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Sharing files is one of the most popular activities in the online world. This is why there are so many file sending methods available out there, from the simplest person to person file sharing via email attachment, to crowd-based methods like BitTorrent.

One of the players in the file sharing game is Dropbox. This popular file backup and sync service allows its users to share files easily via a “Public Folder”. Every file saved in the public folder will have its own download link. With this feature, sharing files is as easy as sharing the download links, and if you want to make the file sharing experience even better, here are two tools that could help Dropbox users share and receive files faster and easier.

Sending Files With Dropbox Plugin (Windows) & Dropbox Droplet (Mac)

These two tools will shorten the steps needed to share files using Dropbox. Instead of going through the ritual (copying files to your Dropbox’s Public Folder then right click on the files to copy the URL), you can just drop the files that you want to share into one of the applications and the download links will be available in the clipboard. These applications will do the routine steps for you in the background.

You need to insert your Dropbox ID in the applications before they can work properly. I found that adding the ID is more simple on Windows than on the Mac. You will find detailed instructions on how to do it on the websites.

dropbox file sharing

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Please note that while you can drag and drop multiple files, these applications won’t work with Folders.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a similar tool for Linux users to share a Dropbox file. If you know of such a tool, please share it using the comments below.

Receiving Files With JotForm for Dropbox

Even though Dropbox makes file sharing extremely easy, the service doesn’t provide any easy way to receive files. Sure, you can trade files with your colleagues using shared folders. But receiving files from people outside the sharing circle is impossible.

Luckily there’s JotForm for Dropbox. This web service will let you build your own custom web upload form that can be used by anybody (with or without a Dropbox account) to send files to your Dropbox folder. All that you have to do is share the URL of the web form.

This kind of arrangement would be useful for those who have to receive a lot of files from many people, such as a team leader who needs to review files from their team members, a company which accepts portfolios from applicants, a design competition committee which collects submissions from artists….the list goes on.

If you’d like to create your own Dropbox upload form, JotForm will guide you through the process with step by step instructions. Since you have to authorize JotForm to access your Dropbox account, the first thing you need to do is to log into Dropbox.

dropbox file sharing

To continue with the process, you have to turn off the pop-up blocker in your browser. Then you have to log into your Dropbox account and give permission to JotForm to access your account.

dropbox file sharing

Finally, you will get your Form URL and ’embed’ code. The URL is the shortcut to access your upload form, while the ’embed’ code can be used to add the form to any HTML page. For example, you can create a new page in your WordPress blog and put the upload form there.

sharing dropbox files

This is what the basic upload form looks like. If somebody wants to send you a file, they have to fill in their name and email address, give a short description of the file when needed, and then upload the file. JotForm will create a new folder called “JotForm” inside your Dropbox folder, and the uploaded file will find its way there.

sharing dropbox files

After the building process is done, you can continue to customize your form in the “Form Builder” page. JotForm provides users with tools to customize the style of their form, but that topic is beyond our scope for today.

share a dropbox file

Have you tried these tools? Do you know of other tools that enhances Dropbox usage?  If so, please share your thoughts and opinions using the comments below.

  1. janno
    April 27, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    I downloaded the Dropbox Droplet om my Mac but I don't know how to edit the script file to insert my user ID. If I open it with Terminal, I cannot find DROPBOX_USER_ID. Can anyone please tell me how to do this?

    • Anonymous
      April 27, 2011 at 11:45 pm

      You can use TextEdit to do this. But it would be easier if you have Coda or other code editor.

  2. yonik
    April 27, 2011 at 10:50 pm
    • Anonymous
      April 27, 2011 at 11:47 pm

      Hi, thanks for sharing.

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