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Week 3: Share & collaborate with files

Complete this checklist to master cloud storage and collaboration

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Manage your Drive and Docs editors files

Checkbox.Upload files to Google Drive to access them on every device

You can store any file in Drive: pictures, drawings, videos, and more. You only need to store a file in Drive on one device, and it will automatically be available on all your other devices. There are three ways to get your files into Drive.

Upload files to Drive on the web

On your computer, you can upload from drive.google.com or your desktop. You can upload files into private or shared folders.

  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. At the top left, click New and then  File Upload or Folder Upload.
  3. Choose the file or folder you want to upload.

Upload files from your mobile device

  1. Depending on your device, choose one of these options:
    • Android phone or tablet: Tap Google Play Google Play.
    • iOS devices: Tap App Store ios app store.
  2. Find and install the Drive app.
  3. Open the app containing the file you want to upload, tap Share, and then tap Drive.
Note: If you decide later to uninstall the app, your Drive files won’t be affected and can still be accessed from Drive on the web.

(Advanced) Upload files to Drive from your desktop

If you want to upload files from your desktop, install and use Google Drive for desktop.

Note: Drive for desktop is only available if your administrator has turned it on for your organization or team

Get started with Drive for desktop 

Checkbox.Create new Docs files with URL shortcuts

Instead of constantly creating new files in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Forms you can use a shortcut URL.

In your browser, enter one of these URLs:

  • docs.new
  • sheets.new
  • slides.new
  • forms.new

A blank file opens and you can start adding your content.

Checkbox.Highlight important folders with stars and folder colors

Star important files and folders

  1. Right-click a file or folder.
  2. Select Organizeand thenAdd to Starred.
  3. (Optional) To see all your starred files and folders, in the left sidebar, click Starred.

Color-code a Drive folder

Organize your Drive visually with color-coded folders.

  1. Right-click the folder you want to change.
  2. Click Change color and choose the color you want. 
Checkbox.Manage file versions

In the past, you might have kept multiple drafts of your files in case you needed to refer or switch to earlier versions. Drive keeps all your drafts in one file where you can easily view or restore earlier versions.

View or revert to earlier versions of Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files

  1. In Drive, open your file.
  2. Click Fileand thenVersion historyand thenSee version history.
  3. Click a timestamp to see a previous version of the file. Below the timestamp, you’ll see:
    • Names of people who edited the document.
    • A color next to each person’s name. The edits they made appear in that color.
  4. (Optional) To revert to this version, click Restore this version.

Upload a new version of a non-Google file to Drive

For non-Google files, such as a PDF file, you can upload new versions to Drive from your computer:

  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. Click the file you want to replace.
  3. At the top right, click More More and then Manage versions and then Upload new version.

Learn more at the Google Drive Help Center

Checkbox.Access your files offline

Internet outages shouldn’t prevent you from working in Drive. Set up offline access so you can view and edit your files any time. You can work offline in:

  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Slides
Important: For security reasons and to prevent unintended access to your files, set up offline access only on your own devices and not on public devices.

Set up offline access for Docs, Sheets, and Slides

Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers only

  1. Install the Google Docs Offline extension.
  2. In Drive, click Settings and thenSettings.
  3. In the Offline section, check the Create, open and edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files on this device while offline box.
  4. Click Done.
  5. Right-click a file and turn on Available offline.
Checkbox.Attach Drive files in emails and calendar events

Attach Drive files to an email

Send a Google Drive attachment

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. At the top left, click Compose.
  3. At the bottom of the message, click Insert files using Drive .
  4. Select the files you want to attach.
  5. At the bottom of the page, decide how you want to send the file:
    • Drive link: This works for any files stored in Drive, including files created using Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Forms.
    • Attachment: This only works for files that weren't created using Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Forms.
  6. Click Insert.

Attach Drive files in Calendar events

  1. On your computer, open Google Calendar.
  2. Create an event, or open an existing event.
  3. If you create a new event, click More options.
  4. At the bottom, in the description box, click Add attachment Attach.
  5. Choose a file that's already in your Google Drive. To add a file from your computer, click Upload.
  6. When you finish, click Select or Upload.

Note: If your administrator doesn’t allow sharing Google Drive files outside of your organization, you can send Gmail attachments to external guests instead.

Learn sharing best practices

Checkbox.Customize sharing settings for files and folders

Share a file or folder with specific people and set access levels

  1. Select the file you want to share.
  2. Click Share or Share Share.
  3. Enter the email address or Google group you want to share with.
  4. To decide what role people will have on your file, select Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.
  5. If your account is eligible, you can add an expiration date for access.
  6. Choose to notify people.
    • If you want to notify people that you shared an item with them, check the box next to Notify people. If you notify people, each email address you enter will be included in the email.
    • If you don't want to notify people, uncheck the box.
  7. Click Send or Share.

