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Category Archives: Google Drive

Useful Google Drive search operators

GoogleApps_Sep02_CGoogle has a wide variety of apps and services, all of which are useful in one way or another. One thing they do better than most any other company however is search. Many of us use search operators on Google Search, but did you know that there are search operators you can use with Google Drive when you are looking for files or folders? Here are four.

Searching for files on Google Drive
Before we look into the different search operators you can use to find files on Google Drive, we should clarify that these operators are to employ in the search bar, which is located at the top of the Drive page. If you want to search for a file this works in the same way as the Google Search bar on google.com, only this bar focuses on Drive files, and anything related to Drive.

To use the operators listed below, simply click on the bar that says Search Drive and enter the operator along with the search term, or name of the file/item/keyword you are looking for. For best results you should put the operator before the keyword, however Google also allows users to insert it after the keyword.

1. title:
Sometimes when you are looking for a document, you want to search for the title only, but because of the way Drive’s search works, if you enter a keyword it will search for all files that contain that particular word. This means that if you are looking for a document based on its title, you will also see results for documents that contain that keyword too. By using the title: operator you can filter results so that only documents that contain the keyword in the title are displayed.

For example, if you are looking for a document that you know has the words “TPS report” in the title, you would enter: title: “tps report”. If you are looking for a title but know only a few keywords that aren’t next to each other, you can enter the keywords with quotations around each of the keywords. This will tell Drive to search for files that contain each of the separate keywords in the title.

2. type:
Chances are that with the Google Drive you have created and stored more than just one type of file. Many of us use it to store multiple file types, which can make finding the file you are looking for more challenging.

If you know the type of document you are searching for, enter the operator type: followed by the file type (spreadsheet, document, pdf, presentation, drawing, image, and video) and then add keywords to direct Drive to only display these filtered, related results.

So, if you are looking for a presentation with the keywords “sales team” then you would enter: type:presentation “sales team”. Be sure that when you are looking for a file type, there is no space between the operator and the type of file you are searching for.

3. owner:
Google Drive is highly collaborative and files that you have access to may not be stored on My Drive, or even owned by you. If you are looking for files that you know are owned by other team members try using the owner: operator.

When using this, Google Drive will present files owned by the email address that you enter beside the operator, and which have been shared with you. If you are looking for a file that is shared with you/on your Drive that is owned by sally@company.com, then you would enter: owner:sally@company.com. You can add keywords before or after the operator (as long as they are separated by a space) to filter results down even further.

4. is:starred
One of the more useful Drive features for users who deal with a large number of files is the ability to star important ones. By simply clicking on Starred on the left-hand horizontal menu bar, you can view all of your starred files. The issue many run across however is that that list does grow over time, making it less useful in finding important files – which kind of defeats the purpose of the feature in the first place.

If this has happened to you, then you can easily search for starred files by entering: is:starred along with keywords in the search field. This will tell Drive to only search for files that contain the keywords and are starred.

These are just a few of the more useful search operators available to Google Drive users. Do you have one you can’t live without? Let us know! And, if you have any questions about Google Drive for your office, please contact us.

Google Drive improves editing of Docs

GoogleApps_July14_AIn late June, Google announced a number of new products and features at their annual I/O conference. While many of the announcements at I/O centered around mobile products, new features for Google Drive were also talked about. Some of the most useful being new advanced editing features for productivity apps like Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Here is an overview of these new editing features.

A big leap forward in editing

Before the introduction of Google Drive’s new document editing features users simply edited on the same document. Changes they made were automatically made to the document regardless of whether the main author wanted them or not. For the majority of users, this works fine, but it did kind of feel like the apps were missing more advanced editing features like those found in other productivity programs.

Also, while the collaboration aspect of Google Drive’s apps is second to none, there are times when an editor or document owner would prefer to limit the power collaborators have in terms of editing and controlling the overall quality of the file. To make things easier, Google has introduced new editing features to the Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps.

Now, when you open a new file you should see a pencil icon in the toolbar at the top-right, this is the new editing function. Clicking on it will bring down a menu with three options:

  • Editing – Allows you to edit a document with changes being made directly in the document.
  • Suggesting – Allows you to make suggested edits that the document owner can approve or deny.
  • Viewing – Allows you to view the document as it will look when printed or finalized.

While Editing and Viewing are both useful, it’s the Suggesting – or Suggested Edits as the feature is also called – that could prove the most valuable to writers and teams who collaborate on the same file.

Utilizing Suggested Edits

If you are managing a Doc, Sheet, or Slide and want to ensure that all collaborators are working together towards the same idea, without stepping on each other’s toes, try using this feature. You can turn it on by:

  1. Pressing the pencil icon located above the document field, to the right of the page.
  2. Selecting Suggesting.
  3. Making edits.

You will know Suggested Edits is on when the pencil icon changes to lines with an eye, and a different color.

