Working with Files on Google Drive

As a college student time is of the essence. We have so many things we need to do and so little time to get it all done. Therefore, we should be doing all we can to make sure we use up as little time as possible. Google Drive is a great way to, not only save time, but to make life easier so you spend less time stressing out about little things. I know most of you already use Google Drive, after all our CIS Journals are in our drives, but here are a few tips and tools you might not have known about that I learned about on lynda.com through Google Drive Essential Training Chapter 2 – Working with Files on Google Drive.

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Upload Button

The first video Uploading your existing files and folders, begins with letting people know that you don’t have to create your file on Google Drive to work with itin your drive. You can upload preexisting files that you have on your computer to your drive by simply clicking the “upload” (looks like a red up arrow) button next to the “create” button. Once you click on “file” the computer will then give you a choice of settings. You can choose then how you want your file to be uploaded, whether it be converted to corresponding Google Drive format or if you have a PDF or image to Google documents. If you don’t want to convert your file now you can do it later.

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Convert Settings

Students can also upload entire folders at once. To do this you must first enable something called “folder upload”. If you are working on chrome the

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Downloading Java Applet

computer must  have whats called “Java Applet” to upload entire folders, but if you don’t already have this, when clicking “upload folder” your computer will prompt you to install one then and after doing so you can upload a folder. If you are working on Safari it should already have Java Applet and you will not need to download it. Once again you must go to the up arrow button next to the “create” button but this time instead of clicking “files”, you must click “files and folders”. Again you will be given the option of which setting you’d like to upload your file in. If you don’t want Google Drive to prompt you each time you upload a folder or file all you must do is go to the top of the screen and hit “settings” and click whichever option you want as your default and then Google Drive will automatically convert it for you when uploading a file. While files and folders are being uploaded you can still move around your Google Drive page, as if nothing were happening, meaning you can still be working while you’re waiting for your computer to upload something – how time efficient!

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Converting a file already in My Drive

Earlier I stated that if you did not want to convert your file right away you could always do it later. That is what the second video Converting files to Google Doc Format, is all about. There could be two reasons for not wanting to convert your files or folders right away, one you no longer want to use Google Drive for storage or two, maybe you’re running out of space. If you do not choose a setting to open a file or folder with while uploading it, your computer will not allow you to open it. So you must right click on the document, select “open with”, and choose the option you would like to open it with. Your Google Drive has many options of what you can open with. The options consist of: document, presentation, spreadsheet, form, and drawing. There is something to fit all kinds of files that you might need to use. However it is important to keep in mind that even though some of the google options preform similarly to the Microsoft software, they sometimes will preform differently than the Microsoft options. Then your document is ready to use and all change made will be automatically saved, so you don’t need to worry about accidentally not saving something or your computer crashing!

Unfortunately for more complex documents sometimes not everything will come through when uploading it. The great thing is the colors and text will appear same on Google Drive as they did on the original format but sometimes things like formulas will not show up after uploading a document.

In the fourth video, Downloading files and folders, we learn how to download files from your Google drive onto your computer. You right click on the file you want and hit download where it goes to the download folder on your co

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Convert Download

mputer. Double click on that folder and launch it so it can be seen. If it is a Google doc you can convert it while it isdownloading. The computer will prompt you to convert it. You can change all formats of downloaded files to any Microsoft Office format or even to a PDF format.

You can also do this to multiple files at a time. By clicking the check marks next to all the documents you want to select and then right clicking on any of the highlighted ones and hitting download. You can keep the default and download it as a compressed ZIP file. Unfortunately this will probably take awhile and Google will ask you if you’d like to receive an email notifying you when it is all finished. To get these files you can either access my Downloads folder in the browser, or if you have a Mac you can can go to Finder on my Mac, choose My Downloads folder.

The last video, Deleting files and folders, was very straight forward. To delete a file you just right click on the file you’d like to delete and hit remove. Or you could choose multiple by selecting the check marks next to the files and hit the trash icon at the top.

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Trash Icon

If you’d like to look at your trash you can go to the left side of the screen and hit trash and it will open up the trash folder. The files will stay in the trash folder until you either restore them or delete them permanently by clicking the empty trash icon.

To get a file back select the check mark and watch the action bar change so you can click Restore. It will put the file back to where it was originally before you deleted it. If you are not sure exactly which file it is you want to restore there is a preview button that allows you to preview the document before restoration.

