Monday, March 31, 2014

Day 14 - Download as

Today's tip goes hand in hand with "Day 13 - Email as attachment". If you ever need to export a Document, Spreadsheet, or Presentation from Google Drive, there is a built-in feature that allows you to download any Document. Even better, the "Download as" function provides a number of different choices of file formats, including PDF. Essentially, Google Drive can act as a very versatile (and free) file exporter!

Here's how:
  1. Open a Google Document, Spreadsheet or Presentation
  2. Click the "File" menu and select "Download as"
  3. Choose from the various different download options, depending on whether it's a Document, Spreadsheet, or Presentation

  4. Your Document, Spreadsheet, or Presentation will be downloaded in the format that you selected

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Day 13 - Email as Attachment

Sometimes, you may need to email a copy of a Google Document, Spreadsheet or Presentation to someone in a specific format (PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)  Google Drive has a built-in feature called "Email as attachment" that allows you to convert your Document to another format and email it to whomever your choose. Here's how:
  1. Open a Google Document, Spreadsheet or Presentation
  2. Click the "File" menu and select "Email as attachment"
  3. Choose the format to use to email the Document
  4. Enter the email address of the person to send the Document
  5. Enter an accompanying message
  6. Click "Send"

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Day 12 - Grid View

Viewing Google Drive in Grid view displays all your Documents, files and folders as large icons, rather than as a list. Even better, Grid view displays thumbnail "previews" of your Documents, making it easy to visually scan your Drive and find exactly the Document that you're looking for.

To switch Google Drive to Grid view, click the "Switch to Grid" button

In Grid view, Documents, files and folders are shown as large icons with previews, wherever possible

You can still do the same things with your Documents, files and folders when in Grid view. Hover your cursor over an icon and click the checkbox that appears to select an item. Then, use the buttons that appear at the top of the page to share, move, and delete the selected items

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Day 11 - Sharing a Folder

You learned how to share individual Documents in "Day 4 - Sharing a Document (The Basics)". You can also share entire folders within your Google Drive. The advantage of sharing an entire folder is that all Documents and files within that folder will be shared with the people that you choose. Also, any new Documents or files that you create in the shared folder or move into that folder will automatically be shared.

There are a number of different ways to share a folder, but here's the most straightforward method.
  1. In the Documents and files list, select the folder to share by clicking the checkbox next to its name
  2. Click the "Share" button (with the person icon) that appears at the top of the list
  3. In the “Invite people” field, enter the email address of the person you would like to share the folder with
  4. Choose whether they “Can edit" or “Can view” the folder and its contents
  5. Click "Send"
  6. Click "Done"
  7. The icon of the folder will change to show that the folder is shared

Any Documents or files that are moved into the shared folder will automatically inherit the sharing settings of the folder. This makes it simple to share Documents and files with specific or groups of people (colleagues or students).

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Day 10 - Organize Documents into Folders

Folders can be a helpful way of organizing your files and Google Documents within Google Drive. You can assign folders specific colors and even create folders within other folders to design your own organizational system. You can even share entire folders with other people to make collaborating on a large number of Documents simple.

Create a Folder

  1. When in Google Drive, click the "Create" button on the left and click on "Folder"
  2. Enter a name for the new folder and click "Create"
  3. The new folder will appear under "My Drive" on the left and also in the list of Documents and files on the right
  4. You can open the folder either by clicking on its name under "My Drive" on the left or by clicking on it in the list of Documents and files on the right

Add Documents and Files to a Folder

Once you've created folders, you can add Documents and files to the folders to organize them. There are a number of different ways to move Documents and files into a folder, but here's the most straightforward method.
  1. In the Documents and files list, select the Documents or files to add to a folder by clicking the checkboxes next to their names
  2. Click the "Move to" button (with the Folder icon) that appears at the top of the list
  3. Select the folder where you would like to move the Documents or files
  4. Click "Apply changes"
  5. The Documents and files that were moved will no longer appear within "My Drive"
  6. If you click on the name of the folder on the left, the Documents and files that are within that folder will appear in the list on the right

Monday, March 24, 2014

Day 9 - The Research Tool

Google Docs and Drive offer some built-in tools that can make integrating a wide variety of information quick and easy. One of the most powerful (and overlooked) tool is the Research Tool. The Research Tool is available within Google Documents and Presentations. It allows you to search the web for a specific term, search for quotations from a person or about a topic, look for images, and even look words up in an online dictionary. If you find something that you would like to add to your Document or Presentation, you can insert a link or a citation right from within the Research Tool.

