Author: bazroberts

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

If you’re like me, you have lots of Word, Excel and Powerpoint files (maybe from your pre-GSuite era!).  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:...

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Google Drive (10) – Quick access to your files

You may have hundreds of files on your Google Drive, but fortunately Drive has a couple of ways to allow you to access your files quickly. Firstly, if you’re like me, you end up using certain ones all the time and to help you get to those files or folders quickly, Google Drive has the option to “star” them, so that they appear in the “Star” filter. Secondly, you have the option of “Quick access” links at the top of your Drive, which with a bit of AI, shows files Drive thinks you’ll need. Starring you files 1) Right-click on the file or folder you want to star. If you want to star multiple files or folders in the same folder, remember you can do that by selecting them either holding down Ctrl or Shift, selecting them and then right-clicking. 2) Click on “Add star”. 3) A little star will appear next to you files or folders. 4) Go to the menu on the left-hand side of the screen and click “Starred”. Here, you’ll find your starred files and folders for quick access. If you want to remove them from this filter. Just right-click on a file or folder and click “Remove star”. Quick access Another way to access your files quickly is to use “Quick access”. These are files Drive’s AI believes you will need. According to Google: “Quick Access...

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Google Sheets (22) – Data validation

In this post we’re going to look at Data Validation, what is it?, what’s it used for? and how do you set it up? I think the very name puts people off and it sounds like something complicated when really it’s not. The main use is check that data entered into cells meets a criterion you’ve set. For example, to check it’s a date, or to check the number is within a certain range. It’s also useful, as it allows you to create drop-down menus in your cells, where the user can select possible options rather than typing them in every time. This makes it quicker for the user to enter information, whilst controlling the type of information they are entering. Setting up data validation to check for a valid date Here, we have a simple table where I want to record the hours worked by teachers on different dates. I want to make sure a date is entered in the Date column. Select the cells you to add the data validation to. Right click on at the bottom of the menu, select “Data validation…”. This opens the Data validation dialogue box. In summary, this allows us to set the criteria we want, set what we want to happen if the user doesn’t enter data that meets the criteria, and we can set up some help text to tell...

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Google Sheets (21) – Explore

In this post, we’re going to look at the “Explore” tool, which looks at your data and automatically produces charts and analysis from it. Plus, it’s also possible to ask natural-sounding questions to interrogate your data. The beauty of this is that the user doesn’t have to know how to make charts or how to write formulas to analyse their data. Here, we have a set of data showing costs involved for different products. In the bottom-right of the screen you’ll see the Explore icon. Sometimes you will see this highlighted in green or sometimes it will be in grey. If it’s in grey, it means that you will have to select the data you want Explore to analyse. If it’s green, it has already noticed there is data on the sheet and has a data range already selected, but you can still go in and manually select the range you want. If necessary select the data on your sheet, then click on the Explore icon. The Explore sidebar will open and it will contain automatic analysis of your data. It will contain common calculations, such as SUM and AVERAGE. Below it will give you the opportunity to use the Google AI and ask it questions about the data. It also gives you possible questions you may want to answer. It allows you to add row colours with Alternating...

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Google sheets (18) – Creating charts (part 2)

This is the second part of looking at creating charts in Google Sheets. See part 1 here. Here, we’ll look at some of the areas in more detail. We’ll cover: Adding a new series to a chart Creating charts with two different scales Editing the title, subtitle, and axis titles Adding a new series to a chart In part 1 we only looked at 1 series of data, so let’s look at data sets with multiple series. Here, I’ve got some fictitious data on my book sales (blatant plug!). As is often the case, it’s difficult to see what’s happening with the data from just looking at a table, so let’s chart it. I selected all the data and clicked the chart icon (as described in part 1). It’s automatically produced a meaningful chart showing the sales of both books. I can see that the sales of both books have been improving in the last few months, which is great news! Now, I want to see how a third book I wrote is doing. I could just create a new chart including the new data, as before, but let’s add the third book’s data to the existing chart. Click the 3-dot menu and click “Edit chart”. This will open the chart editor. We can see the two existing series, Book1 and Book 2. Underneath we can add a new...

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