolutely be appreciated!  Thank you!


Goobric not working as well

I too love Doctopus!  So easy to use and very convenient. 

I have the same problem as sidartha.  I always get the message that there is not rubric associated to the document.



request for assistance

Hi there,

I just learned about Doctopus last week and decided to take the plunge with two of my classes' next writing assignment.  I am very pleased to be using it for the first time.

I have only had a small issue getting the shared document to a few students.  They all three happened to open a gmail account today in order to participate in the assignment.  However, I had other students who also opened accounts today receive the shared doc with success.  My account indicated that these three students had received the doc, but theirs did not.  I tried deleting the share fields and re-copying, but to no avail.

Any pointers for me would be greatly appreciated!




Not sure what could be causing this...


It sounds, perhaps, like the accounts may have been set up so recently that perhaps the doc-sharing functionality didn't work as it normally does.   I don't have a fix for this, as it sounds like a Google infrastructure issue.

If you try deleting the rows associated with those students and running the script again, it should re-generate and re-share docs for those students.   If it's still an issue this long after the account was created, let me know...




Whole group error and other question


When I try and share a document to the whole class, I am getting this error message: Error encountered: TypeError: Cannot read property "fileKey" from undefined.

Also, when I share a document individually, are all the documents supposed to be shared with all the students? THey can only edit one document, but they are getting all of the copies of the documents shared with them. Am I doing something wrong or is this the way it is supposed to work?



Thanks for the report

Thanks for reporting the whole class error.  I will look into this.  It should be resolved in Version 4 but please let me know if not.

As for the sharing issue with whole class:  in step 1 you specify the whole class access level.  You may have set the whole class to have viewing privileges on the student docs.  This may not be what you want.  I have that feature for teachers who want students to engage in peer review.



First, thank you Andrew for this GREAT script.

I've used it for an ongoing assignment - the ability to email grade and comments from the spreadsheet is invaluable. Would it be possible to add more columns/fields for rubric-style feedback?

And I'll second the request to be able to access nested folders... limitations of the Google API maybe?

I used Doctopus this morning to create a second assignment, this time a group project, and groups named letters "A", "B", "C", etc. create numeric file names when using the default Group $group - I think using a single letter might reference columns, as my group D file was named Group group, where my Column D header was "Group". 

Then again, I just noticed that my Column A, which was hidden, had student ID numbers. The other files looked like Group 41630639group, and that number seems to reference column A... which seems to ruin my theory. In any case, single letter group names seem to cause problems.

Thanks again for this great script - I'll definitely be exploring its uses in various contexts.



First of all thanks so much for creating this script. It is going to make the lives of so many teachers across our board so much easier.

Secondly, is there any chance you can update your script to allow us to find subfolders? 

Currently I can only find original folders. It would be MUCH easier if I could also access the subfolders.

If this is already possible ... help?!

Thanks so much


Tech Teacher



First of all thanks so much for creating this script. It is going to make the lives of so many teachers across our board so much easier.

Secondly, is there any chance you can update your script to allow us to find subfolders? 

Currently I can only find original folders. It would be MUCH easier if I could also access the subfolders.

If this is already possible ... help?!

Thanks so much


Tech Teacher


class roster


With regard to:
"Install doctopus from any Google Spreadsheet, though preferably one that you can use as a one-time roster for tracking a particular project with a particular group of students."

Is there either a template for the class roster or an example that someone could post, or direct me to?




re: class roster

Hi Tom,

In the case you haven't heard back yet, feel free to contact me off list (I think there's a contact link on the left of the profile page... just click on my name), and I'll be happy to create and share a sample roster that works with Doctopus with you (and anyone else, as well).


Can't Find Doctopus Today

I discovered your script yesterday, I tested it out once last night, and then went back to try to use it to send something to my class today and it isn't appearing in the list of scripts anymore.
Anyone else having this problem today? Or has it just disappeared for me for some reason?

Same here

Same here

[OLD Google Sheets version] - Take hold of student projects in Google Docs with the Doctopus script

Problem of practice

How can teachers harness all the awesomeness, ubiquitous access, and collaborative authoring power made possible by Google Docs without creating a document management nightmare?


This tutorial presents the pre-Add-on version of Doctopus. Written by an educator for educators, the free doctopus script gives teachers the ability to auto-generate, pre-share, and manage grading and feedback on templated Docs for group and individual projects. For tutorials on the new version of Doctopus, see

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