Unfortuantely if it is not your file, but has been shared with you, you cannot delete it. However what you can do is right click the file then hit remove and it will send the file to a special folder called All Items. This way it is still on your drive and therefore searchable  but it won’t show up in MyDrive and it will not sync to your computer.

I hope you learned as much as I did from the videos. Working with Google drive can save you a lot of time and is very helpful! Please comment below with questions and comments! Thanks!

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11 Responses to Working with Files on Google Drive

  1. Tabitha C. says:

    Hi Mary! Thanks for pointing out how great it is that Google Drive automatically saves your changes as you work. I have had too many instances in which I lose all my work because my computer crashed or froze and forced quit and didn’t save. This is definitely one of my favorite aspects of Google Drive. Also, thanks for the tip on how to sort of “hide” shared items so they’re not cluttering up space. I have a lot of old Google Docs for t-shirt sales for my sorority that I don’t need at all anymore, but they make it harder to sort through and find the shared docs I actually need. Thanks Mary!!

  2. Maria H. says:

    Mary, I have worked with Google Drive every single day since coming to Elon, and you still taught me so much information in this post! I didn’t know you could upload preexisting files into your Google Drive, I’ve always just created them for the first time. And you can even download files that were created on Google Drive back to your computer which I wasn’t aware of either! This post was extremely informative, Mary, and I learned a lot! Thanks!

  3. Winna P. says:

    Great post, Mary! For as long as I’ve been using Google Drive I actually didn’t know that I could upload my own files. This could be a great way to move old files on my laptop onto Google Drive instead of having a flash drive where I have important documents.Thanks for sharing!

  4. Sydney R. says:

    Hi Mary, great post! One thing I love about Google Drive is that it automatically saves all your work. I always forget to save as I go, but with Google Drive, I don’t have to worry about that. I also never knew you could upload your own files. This would come in handy with documents I already started outside of Google Drive, but want to be able to access them over again without having to keep emailing them to myself. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Alexia M. says:

    Mary, the majority of what you talked about I was previously aware of, such as uploading files or downloading files to/from Google Drive, but I never knew that you could do the same thing with folders! That would have been very helpful in previous circumstances, and I definitely will use this feature in the future. Thanks for all the useful information!

  6. Aaron M. says:

    Mary, as you noted that because our CIS journals are on Google Drive, I didn’t know as much as I thought I did. I never knew that I could upload a document that I started outside of the Drive. Personally, I do not like that I never have to save my work because I always feel weird when I don’t have that obligation because then when I’m not using Google Drive that habit comes back. I know that I will be using Google Drive in the future so I don’t have to email documents to myself just to get them on another computer other than my laptop. Thank you for all the information!

  7. Angie E. says:

    Nice work Mary! I love using Google Drive and like Maria, I also use it every day. Though I’ve uploaded documents from my computer to Google Drive, I never knew that I could download documents in Drive to my computer. I can’t imagine not wanting to keep my documents in the Drive though because, as you pointed out, everything is saved automatically and accessible from anywhere. And it can also be used collaboratively. What’s not to love?

  8. Victoria B. says:

    Great post! I had absolutely no idea that you could upload documents from your computer to use on Google Drive. Like everyone else has said, the fact that it automatically saves when you are working on it is huge! It’s also helpful because I can always access my documents from any computer so I’ll never have to email them to myself. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Chelsea S. says:

      I didn’t know about being able to upload documents from your computer to use on Google Drive either! I always used to copy and paste them and then have to reformat them if anything got changed. I agree with Victoria, the fact that I don’t have to email documents to myself anymore makes it so much quicker to access my documents from multiple computers!

  9. Katie H. says:

    Excellent post Mary! I am a fan of Google Drive, but there are some aspects that I still prefer about Microsoft Word. I have a problem with the automatic saving feature, although very convenient it makes me nervous. Every time I do not have to click a save button I have a feeling that it won’t save and all of my information will be lost. I do appreciate the fact that you can upload files from your computer to Google Drive, because it makes accessing files so much more convenient. I will definitely use these tools in my future classroom. Thanks for all the great info!

  10. Steph G. says:

    Mary, I use Google Drive all the time, but your explanation really clears up a few confusions I have had. I didn’t know that you did not have to convert files right away, that could come in pretty useful in the future. Also, I’m glad you added how to retrieve documents that have been sent to the trash, that is a feature that really is helpful. Your screenshots really help to explain what you are saying about Google Drive. Great job!

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