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The best tricks for Google Drive

Google Drive has evolved a lot from previous versions. Indeed, it is no longer just a file storage. It is now a complete online office suite for working, alone or in a group. In its origins, it was born as an online file store to save our files on the Internet. Eventually, it also integrated Google Docs. Thus, it became an online office suite. As a result, we can create documents, presentations, spreadsheets and other amateur and professional projects in groups. It is constantly being updated and adding new features, but also removing others. Additionally, it also includes changes in the graphical interface. It is difficult to discover all its secrets. Therefore, we show you the best tricks for Google Drive. These are tricks focused on practical functions that are used very frequently. There are also references to new features that you may not be aware of.

Backing up the hard disk

This is one of the recently added features of Google Drive. Indeed, it is possible to copy all the content of your hard drives, cameras or SD cards to Google Drive. However, you must have enough space available. This is done through the Drive desktop application that you can download here. After installing it, you must restart the computer. Then, from the Windows search bottom, please enter Backup and Sync from Google. As a result, the app will start loading for the first time. After a while, a Google Drive icon will appear in the taskbar. Specifically, on the right side, next to the time and date. Just click on it to display the menu. From there, you will access the Backup and Synchronization options.

You must choose the folders on your hard drive that you want to synchronize with the Google Drive cloud. Any changes you make from both PC and Drive will be reflected from one to the other. That is, it is a bidirectional synchronization. You can also set how to save the photos: in original or compressed quality. Remember that this decision will affect the size reduction available in Google Drive.

Commenting on Office documents

Google Drive now allows direct commenting on Office files. The interesting thing is that it is not necessary to convert them first to Google Docs format, or use a Chrome extension. Simply find an Office document and click on it. If it asks you if you want to open it with Google Docs, answer yes. In the upper-right corner, a couple of icons will appear. The one with a + is the one that allows you to add a comment. Consequently, highlight the text you want to comment on, and type the comment. This comment can be read by anyone with whom you share the document.

Convert a document to PDF

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Maybe you didn’t know, but it is possible to convert documents stored in Google Drive to PDF. You don’t need to install any application or Chrome extension. Once you open the document with Google Docs. Once the document is open, go to the File menu and choose Download. In the next menu, you can download the file as PDF.

Using other non-Google applications

When you open a document or file from Google Drive, by default it opens with the related Google application. I.e. Google Docs, Google Photos, etc. However, you may want to use different apps. Fortunately, Google Drive allows you to switch them. Just click on the New icon. In the menu that appears, tap on More. Then click on Connect more apps.

Connecting more apps to Google Drive
Connecting more apps to Google Drive

In the new window, you will be able to select dozens of third-party programs. These apps work as a browser application and are compatible with Google Drive:

Apps available to be added to Google Drive.
Apps available to be added to Google Drive.

Select the ones you want to add, and you will be able to use them when you handle files related to these tools.

Create new documents with a URL

Last October, Google Drive released a very original feature. Indeed, we will be able to create a new document in Google Drive instantly. Just type doc.new in the browser, and Google Drive will automatically open with a blank text document, ready to be edited. There are other URLs that open different types of blank documents. These are:

  • http://doc.new: opens a new Google document
  • http://sheets.new: opens a new Google Sheets spreadsheet
  • http://deck.new: opens a new Google presentation
  • http://site.new: create new website in Google sites
  • http://form.new: create new form in Google form

This is one of the best time-saving tricks. So, you can get the most out of Google Dive.

Voice typing

This trick is also very practical. In fact, writing a document while you are doing other things. Even if you don’t have the computer in front of you. Google Drive allows you to dictate texts with a microphone. If you haven’t done it, we urge you to try it. The results are excellent. With this in mind, open a new document. You can use the link we showed you above: doc.new. Next, from the Tools menu click on Voice Typing.

Tap on the microphone to dictate the text. If you are not using a laptop, you will need a headset with a microphone to dictate. You can then dictate while doing other activities.

Saves web content

You probably surf the web for a long time. In the process, you may have seen content that you want to keep. It may be an address, an interesting article or a nice picture. Well, here is another appealing feature of Google Drive. Indeed, we will be able to save any content from a web page directly to Google Drive, simply by touching a button. You only have to install an official Google Chrome extension called Save to Google Drive. When installed, the extension icon will appear in the browser. When you see something you like, click on the icon to save it to Drive. Please remember that you are not only saving what you see on the screen, but the entire web page that is currently in the foreground.

All right, we have finally seen the best tricks for Google Drive. Although most of them are intended to be used from the PC, they can also be managed from the mobile. Note that you must have a Google account to enjoy Google Drive. If you don’t have one, just sign up for the service. Something easy to do and it is also free. See you soon!

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