Google Drive is a cloud storage service provided by Google to all of its users. This virtual space is associated with your @Bloomfield.edu email account. You can upload, store, share, create files, and access them from anywhere you have a network connection, and with any device. Currently, each user has a total of 30GB available for their account.
To access your Google Drive, sign into your Bloomfield.edu email account. At the top of the browser click on the Drive link in the black toolbar.
Clicking on this link will open the Google Drive in a new window. Notice how similar the Drive menu bar on the left side of your browser is to the one in Gmail.
Let's take a quick look at the options available to us:
1. Create - Creates a new Google Doc.
2. Upload - Uploads a file from you local computer.
3. My Drive - Access your Google Drive from the top-most level (Same as clicking Drive on the top black toolbar.)
4. Shared with me - Any Google Docs that are shared with you will first appear here.
5. Starred - Same feature found in Gmail, Starring an item highlights importance and you will find a link to that Google Doc here.
6. Recent - Shows a list of Google Docs that you have recently opened.
7. Create a new folder - Creates a folder in Google Drive. If you select create a new folder while in a folder, it will create a new folder in that new folder.
8. Share Item - Allows you to share currently selected file(s) to be shared. Opens the share options. (Will only appear if a document is selected)
9. Move To - Moves a selected file to another folder in your Google Drive (Will only appear if a document is selected)
10. Trash - Places the selected file(s) into the trash bin (Will only appear if a document is selected)
11. Preview - Quickly previews the document with the viewer instead of the editing application (Will only appear if a document is selected)
12. More - Opens the same context menu that you would see if you right click on a file (Will only appear if a document is selected)
Google Docs is a key component of Google Drive. Docs is stand-alone document system where you can create and edit all types of files and share them with other Google Drive users.
Here are the types of files you can create with Google Docs:
Document is an online word processor that lets you create and format text documents and collaborate with other people in real time.
Here's what you can do with Document:
- Upload a Word document and convert it to a Google document
- Add flair and formatting to your documents by adjusting margins, spacing, fonts, and colors.
- Invite other people to collaborate on a document with you, giving them edit, comment or view access
- Collaborate online in real time and chat with other collaborators — right from inside the document
- View your document's revision history and roll back to any previous version
- Download a Google document to your desktop as a Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF, HTML or zip file
- Translate a document to a different language
- Email your documents to other people as attachments
Spreadsheet is an online spreadsheet app that lets you create and format spreadsheets and simultaneously work with other people.
Here's what you can do with Spreadsheet:
- Import and convert Excel, .csv, .txt and .ods formatted data to a Google spreadsheet
- Export Excel, .csv, .txt and .ods formatted data, as well as PDF and HTML files
- Use formula editing to perform calculations on your data, and use formatting to make it look the way you'd like
- Chat in real time with others who are editing your spreadsheet
- Create charts with your data
- Embed a spreadsheet — or individual sheets of your spreadsheet
Presentation is an online presentations app that allows you to show off your work in a visual way.
Here's what you can do with Presentation:
- Create and edit presentations
- Edit a presentation with friends or coworkers, and share it with others effortlessly
- Import .pptx and .pps files and convert them to Google presentations
- Download your presentations as a PDF, a PPT, or a .txt file
- Insert images and videos into your presentation
- Publish and embed your presentations in a website
With Google drawings you can easily create, share, and edit drawings online.
Here are a few specific things you can do:
- Edit drawings online in real time with anyone you choose, and invite others to view your edits in real time.
- Chat with others who are editing your drawing, from within the drawings editor.
- Publish drawings online to the world as images, or download them in standard formats.
- Insert text, shapes, arrows, scribbles, and images from your hard drive or from the Web.
- Lay out drawings precisely with alignment guides, snap to grid, and auto distribution.
- Insert drawings into other Google documents, spreadsheets, or presentations using the web clipboard, then tweak them inline.
Let's start by creating a new document. Clicking on the create link will open a drop down menu:
You can see all of the file types that can be created. For this demonstration, I will create a Document.
By clicking on Document, a new window opens and we are presented with a basic word processor utility. The first thing to do is name the file. Clicking on the current file name Untitled Document will make a small window appear in front of the document.
Rename the file to anything you would like, and click ok. I will call mine "Google Docs Demo". After clicking OK, you will return to the word processor screen. As you can see, the file name has changed to the new file name.
If we go back to Google Drive, we can see that the file is created, and is saved in your Drive.
Google Doc files automatically save as you create them, therefore there is no need to click save as you are working.
As I mentioned above, Bloomfield.edu Google users have a total 30GB of cloud storage available in Google Drive. Let's utilize this space!
Clicking on the upload button will open a new dropdown menu: Files... and Enable Folder Upload...
Let's select Files... this will open an Explorer (Windows) or Finder (OSX) window where you can navigate to the file(s) you want to upload.
After selecting the files click Ok (Windows) or Choose (OSX). This window will disappear and a small window will popup in the bottom right corner of you browser showing you the upload status of your file.
Once the upload is complete, click the white x in the top right corner of this popup. The file you uploaded will appear in your Google Drive as you can see below:
As mentioned above Google Drive has it's own word processor application incorporated within the site, but sometime you have to upload another file type. In the photo below, I have created an additional Microsoft Word file also called Google Docs Demo. You can see that there is a difference in the file type icon: the one on the top is the Google Docs file and bottom is a MS Word .docx file.
The Word file is not a native Google Docs file. Therefore, the file extension is also displayed.
When opening both files you will also notice a significant difference:
The Google Doc file has all of the word processor features we saw before and we can edit the file as we please. The MS Word document we uploaded is a read-only file since we did not convert the file during upload.
Converting a file during upload has both pro's and con's. The obvious benefit of converting a file during upload is the freedom to edit online and the ability to have multiple users collaborate on a single file in real time (more on that later)! A disadvantage to converting a file is that with some more elaborate styles, some info can get lost in the mix. As you see the original .docx file has a box design around the main body of the text, which was lost in the conversion process.
To convert a file, right click on the file in question. A context menu will pop-up prompting you to select open with and select the appropriate application (in this case Documents).
Clicking on the application will open a new window. Depending on how large the file size, a loading screen might appear as the file is converted.
After the file is converted, Google Drive will open to the word processor application as seen before. If you don't like the conversion and would like to keep the original version instead, fear not! When you convert a file, the original version stays in your Google Drive.
Google Docs has the ability to share a file between multiple users. Since the file is not embedded in an email, you are not limited to the constraints of the file size.
Select the file(s) you would like to share by clicking in the little box next to each file. Then click on the Share Item button at the top. A new window will appear prompting you to enter the user(s) you would like to share the document with in the Invite People field.
Click Share & save and a list of users you shared the file will populate in the window.
From this window, you can set the permissions for each user independently. Once you have made all of your changes, click Done and you will return to the Google Drive main window. Next to the file the word "shared" will appear as a reminder to you.
To receive a shared file, simply click on Shared with me link from the menu on the right. This action will take you to your shared items list. From there you will see the shared files.
The collaboration utility is the key feature in the Google Docs suite allowing multiple users that you shared the document with, to work on the file together. Google Docs automatically switches into collaboration mode when a second user opens the shared file. In the top right corner of the screen, you can see all of the other users who are viewing the file currently.
Clicking the little speech bubble button will open the chat interface allowing each user to chat while working on the file.
Also, you can see each of the other users' cursors. The cursors are colored the same color as their name letterbox above. You can go the exact point another user's cursor is by clicking on their name letterbox. Other users can also highlight sections of text. By clicking on their letterbox, you can also see the highlighted text.
Source: We Googled it.