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Do you have 30 minutes to spare? It's all you'll need to get up to speed with Google Drive and Google Docs, two free programs in Google’s online productivity suite. Millions of people use Drive and Docs every day on their computers and mobile devices. You, too, can use Drive and Docs to perform the following tasks:
This 30-minute class is narrated by the author of the top-selling guide, Google Drive & Google Docs In 30 Minutes. The course includes lectures on registration, finding and organizing files, creating documents and formatting them, working with Microsoft Word documents in Google Docs, and a complete review of the interfaces for Google Drive and Google Docs on the Web and mobile devices. The tone of this guide is friendly and easy to understand, with lots of step-by-step instructions and examples that show exactly what to do.
In addition to serving as a solid introduction to new users, it's great for people making the transition from Microsoft Office, not to mention teachers using Google Drive for education and Google Docs in the classroom.
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|Section 1: Start Here|
Here’s some good news: All you need to get started with Google Drive and Google Docs is a Web browser, an Internet connection, and a Google Account. There’s more good news: If you use an Android phone, or have a Gmail account or are registered to use any other Google service such as YouTube or Google’s Blogger service, you already have a Google Account. You can start using Google Drive and Google Docs right away! If not, this video will show you how to register for a Google Account and get started with Drive and Docs.
|Section 2: Interfaces: Navigating Drive, Docs, and the mobile apps|
Google Drive is the storage service. As such, it’s really great for finding and organizing files, although you can also use Drive to create new files in Google Docs and other programs. This video will explain what the different icons in Google Drive do, and demonstrate how to create, organize, delete, and restore files.
This lecture will cover the Google Docs home screen, which is used for finding and opening existing Google Docs or Microsoft Word files, as well as creating new documents.
|The Google Drive and Docs mobile apps are not as full-featured as their Web counterparts, but they are still quite useful. For people who don’t own a laptop or PC, the mobile apps may be the only options to find, create, upload, or edit documents. Apps are available for Android and iOS devices such as the iPhone. This video will demonstrate the interfaces, and will show to perform basic editing using the Google Docs mobile app.|
|Section 3: Formatting in Google Docs|
When it comes to formatting, Google Docs does not hold a candle to Microsoft Word. But, it does the basics pretty well. In this section, we’ll go over the Google Docs toolbar and the various options for formatting your work and inserting objects such as images, page numbers, and headings.
|With Office Compatibility Mode, it’s possible to open and edit Microsoft Word documents in Google Docs. However, there are some major limitations, which will be explained in this video.|
|Section 4: Advanced: Syncing and Collaboration|
|Collaboration is one of the coolest features of Google Drive and Google Docs. It makes it possible for two or more users to have access to the same file, and edit the file simultaneously. It’s also possible to publish the file on the Web and share a link so other people can access it. Editing is restricted to Google Docs files, or other programs within Google’s online office suite such as Google Sheets or Google Slides. This video will explain how collaboration works, how to set it up and how to restrict collaboration so only people you trust can view, edit, or comment on the document.|
A very handy feature of Google Drive is the ability to store copies of files in a dedicated folder which is then backed up to Google’s online servers and synced to any other computer or device that uses the same Google Account. Google Drive comes with enough free storage space to store thousands of documents, spreadsheets, and digital photos. The Google Drive application on your PC or Mac makes it easy to transfer files from your hard drive to Google Drive or download files from Google Drive, without using the browser interface. You can upgrade to 100 gigabytes or more for a reasonable monthly fee. Files generated by Google Docs don’t count toward the account total, but Microsoft Office files, as well PDFs, music, media, and other types of files will use up storage space.
You will need to have a strong Internet connection to install the Google Drive application on a PC or Mac, and to sync lots of files and folders.
Ian Lamont is an award-winning technology and business journalist and the founder of i30 Media Corp, a Boston-based publisher of how-to guides. He has written for more than a dozen online and print publications, and was the managing editor of The Industry Standard. He has authored several In 30 Minutes guides, including Dropbox In 30 Minutes, Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes, Twitter In 30 Minutes, and Excel Basics In 30 Minutes. Lamont is a graduate of the Boston University College of Communication and MIT’s Sloan Fellows Program in Innovation and Global Leadership.