8 Tips and Tricks for Google Drive
Now that businesses and individuals are preferring to use cloud-based information storage systems, Google Drive has become one of the most well-known collaboration tools in the market with hundreds of millions of users. As a college student, I personally love the versatile suite of tools because they make collaboration with teammates and study groups more productive and effective. If you’ve worked with Google Drive and some of its more popular tools such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms, you’re probably familiar with how these tools work. But, I bet you didn’t know about these 8 useful tips and tricks for the Google software suite!
#1 Google Drive Apps
Google Drive gives you up to a maximum of 15GB of free storage. This makes it an ideal location to store, edit, and share larger media files like music, photos, and videos along with all of your documents. Google Drive provides you with a ton of useful apps for creating mind maps, converting files, signing documents, drawing diagrams, editing videos, filtering/editing pictures, and many, many more! Check out their selection of apps here.
Similar to apps, add-ons allow you to bring extra functionality to your Google Doc or Sheet. By clicking on the handy ‘Add-Ons’ tab at the top of your document, you’re able to download and install many different add-ons from Google’s open-source Add-On library. Do you need help creating a bibliography for your paper? How about accessing a comprehensive thesaurus on your sidebar or generating a mail merge? There’s probably an add-on for that!
#3 Auto Upload
Usually, you click on a big red button labeled ‘New’ in the upper left-hand corner to upload a file to Google Drive, but with the auto upload feature, you can simply drag and drop a file from either Windows Explorer or MacOS Finder. Easy!
#4 Work Offline Mode
Sometimes you may come across situations in which you don’t have an internet connection. In times like these, it may be helpful to have access to important documents from your Google Drive so that you can still work on them. Using the Work Offline function, Google Drive will save your files to your computer via Chrome so that you can work anytime, anywhere, no matter what! Select the gear image in the far right corner labeled Settings, and click the General tab from there. You can check or uncheck the “Offline” check box to control whether or not you want to keep your Google Drive files locally on your machine.
Google Drive features a host of short-cuts that allow you to manipulate controls with only a press of a few keys. Once inside Drive, press the Ctrl key quickly followed by the backslash / key to open up the short-cut menu.
#6 Revision History
If you have accidentally deleted a Google document or want to revert back to a previous version, you can use the Revision History feature to restore files up to 30 days old. Either select See Revision History from the File tab, or quickly enter the keys Ctrl, Alt, Shift, and g to open up the Revision side panel. Each file will be displayed chronologically, with the newest edit appearing first. This feature also comes in handy when you want to audit a document to see who added what in a group collaboration.
Google Drive has its own clipboard, but unlike Microsoft’s version, it can hold multiple clips at a time. This tool takes images, texts, and other objects stored in your Google Drive and stores them on the Web Clipboard. Add clips via the Edit menu by selecting “Copy selection to web clipboard” from the Web Clipboard submenu. Re-access the Web Clipboard to choose which clip you want to insert into your Google Doc or Sheet.
#8 Research Panel
This tool is only available in Google Docs and is extremely useful when you need to conduct some quick web browsing or online research. Naturally, it’s the perfect collaboration tool when working on projects that require extensive sources. There is even an option to access the Google scholar library from the Research pane. Open this nifty tool by clicking the Tools and selecting the second option Research. You can also opt for the shortcut keys Ctrl + Shift + Alt + I.