When you enable, this feature, you can make edits in the doc, which will show up on the screen as comments. The changes will appear to other users in different colors and as comments on the side. If you agree with the changes, you can press the checkmark to implement these on the final version of the file, or you can press X to delete the suggested changes.

You can also see the final version before you accept changes, by clicking the pencil or Suggested Edits icon at the top and select Final from the drop-down menu. This will show the document with all of the Suggested Edits implemented. Going back to the Suggested Edits will allow you to approve or reject them again.

Looking to learn more about using Google Drive and the included apps? Contact us today to see how we can help.

Google Drive adds Suggested Edits

Web_July07_C1With so many users switching to cloud-based productivity apps like Google Drive, the tech giant has been increasingly implementing and improving features that make apps like Docs, Sheets, and Slides not only more powerful but more useful. For business users who have switched over to Google Drive, a number of new editing features have just been implemented.

A big leap forward in editing

Before the introduction of Google Drive’s new document editing features users simply edited on the same document. Changes they made were automatically made to the document regardless of whether the main author wanted them or not. For the majority of users, this works fine, but it did kind of feel like the apps were missing more advanced editing features like those found in other productivity programs.

Also, while the collaboration aspect of Google Drive’s apps is second to none, there are times when an editor or document owner would prefer to limit the power collaborators have in terms of editing and controlling the overall quality of the file. To make things easier, Google has introduced new editing features to the Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps.

Now, when you open a new file you should see a pencil icon in the toolbar at the top-right, this is the new editing function. Clicking on it will bring down a menu with three options:

  • Editing – Allows you to edit a document with changes being made directly in the document.
  • Suggesting – Allows you to make suggested edits that the document owner can approve or deny.
  • Viewing – Allows you to view the document as it will look when printed or finalized.

While Editing and Viewing are both useful, it’s the Suggesting – or Suggested Edits as the feature is also called – that could prove the most valuable to writers and teams who collaborate on the same file.

Utilizing Suggested Edits

If you are managing a Doc, Sheet, or Slide and want to ensure that all collaborators are working together towards the same idea, without stepping on each other’s toes, try using this feature. You can turn it on by:

  1. Pressing the pencil icon located above the document field, to the right of the page.
  2. Selecting Suggesting.
  3. Making edits.

You will know Suggested Edits is on when the pencil icon changes to lines with an eye, and a different colour.

When you enable, this feature, you can make edits in the doc, which will show up on the screen as comments. The changes will appear to other users in different colours and as comments on the side. If you agree with the changes, you can press the checkmark to implement these on the final version of the file, or you can press X to delete the suggested changes.

You can also see the final version before you accept changes, by clicking the pencil or Suggested Edits icon at the top and select Final from the drop-down menu. This will show the document with all of the Suggested Edits implemented. Going back to the Suggested Edits will allow you to approve or reject them again.

Looking to learn more about using Google Drive and the included apps? Contact us today to see how we can help.

Google+ gets premium features

GoogleApps_June23_ASocial media has become such an integral part of so many organizations and their marketing initiatives. Many companies go so far as to use social media platforms like Google+ as an in-house solution for modern communication and team building. In order to make Google+ even more viable for businesses, Google has recently announced a number of key updates aimed at enabling this.

In mid June, Google announced that they had implemented a number of new premium features for Google Apps users who use Google+. These so-named ‘Google+ premium features’, could prove to be just what businesses are looking for, especially when it comes to establishing internal social networks that are for your employees only.

About Google+ premium features

If your business uses Google Apps and Google+, and you are the admin for your business, you may have noticed an extra option in the past half year or so labeled premium features. These features were tested by select Google Apps users, and proved to be successful. So much so in fact that Google has announced that premium features are now turned on for all new Apps users, with existing users getting them by mid July at the latest.

The goal of these features is to enable a more customizable social media platform for businesses who may want to create and maintain a secure internal social network with users who can also join an external network or work group.

In a broad sense, these features influence two key aspects of Google+:

  1. Control options – With these features admins have greater control options over employee accounts. For example, you can set it so that all posts are shared only with your domain and made inaccessible to outside users. You can also set it so that certain employee profiles will not show up in public search results. Essentially, these features give you better ability to tailor how your business uses Google+, and the overall security of the network.
  2. Hangouts – The biggest boon this set of features offers is the ability to host larger hangouts and video calls – up to 15 users on the same call (instead of the normal 10). Users can also initiate or join a Hangout right from Google Calendar, email invitation or a URL. You can also set the privacy level of Hangouts to ensure that they can’t be accidentally opened to the public, ideal if you need to discuss sensitive information or projects for example.

