A few months ago, I created a video series on Udemy called Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes. The series mirrors most of the book I wrote about Google Drive and Docs, but has the advantage of being really visual. In this post I will be sharing one of the foundation videos that explains the Google Drive interface. It’s less than 6 minutes long. Enjoy!
The Google Docs mobile app for Android and iOS now has the ability to edit Microsoft Word .docx files on the go! The following three-minute video shows how it works, using an actual .docx file stored in a Google Drive account and accessed through the Google Docs mobile app for iOS. Note that editing and formatting tools are limited, but at least it gives users a quick way to access and edit Microsoft Word documents when there is no easy access to a desktop computer or laptop.
To see how to edit a .docx file in Google Docs on a PC, Mac, or Chromebook, see our recent posts on this topic.
So you have a .docx file, and you want to edit it. A few years ago, you would have needed Microsoft Word to open and edit the file, or you would need to use a workaround, such as uploading the .docx file to Google Drive and converting it to Google Docs for editing. Now, it’s possible to use Google Docs to edit the original .docx file in Google Docs using Office Compatibility Mode–no conversion required!
The following video shows how it works. Keep in mind that editing options for MS Word .docx files in Google Docs are limited to formatting, such as bolding or italicizing text, applying different fonts, aligning text, and adding bullet lists. Advanced Word features involving inserting photos and tables or tracking changes are not supported in Google Docs (at least not yet). The video is less than four minutes long, and if you need more information, I have written about the pros and cons of Office Compatibility Mode in Google Drive.
So you are finally using Google Docs as your primary word processing program, and now you need to print out a document. The following short video covers Google Docs printing basics as well as common problems and how to troubleshoot them. Topics include printer setup, saving to PDF, getting rid of unwanted header information, setting orientation (portrait vs. landscape) and other basic information about Google Docs printing issues.
It’s a pretty common scenario to have to restore a deleted file in Google Drive. Perhaps you deleted the file in error, or you trashed it and discovered later that you need to access it once more. The following method to restore a deleted file in Google Drive is not failsafe, but in many cases it will allow you to quickly bring it back to life. Note that this method works for native Google files (such as documents created in Google Docs, presentations created in Google Slides, spreadsheets created in Google Sheets, etc.) as well as files that were created by other applications or devices–photos, Microsoft Word documents, text files, PDFs, etc.
The video is less than two minutes long:
One of the most useful tools in Google’s free online office suite is Google Sheets. It’s an online spreadsheet program that is easy to learn. It’s also a lot cheaper than Microsoft Excel, and includes some features that Excel doesn’t have. The Google Sheets Cheat Sheet lets you quickly access examples, browse a list of Google Sheets features/icons, or identify Google Sheets shortcuts. It’s described below. You can order a printed copy on Amazon (or a bulk discount here). It’s also possible to download the PDF edition of the guide.
Google Sheets Cheat Sheet: What’s inside?
This handy reference and cheat sheet contains tips, examples, and easy-to-read annotated screenshots of Google Sheets, the free online spreadsheet program and Microsoft Excel alternative. The four-panel reference is printed on 8.5 by 11 inch high-quality card stock, perfect for desks, walls, and shelves. It has holes for three-ring binders. Topics include:
- Overview of Google Sheets on the Web, including annotated screenshots of the main page and formatting toolbar.
- Sheets basics: Creating, renaming, saving, and copying spreadsheets
- How to edit while offline
- How to add, edit, and hide data
- How to import and export .txt, .csv, .pdf, and .xlsx files
- Examples of basic formulas, functions, auto-fill
- How to perform simple math and calculate averages
- Sorting and filtering data
- How to create a chart or graph
- Keyboard shortcuts for Chromebooks, Windows, and OS X
Note that the Google Sheets Cheat Sheet does not cover Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Slides, or other applications in Google’s free online office suite. Publisher i30 Media offers separate cheat sheets, including the Google Drive Cheat Sheet and the Google Docs Cheat Sheet.
The Google Sheets Cheat Sheet was created by the publisher of the top-selling guides Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes, LinkedIn In 30 Minutes, Excel Basics In 30 Minutes, and other titles.
How to order
To order a printed copy of the Google Sheets Cheat Sheet, visit Amazon. The PDF can be downloaded using this secure order form. There is also an option to purchase 20 copies of the printed Google Drive Cheat Sheet at 25% off the retail price, ground shipping included!
Are you a frequent user of Google Docs, the free online word processor? If so, you may wonder how to access commonly used features and shortcuts. The Google Docs Cheat Sheet can put that information at your fingertips! It is described below. The printed version of the Google Docs Cheat Sheet is available for purchase on Amazon or as a downloadable PDF. We also offer a Google Drive Cheat Sheet and Google Sheets Cheat Sheet.
