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October 27, 2014
G Suite

Maximize Google Drive: 4 Tips for Your Google Drive Settings

If you’re a Google Drive user, you most likely haven’t played around much with the various settings. Turns out there are some awesome productivity hacks if you know where to look in the settings for the new Google Drive. Below are four helpful hints!

If you use Google Docs, try the following experiment.

1. Open Chrome, then type “docs.google.com” in the address bar.

2. Open another browser tab, and type “google.com/docs”.

Notice the results: they’re different. Both pages display Google Docs, but the first—docs.google.com—adds a message: “Looking for Google Drive? Visit drive.google.com to see all your files.” Google changed the destination at the same time the apps received a “material design” makeover.

Now, each app has its own landing page:

Each of these links connects you to your files. Drive displays all your folders and files, while Docs, Sheets and Slides display only your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, respectively.

Tip 1: Bookmark links to Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides for faster access

If you have a prior bookmark for docs.google.com, change it to drive.google.com. That way you won’t see the “Looking for Google Drive?…” message each time.

Pro tip for Google Apps Administrators: You can push bookmarks to people’s accounts. When a person logs in to Chrome with their Google Apps account, a folder of the bookmarks will display (e.g., “yourcompany.com bookmarks”). You could provide links to each of the above items to your users, along with links to Gmail, Calendar, or other sites. (To add these, login as as an administrator to admin.google.com, then go to Dashboard > More Google Apps > Chrome Management > User Settings > Managed Bookmarks.)

Next, try two additional landing pages:

These links create a new drawing or a new form.

Tip 2: Check your new Google Drive settings to convert files and work offline

Open Chrome, access the new Google Drive page at drive.google.com, then select the sprocket in the upper right, and choose Settings.

Check the “convert uploads” box to automatically convert files to Google formats. When checked, a Word, Excel or PowerPoint file will be converted to a Doc, Sheet, or Slide file, respectively.

Select the checkbox next to “Offline” to enable Chrome to auto-sync your Google Drive files to your system. This will allow you to work on your recent files—even when you’re not connected to the internet.

Tip 3: Have an “i” for details

Google Drive provides access to file history and info, even without opening a file. To access this information, single-click any Google Drive file or folder in your browser. (Don’t double-click: that would open the file. Single-click just selects it.) Then, click the “i” in the upper right corner—to the left of the sprocket. The “i” displays file activity history—which shows the sequence of edits and updates—and allows access to file details, such as file type, quota used, file owner, etc.

Tip 4: (mobile) Select text, then “insert comment”

When you edit a Google Doc in your laptop browser, you can choose one of three modes (in the upper right area):

  • “Editing” to edit the document,
  • “Suggesting” to recommend changes, or
  • “Viewing”, which is essentially a read-only mode.

However, “Suggesting” mode isn’t yet available in the Google Docs mobile app.

Instead, you’ll need to “insert comment”. To do this, access your Google Docs app, and open a document. While editing, tap-and-hold, then drag your finger to select the text to modify. Release your finger and a menu appears. Choose “Comment”, then add your comment and/or suggested change.

What’s your favorite Google Drive or Google Doc tip? Share it in the comments!

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