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Your information in the cloud. How to use Google Drive and get the most out of it

With storage devices becoming obsolete, cloud services are new. Among so many available options are you clear which one you should use? Our recommendation is the Google application. If you do not know it and do not know how to use Google Drive, do not worry, here we will tell you everything.

Man sitting on his back, working on a laptop learning how to use google Drive

Rather than giving you all the details in the sun, this guide offers a brief introduction to the Drive interface, allowing you to better navigate and use the suite. We've also included some tips to help you make the most of Google's free offer.

Starting

Accessing Google Drive

Google screen to create an account

Step 1: If you don't already have one, you must obtain a Google account before continuing with Drive. Signing up is free, and doing so will give you seamless and synchronized access to all Google services.

You will have to pay a fee if you want more than 15 GB of storage, but if you choose to do so, it will not affect your ability to use the service.

The download of Google Chrome does no harm either, since the popular web browser presents several extensions and tools that integrate well with Drive.

Step 2– Once you've signed up (or signed in to your existing account), you can access Drive through your browser or the dedicated mobile app, which is currently available for Android and iOS.

Browsing

Google Drive My Drive Screen

Once you are logged in to Drive, click on the New button of the multicolored ms sign in the upper left corner or My unit, which is located towards the center of the screen. In the mobile application, press the circle with the plus sign in the lower right corner.

This opens a menu that allows you to create or upload a file to Drive. You can create a spreadsheet, a Word document, a slide show, a form, a drawing, and many other things through third-party applications.

We won't go deep into how to use each of these free programs here, but here are some tips for learning how to use these services quickly:

Tip 1: The buttons in Drive are pretty straightforward, but if you're ever unsure what you do, just hover over it. A pop-up window should appear explaining the function of the button.

Tip 2: If you've ever used Microsoft Office, i.e. Excel, Word or PowerPoint, then Google Spreadsheets, Documents and Presentations software should be familiar to you.

They operate similarly and are possibly more intuitive. As expected, being free, you will not find as many advanced features as in Microsoft software.

Tip 3: While you can go to the main Documents, Spreadsheets, or Slides page to see all such files in one place, creating folders might be a better way to stay organized.

To create a folder, click the New button in the top left-hand corner, select folder and give the file directory a name. Then just drag your files to the folder you choose from the main Drive page.

However, you can also highlight the files you want to access later by clicking on Add star In that item's menu, note that they can only be viewed by the person who added them and not by those to whom you have shared a particular item.

Tip 4: Another way to quickly find an item on your Drive is to use the function Search for; At the top of each page is a field where you can search for a file using its file name or type.

If you press the down arrow in this field or in More search tools, you can further specify and search for files based on specific criteria, such as the date or who you shared the file with.

Make the most of Google Drive

Upload and share documents

Google Drive file sharing screen

To upload a document to Drive, click the button Upload files in New or My unit and select a file from your computer. Drive is ideal for personal use, but what sets it apart from other cloud services is its powerful collaboration tools.

If you need to work remotely with someone on a project, you can share a document with them and make changes together in real time.

To share a document after it has been created, look in the upper right corner of the file window and look for the Share button.

To share a document after it has been created, click the button Share in the upper right corner, add your collaborators using their email addresses and click the blue button Ready at the bottom of the window.

Once you have been granted access, the document should appear on the tab Shared with me in your Drive dashboard, and a link to the shared document will also be sent to your email inbox.

You can use the shareable link in the upper right corner of the Share with Others menu to send the file via text message or other messenger service.

While you are inside a shared document, you can see who else is currently editing it by looking in the upper right corner of the window.

The names of the collaborators will be shown in different colors (or with the image of your account), so that you can distinguish them quickly. Simply hover over any color to see who it represents.

Download documents and access files offline

Another useful feature of Drive is the ability to view and edit files even if you don't have Internet access. All you need to do is download the Google Docs offline extension for Google Chrome.

Once downloaded, and enabled in Drive settings, you can access specific files (Documents, Spreadsheets and Presentations) even when you are traveling or without the Internet for a few hours.

A gray circle with a lightning bolt will appear through it next to your file name in the file window, alerting you when you are offline.

However, one of the downsides to this is that you can only access files that you have created and that you have not shared with anyone.

You must also have opened Google Drive in your browser to do so. The data can also be accessed offline through the mobile application, assuming you have activated the function in Configuration beforehand.

Add multiple collaborators through a Google group

If you want to share a document with a large group of people, you can avoid entering each email address individually by sharing the document with an entire Google group. Each person in that group (as well as the people added to the group later) will have access to what you have shared.

Share multiple files at once

Screen to share multiple files

Do you need to share a lot of files at once? Instead of sharing each file individually, you can move them to a folder and share that folder. Everyone with whom you share the folder will have access to all the data it contains.

Convert documents created with other programs

You need to share a document with coworkers or friends so they can collaborate on it, but do you already have the file in another similar program? There is no need to worry.

As long as the documents are in the correct format, most files can be easily converted into Google Docs, which can then be collaboratively shared and edited.

To do this, just upload the desired file and cut it into Drive. Then click on the menu File and choose Open With … Depending on the file type, Google suggest the appropriate program to open it. Below are the file formats that can currently be converted to Google Drive.

DocumentsSpreadsheetsPresentationsDrawingsOCR
.Doc.xls.ppt.wmf.jpg
.docx.xlsx.pps.gif
.html.ods.pptx.png
plain text (.txt).csv.pdf
.rtf.tsv
.txt
.tab

Reverting to an earlier version of a document

Administration screen for previous versions of files

A major problem with collaboration is that it is generally difficult to fix something that someone else screwed up. Fortunately, you don't have to worry if you find yourself in one of these situations: Google backs you up. Drive is programmed to save each updated version of your documents for 30 days or 100 revisions, whichever comes first. This makes it easy to go back to a previous version of a document, if necessary.

To retrieve a previous revision of a document, open the document you want to change, click File and select Version History. Then select View version history. Then, they will take you to another screen where a bar should appear on the right side of the document that lists the previous revisions in chronological order. Click on any one of them to preview that specific review. If it is what you are looking for, click the blue link Restore this version and everything return to its previous state.

Using Google Drive applications

Drive is more than just a file sync service or a suite of office software. Google has bigger plans for it. In addition to its proprietary software, Google offers dozens of third-party applications through Drive, applications that allow you to diagram, edit photos, build 3D models, sketch, and more that we have yet to discover.

Files created within these apps will be saved and synced to your Drive account, just like any Google app. check them out here.

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