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Google Drive suggestions and tips: 9 options you may need missed

Google Drive has some hidden options that make it much more helpful.

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I take advantage of Google’s companies daily, together with Google Drive. I take advantage of them for work. I wrote this story in Google Docs, in actual fact. I take advantage of them at residence, whether or not utilizing Sheets to map out the summer season schedule for my youngsters, or including to my ever-expanding folder of recipes — it makes it simple to share favorites with mates or entry wanted components on my telephone once I’m on the grocery retailer. It is arduous to think about my digital life earlier than Google.

I’ve used Google Drive lengthy sufficient that I’ve found a couple of hidden gems alongside the best way that make Google’s cloud service a fair higher instrument. Listed below are 9 options that I take advantage of that may additionally make it easier to.

Arrange offline entry

Have to work throughout your commute or different occasions if you’re not related to the web? No downside. Google Drive enables you to entry your recordsdata when you’re offline, after which it’s going to sync your adjustments if you get again on-line. You may want to make use of the Chrome browser and be signed in to your Google account.

First, set up the Google Docs Offline extension for Chrome. Then sign up to Google Drive, open Settings and examine the field for Create, open, and edit your current Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides recordsdata on this machine whereas offline.


Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Convert recordsdata to Google Docs format

You may edit Microsoft Phrase paperwork in Google Drive, however typically the formatting seems bizarre. In the event you’d somewhat convert any Phrase doc you add to Google Drive to the native Google Docs format, you’ll be able to set that up with a pair clicks. Open Settings and examine the field for Convert uploaded recordsdata to Google Docs editor format. Achieved and finished — no extra Phrase docs in your Google Drive library.

See who’s made what edits


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Sharing is baked into Google Drive: As much as 100 folks can work on a Google Doc, Sheet or Slide on the identical time. I doubt you may come near reaching triple digits for the variety of simultaneous collaborators, however with even a handful of individuals enhancing the identical doc on the identical time, it may be tough to see who’s altering what. 

To maintain tabs on the varied edits being made to a Google Doc, go to File > Model Historical past > See Model Historical past to open a panel on the precise aspect that reveals who up to date the doc and when. You may click on every model to see what adjustments have been made, and you may click on the triple-dot button to rename an earlier model to make it simpler to maintain observe. You can too make a replica of earlier variations, if you wish to maintain a draft you worry you would possibly lose observe of.

Flip off Ideas

Beforehand referred to as Fast Entry and now labeled Recommended, there is a belt of thumbnails throughout the highest of the My Drive view displaying your just lately modified recordsdata. I discover it an enormous time-saver, however for instance you employ Drive at work and have been updating your resume. You may not need your boss trying over your shoulder and seeing that you just have been just lately working in your CV. You may conceal this belt of thumbnails in Drive’s settings. Scroll to the tip of the Common settings web page and subsequent to Ideas, uncheck the field for Make related recordsdata useful if you want them in Recommended and hit Achieved.


Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Ship hyperlinks to recordsdata as a substitute of attachments

There’s a bit of Drive icon on the backside of Gmail’s compose window. It enables you to connect recordsdata you will have saved in Drive or just ship a hyperlink. For Google Drive codecs — Docs, Sheets, Slides and so forth — your solely choice is to ship a hyperlink to the file. For different file varieties — like PDFs, Phrase docs and pictures — you will have the choice of sending them as an attachment or a Drive hyperlink, which helps you to share recordsdata bigger than Gmail’s 25MB dimension restrict for attachments.

Filter your searches

This one’s hiding in plain sight. Within the search field on the high of Google Drive, there’s filter button alongside the precise edge. Click on it and you will get a panel of search choices to filter your search outcomes with. In the event you’ve used Google Drive for years and have gathered a big library of recordsdata, then these search choices are massively helpful for narrowing your outcomes. You may filter by file sort, date modified and proprietor. For shared paperwork, you’ll be able to filter by somebody with whom you’ve got shared a file. And so you do not depart somebody hanging, you may as well filter by recordsdata which have an motion merchandise assigned to you or which have recommendations ready for you.


Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Shortly clear formatting

You’ve got bought a couple of choices for clearing the formatting for textual content you paste into Docs. You may spotlight the textual content and choose Regular textual content from the toolbar on the high. Or you’ll be able to go to Format > Clear formatting. (For the latter, you should utilize the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-, or Command- for Mac.) 

You may keep away from the format-removal course of by holding down Shift if you paste textual content. Yep, Ctrl-Shift-V pastes with none formatting. That is Command-Shift-V for Mac customers.

One-tap telephone backup

Wish to again up your telephone’s essential information to Drive? You may! And with a single faucet. On the cell app, go to Settings > Backup and select what you need to again up — contacts, calendar occasions or pictures and movies (or all three). Simply faucet the Begin Backup button to get rolling. It will seemingly take some time, so that you would possibly need to begin the method in a single day. Your telephone will must be plugged in and related to Wi-Fi.


Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Again up folders on PC or Mac

With Google’s Backup and Sync app, you’ll be able to again up the contents of your Mac or PC — or simply chosen folders. And you’ll go the opposite approach and sync the recordsdata you will have saved on Google Drive together with your laptop for straightforward, offline entry. 

To get began, obtain Backup and Sync to your Mac or PC and comply with the directions to put in it and sign up. The app will set up a folder in your laptop referred to as Google Drive, and you may drag pictures and paperwork onto the folder to sync its contents with Google Drive on Google’s servers. To sync different folders in your laptop with Drive, open Backup and Sync’s settings and choose the folders you’d wish to sync, resembling Paperwork or Photos.

For extra, take a look at 10 Gmail tips you may use daily and our record of one of the best Android telephones to purchase for 2021.

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