Here's how:

  1. Click on the "Tools" menu at the top of the page and click "Research"
  2. The Research Tool will appear on the right side of the page. The Research Tool will often try to predict what you might want to search for based upon what you were working on your Document or Presentation
  3. Enter a word, term or phrase to research at the top of the tool
  4. Clicking the small arrow to the left of the search term allows you to narrow your search to just images, academic articles, quotations, a dictionary, or tables of information
  5. If you place your mouse cursor over some of the information, you will see options to "Preview", "Insert link", or "Cite"
  6. Clicking "Insert link" will insert a link to the information found in the Research Tool
  7. Clicking "Cite" will insert a citation and create a footnote within the Document or Presentation

Here's a short video that does a good job of demonstrating the Research Tool

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Day 8 - How do I find Documents that are shared with me?

As you create more Documents and people share more things with you, it can get tricky to keep track of everything in your Google Drive. We'll cover organization strategies within Google Drive in future tips. However, there is a very simple way to quickly find any Documents or Files that are shared with you.

When someone shares a Document or File, they have the option to notify the collaborators via email.

The email notification contains a link that will open up the shared Document for you.

Don't worry if you miss the email notification or if you delete it. You can always go right to the Documents and Files that are shared with you using the "Shared with Me" label in your Google Drive. Click the "Shared with Me" label on the left side of the Drive page.

All of the Documents and Files that are shared with you will appear in the list. You will also be able to see exactly who shared the Documents with you and when they shared it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Day 7 - Collaborating with Comments

Using the built-in Comments feature within Google Documents is another great way to collaborate. By sharing a Document and giving other people "Can Comment" privileges, they will be able to insert Comments into the Document, but they will NOT be able to change any of the actual content of the Document.

This is a terrific way for students to peer review each others' work without any worries about work being lost or modified. It's also a great way to get feedback on a Document without losing control of the actual content.

  1. Share a Document and give the collaborators "Can comment" or "Can edit" privileges (see the instructions from Day 4 - Sharing a Document). Collaborators with "Can view" privileges will not be able to insert Comments
  2. Highlight/select the text in the Document where you want to insert the Comment
  3. Click the "Insert" menu at the top of the Document and select "Comment"
  4. A Comment box will appear in the margin on the right. Type your comment and click "Comment"
  5. Your Comment will be visible to all other collaborators. They will also receive an email notification that you've left a Comment in the Document
  6. Another collaborator can reply to a Comment by clicking on the original, typing a reply, and clicking "Reply"
  7. A Comment can be marked as "Resolved" by clicking the "Resolve" button. The Comment will disappear from the margin of the Document
  8. Any resolved Comments can be viewed (and even re-opened) by clicking the "Comments" button at the top of the Document

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Day 6 - Chatting with Collaborators

When you're working on a Google Document, you can see at the top of the screen if any of the people that you've shared it with are also working on the Document. Each person is represented at the top right of the screen by an icon (or picture if they've added one to their account) and a color.

You can also see a matching color cursor indicating where each person is working in the Document. When each person is actively editing the document, the person's name will be shown on their cursor.

Google Documents allows you to chat with all of the collaborators working in the Document. Click the "Chat" icon next to the icons of the collaborators to open a group chat.

The chat window will appear in the lower right of the Document. You will see the names of all of the people who are part of the chat. Type your message at the bottom of the window and press "Enter" on the keyboard to send it to the group.

In tomorrow's tip, we'll talk about another way to interact with other collaborators within a Google Document.