Learn more at the Google Drive Help Center

Checkbox.Choose a sharing expiration date
  1. Open a file in Google Drive.
  2. Click Share.
  3. Find the user and next to the user's name, click the Down arrow Down and thenAdd expiration.
  4. To accept the 30-day expiration date, click Send.
  5. If you want to change the default expiration date, for Access expires, click Edit and select the expiration date from the calendar.
  6. (Optional) To remove the expiration, click Remove expiration.
  7. Click Doneand thenSend.
Checkbox.Allow general access to a file

You can choose if your file should be available to anyone or restricted to only the people with access. If you allow access to anyone with the link, your folder won't restrict who can access it.

  1. Select the file you want to share.
  2. Click Share or Share Share.
  3. Under “General access”, click the Down arrow Down.
  4. Choose who can access the file.

  1. To decide what role people will have with your file, select Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.
  2. Click Done.
Checkbox.Share files with a team using shared drives

Shared drives are shared spaces where teams can easily store, search, and access their files anywhere, from any device. Unlike files in My Drive, files in a shared drive belong to the team instead of an individual. Even if members leave, the files stay exactly where they are so your team can continue to share information and get work done.

Common uses for shared drives include:

  • Projects—For people involved in the same project.
  • Events—For people working for a defined period on a specific event or deliverable.
  • Templates—For files that people can copy and reuse.
  • Company-wide files—For files everyone needs access to, such as training files.
  • Sensitive files—For highly sensitive files, where you can add extra security to limit access.

Get started with shared drives

Collaborate on files with your team

Checkbox.Edit documents simultaneously with your team

After you've shared a Docs, Sheets, or Slides file, multiple people can work at the same time. You'll see people's changes as they make them, and every change is saved automatically.

Checkbox.Add comments and assign action items

Add a comment

  1. On your computer, open a document, spreadsheet, or presentation.
  2. Highlight the text, images, cells, or slides you want to comment on.
  3. To add a comment, in the toolbar, click Add comment Add comment.
  4. Type your comment.
  5. Click Comment.

Learn more at the Google Docs Editors Help Center

Assign an action item

Use comments to assign tasks or action items with your work or school account. You can assign a comment to a co-worker, or if someone assigns an action item to you, you can mark it as done.

Learn how at the Google Docs Editors Help Center

Checkbox.Set up comment notifications
You can change how often you receive email notifications for comments in Google Docs, Drawings, Sheets, or Slides. In Google Docs and Sheets, you can also change notification settings for edits. You can choose whether to receive notifications through email or on your browser.

Learn how at the Google Docs Editors Help Center

Checkbox.Add and review suggested edits

You can propose changes directly in a document without editing the text by suggesting an edit. Your suggestions won’t change the original text until the document owner approves them. You must have edit or comment access to the document to suggest changes.

1. In the top corner, make sure you’re in Suggesting mode, which may also appear as .
2. To suggest an edit, simply begin typing where you think the edit should be made in the document. Your suggestions appear in a new color, and text you mark to delete or replace is crossed out (but not actually deleted until the document owner approves the suggestion).
3.

The document’s owner will receive an email with your suggestions. When they click any suggestion, they can Accept or Reject it.

Suggest edits.

Learn more at the Google Docs Editors Help Center

Checkbox.Chat within Docs files
If you're working in a file that other people have opened, too, you can collaborate with them directly by opening a group chat. Chat within documents, spreadsheets, or presentations. Get instant feedback without ever leaving your file.
  1. On your computer, open a document, spreadsheet, or presentation.
  2. At the top right, click Show chat Chat. This feature won't be available if you're the only one in the file.
    1. Tip: If there are many collaborators in the file, at the top right, to the right of the avatars, there will be a blue circle showing the number of additional collaborators. Click the blue circle and then Join chat Chat.
  3. Enter your message in the chat box.
  4. When you’re finished, at the top right of the chat window, click Close Close.

Note: All chats in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides include anyone viewing the file. The chats aren't saved.

Learn more at the Google Docs Editors Help Center

Checkbox.See who changed your files

See who commented, edited, moved, or shared a file

  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. On the left click My Drive.
  3. In the upper right, click Info Info.
  4. To access recent changes, click Activity.
  5. To access the activity of a specific file or folder, click the file or folder.
  6. To access recent changes, scroll down on the right side.

View or revert to a previous version

  1. In Drive, open your file.
  2. Click Fileand thenVersion historyand thenSee version history.
  3. Click a timestamp to see a previous version of the file. Below the timestamp, you’ll see:
    • Names of people who edited the document.
    • A color next to each person’s name. The edits they made appear in that color.
  4. (Optional) To revert to this version, click Restore this version.

Learn more at the Google Drive Help Center

Checkbox.Create surveys and quizzes

Use Google. Forms to manage event registrations, create quizzes, analyze responses, and more.

Next steps


               

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