Activating premium features

If you are an administrator for your company’s Google Apps account, then you can enable these features by:

  1. Signing into your Google Admin panel. This can be accessed by typing ‘admin.google.com‘ into the URL bar in your browser.
  2. Clicking on Other Google Services followed by Google+.
  3. Scrolling down to the premium features section and clicking on Enable Google+ premium features.
  4. Clicking on Sharing Settings and modifying or enabling the different premium features.

If you are looking to learn more about using these features or Google+ get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

Customize your Google Bar

Starting out as a research project by Sergey Brin and Larry Page in 1996, the Google search engine was officially created in 1998. Since then, more Google products have been introduced such as Calendar, Alerts, YouTube, and Gmail. When accessing these products, you would see a black Google bar with links to other Google products. This navigation bar has been updated and now lets you arrange and choose which products to place in the app launcher.

Google Bar revamped

When you access Google products like Google.com or Gmail, the Google bar can be seen on top of the page and shows you links to other Google products. For instance, while using Gmail, you can click the link for Google Drive to quickly access this. What’s great about this is that it’s really convenient as there’s no need to go to a particular page and log in to your account.

The old Google Bar, as you may have remembered, was a black bar with white text links. The ‘more’ option listed more products that did not appear on the bar. With the recent update, Google has eliminated the black bar and replaced it with a cleaner and more organized Google Bar. The search bar is still viewable on the top, and to the right of it you will see your Google+ profile link, notification icon, share button and the app launcher. You still have access to your favorite Google products, but the interface is less cluttered as these are only shown when you click the app launcher – the nine squares.

As you may already be aware of, clicking your name with the ‘+’ icon next to it will bring you to your Google+ profile; that is if you are signed in to your Google account. If you aren’t, you will see a ‘You’ next to the + sign. You will also see a sign-in icon on the upper right side, or your picture (if you are already signed in). You can click to sign out, add accounts, change your photo or view your profile. When you sign out via the Google Bar, you will be signed out from all Google products.

Customizing your Google Bar

Another new feature of the updated Google Bar is that it lets you customize the apps that you see when you click on the app launcher. Here’s how to customize your Google Bar:
Click the app launcher.
Arrange the product icons by dragging and dropping them to your preferred location.
If you don’t see the product you often use then click More and drag the product icon on top to get instant access.
If you still can’t find the product you are looking for, click Even More from Google.
Launch the application and click the app launcher. You will see a message asking you to add your chosen product as one of the apps.

The revamped Google Bar is welcome news to those using Google products for business as switching from one application to another is now much more convenient. This saves time and effort, giving you instant access to information and apps that are most useful.

If you have questions about how Google products can benefit your business, give us a call. We are here to help.

Drive storage price reduced

GoogleApps_Mar24_CCloud storage is quickly becoming one of the essential tools used by small businesses. Google’s Drive is one of the more popular options, especially for those who use Google apps in their business. One of the major issues some managers and owners face with Drive is the storage space – it can be costly to upgrade beyond the free 30GB. Google has recently addressed this issue however with changes to their storage space options.

Overview of Google Drive’s storage space

There have been a number of changes to the way Google allots space to those with accounts. Many of the apps used to have their own specific storage amount, but last year Google amalgamated all storage so that it is now based on your account.

Individual users get 15GB of storage space that is shared across all Google apps including Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos. Business accounts on the other hand get 30GB of storage space per user across the main Google apps.

While this is ample space for the majority of users, those with multiple Android devices or who use Drive for cloud storage (Google Drive files like Docs and Sheets don’t count towards your storage amount) could find themselves running out of space fairly quickly. That’s why Google allows individual and business users to pay an additional monthly fee for more storage.

Prior to the recent change, both business and individual users could pay USD $9.99 a month for 100 of storage, or USD $49.99 a month for 1TB (terabyte).

The big change

In mid March, Google announced a slight change to the two lower storage expansion tiers (100GB and 1TB). For both business and individual users, they dropped the price. Now, 100GB of storage space costs USD $1.99 a month.

For individuals and business accounts that require more than 1TB of space, you can purchase 10TB or more, starting at USD $99.99 per month for 10TB. For now, the maximum storage amount you can purchase is 30TB which costs USD $299.99 a month.

For users who already pay for storage, your bill should automatically be adjusted as of the launch of the change of prices – March 13, 2014.

How do I upgrade my storage?

If you would like to upgrade the storage for your individual account, you can easily do so by:

  1. Logging into your Google account and going to Drive.
  2. Going to the Storage settings page (https://www.google.com/settings/storage).
  3. Clicking Choose under the storage option you would like to upgrade to.
  4. Click Continue to checkout and follow the prompts to set up your payment.

For those with business accounts, you will need to be an administrator. If you are, you can purchase storage increases on a license basis. This mean that if you have 10 accounts and want to increase the storage on five, you will need to purchase five licenses. Once this is done, you can then assign these to the specific accounts.

If you are looking for help increasing the storage amount for your business accounts, contact us today to see how we can help.