Month: January 2016

Google Drive (17) – Previewing your files

If you have some PDFs, Microsoft files like Word, pictures, or other files which aren’t Google ones, Google Drive allows you to preview your file right within Drive.  This is useful if you want to view those documents without exiting Google Drive and having to open them in for example, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word, or some kind of image viewing program. To do it is simple and from within the previewer, you have further options. To open the preview of the file, just double-click on it and it opens automatically, as long as it isn’t a Google Doc, Google Sheet, etc. Below is an example of a PDF I opened. At the top you have various options.  Most of which you can access without actually opening the file, by right clicking on the file in your My Drive.  But it’s good that the key options are also available here. The first options are: Open with: open the file in an external application or a Google Add-on. Printer symbol: Open the print dialogue box. Arrow: Download the file to your computer. Person+: Share the file Three dots: Extra options Clicking on the three dots, gives you the options to move the file, star it for quick access, rename it, or to report any abuse of the file. On the right-hand side there are the more options: Magnifying glass: Allows you...

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Google Drive (16) – Finding your files

Once you’ve been using Google Drive for a while, I bet everyone’s had that moment where you ask yourself, “Now, where did I save that file??“ Or if you’re organised like me, you end up with folders within folders within folders, so your files end up nicely hidden away in a folder structure that makes sense, but then ends up taking you ages to get to them. Well, there’s better way and to be honest only recently have I seen the light!  We’re using a Google product, so it makes sense that there’s a powerful search engine built right into Drive.  It’s the bar sitting at the top of the screen, with the words “Search Drive” in it. Start typing in the box and Google will automatically start finding matches.  This means you don’t have to type the whole word, in this case I wanted to find the “Getting started” pdf and just by typing in “getting” it found it. It also doesn’t have to be the first word, so if you can’t remember the filename exactly, just type in the words you can remember and it should find it. As soon as you click in the empty box, Drive offers you options to filter your search.  For example, you may already know it’s a PDF you’re looking for, so click on “PDFs” so that all the results Drive finds will...

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Google Drive (15) – Getting the link to your file so you can share it

Sometimes you want to share your file or folder but not via the normal way of sharing within Google Apps.  For example, you may want to add a link to your file on a webpage, or in an email using something like Outlook. Fortunately, this is really easy to do. 1) Right click on your file or folder and click “Get link” from the menu. 2) This brings up the link.  It’s highlighted automatically, so to copy it all you need to do is, hold down Ctrl then press C (Cmd C on a Mac) and it will be copied to your clipboard. To paste it where you want it, just hold down Ctrl then press V (Cmd V on a Mac).  This is the normal shortcut for copying and pasting things. Important: Sharing the link doesn’t automatically share access to that file.  If the file isn’t shared with anyone or is only shared with certain people, then anyone not on that list won’t be able to open it.  Google kindly reminds you of the sharing status, above the link.  In this case, “Only specific people can access this file”. To add people or to change the sharing status to “Anyone with this link”, click on “Sharing settings” and this will open the “Share with others” dialogue box.  See my post on sharing files and folders, if you’re not sure...

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Google Drive (14) – Downloading your files & folders

Sometimes you need a copy of your files in a place other than your Drive.  Google Drive provides some options to do this, each one depending on what it is that you’re downloading. *Downloading non-Google files (e.g. Word docs, PDFs, mp3s, images) Right click on the file you want.  Then click on “Download” from the menu. This will download a copy of the file to your computer. *Downloading Google files (e.g. Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides) The process for downloading these is the same, expect for one key difference.  Google files don’t really exist as a normal ‘physical’ files like a Powerpoint document.  They live in the cloud on your Google Drive.  So, to get them back down to Earth, as it were, Google converts them into a Microsoft file. Google Docs become Word documents; Google Sheets become Excel files; and Google Slides become Powerpoint slides So, to download one, right click on the file you want.  Then click on “Download” from the menu. This will download a Microsoft-friendly version of the file to your computer. *Downloading a whole folder If you’ve got a lot of files to download, one of the quickest ways is to download a whole folder.  This downloads the folder as a .zip file, i.e. all your files are put together in one convenient file.  Any Google files are automatically converted to Microsoft-friendly ones. 1) Right click...

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Google Drive (13) – Converting Microsoft docs to Google ones

If you’re like me, you may have lots of Word, Excel and Powerpoint files.  Whilst you can just upload those to your Google Drive, they do take up precious space on your Drive and Powerpoint files in particular, can be quite big files.  Converting them from Word to Google Docs, Excel to Google Sheets, and Powerpoint to Google Slides means they don’t take up any space.  Plus, you can edit and view on any computer and so don’t need programs like Word installed. Here’s how to do it: 1) Right click on the file you want.  This opens the menu.  Then click “Open with”, which opens a further menu, showing the programs you can open that file with.  The one you want to convert it to, will be at the top of the list, in this case “Google Slides”. 2) In this case, click on “Google Slides”.  It will then convert the file, which will take a few seconds.  The newly created file will appear in a new menu. 3) Back in your folder, you will see two files.  The original Microsoft document (in this case a Powerpoint document) and the new Google document (here a Google Slides file). Note: on the right of the screen, you can see the file sizes.  The Powerpoint one was 805Kb and the Google Slides one is zero. Tip: Generally the conversions are...

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