Google Docs Cheat Sheet
The Google Docs Cheat Sheet contains top tips and easy-to-read annotated screenshots of Google Docs, the free online word processor and Microsoft Word alternative. The four-panel Google Docs Cheat Sheet is printed on 8.5 by 11 inch high-quality card stock, perfect for desks, walls, and shelves. It has holes for three-ring binders. Topics include:
- Annotated screenshots of the Google Docs home page and formatting toolbar
- Google Docs basics, from document creation to margin adjustmentsTemplates and page styles
- Inserting images, comments, headers & footers, and more
- How to import Microsoft Word, .rtf, or .txt files
- How to activate Office Compatibility Mode
- How to convert to Microsoft Word, PDF, and other formats
- How to edit documents while offline
- How to use Office Compatibility Mode
- Keyboard shortcuts
Note that the Google Docs Cheat Sheet does not cover Google Drive, Google Sheets, Google Slides, or other applications in Google’s free online office suite. Publisher i30 Media offers separate cheat sheets and references for Google Drive and other applications (see details about Google Drive Cheat Sheet).
The Google Docs Reference and Cheat Sheet was created by the publisher of the top-selling guides Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes, LinkedIn In 30 Minutes, Excel Basics In 30 Minutes, and other titles.
How to order
To order a printed copy of the Google Docs Cheat Sheet, visit Amazon. The PDF can be downloaded using this secure order form. There is also an option to purchase 20 copies of the printed Google Drive Cheat Sheet at 25% off the retail price, ground shipping included!
Readers of Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes may be interested to know that we have several related products that can help them get the most out of Google’s free online office suite. They include a Google Drive Cheat Sheet, which is described below. The printed version of the Google Drive Cheat Sheet is available for purchase on Amazon or as a downloadable PDF. We also offer a Google Docs Cheat Sheet and Google Sheets Cheat Sheet.
Google Drive Cheat Sheet
The Google Drive Cheat Sheet contains top tips and easy-to-read annotated screenshots of Google Drive on the Web. The four-panel reference is printed on 8.5 by 11 inch high-quality card stock, perfect for desks, walls, and shelves. It has holes for three-ring binders. Topics include:
- The new Google Drive interface, including icons, file and folder uploads, and shared files. Annotated for easy reference!
- How to create new documents in Google Docs, spreadsheets in Google Sheets, and presentations in Google Slides
- How to drag and drop files to Google Drive using a PC or Mac
- Three options for converting Microsoft Office files (Word .doc and .docx, Excel .xls and .xlsx, and PowerPoint .ppt and .pptx)
- How to use search in Google Drive to find specific files or file types
- How to permanently delete files
- How to restore files and folders
- Keyboard shortcuts
- Basic features of the Google Drive mobile app
- And much more!
Note that aside from conversion, document creation, and keyboard shortcuts, the Google Drive Cheat Sheet does not cover Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, or other applications in Google’s free online office suite (we offer separate cheat sheets for those topics!)
The Google Drive Cheat Sheet was created by the author of the top-selling book Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes.
How to order the Google Drive Cheat Sheet
To order a printed copy of the Google Drive Cheat Sheet, visit Amazon. The PDF can be downloaded using this secure order form. There is also an option to purchase 20 copies of the printed Google Drive Cheat Sheet at 25% off the retail price, ground shipping included!
I recently tried out the new Google Forms while writing an update to Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes. The new interface is a lot slicker than the old version of Google Forms, and gives more control over the look and feel of the forms. It’s a great way to create an online survey, or have people enter data for a variety of purposes. It’s also worth noting that Google Forms has been partially decoupled from Google Sheets, meaning it’s possible to create a form directly from Google Drive and see the results within Google Forms, instead of having to open up Google Sheets. This post will show what the new Google Forms interface looks like, and then give a brief Google Forms tutorial.
Google Forms is a tool to build online forms, which can then be emailed, shared on social media, or embedded on a public-facing website. The forms can really change the way you gather data. Think about it: Instead of manually entering data, you can make a simple form or survey, post it on the Web and let other people do the work for you! This tool is perfect for signup forms, surveys, and simple reporting.
Once a form has been created, it can be accessed via a Google link that you can email or post on a social network. The form can also be embedded on a blog or company Web page. Customization options can make the form look more professional, or match the fonts and colors you want to use. The data from the form is only visible to you and designated collaborators (as described in ).
The Google Forms tutorial below applies to the updated interface for creating new forms, which was rolled out in late 2015 and early 2016 for some users. I expect it will be rolled out to most Google Drive and Docs users later in 2016.
How to create a form
- You can either use an existing spreadsheet (select Tools > Create a form) or make a new form from Google Drive’s main screen by pressing the New button and selecting More > Google Forms.
- The form editor appears (see screenshot, below).
- Enter the title.
- Enter the description. Make it clear what the form is being used for, and add any instructions that can help people complete the form. Absent context or appropriate instructions, users may be reluctant to use the form, or they may enter the wrong type of data.
- Edit the first untitled question. Change the name of the question by clicking on the title. Change option labels by clicking on them. Select different question types from the drop-down menu labelled Multiple choice. Select Required to force users to answer a question.
- Add a new question using the Add question There are more than a half-dozen types of questions that can be used.
- Short answer. A one-line text field.
- Paragraph. Allows for longer answers.
- Multiple choice. Create a multiple-choice question, with as many possible answers as you want.
- Checkboxes. People can check off one or more items from a list.
- Dropdown. Creates a drop-down menu.
- Linear scale. Users choose from a range of numbers.
- Multiple choice grid. Users fill in data according to a table.
- Date or Time. Users can select the date or time (useful for scheduling purposes).
The form builder has additional functions:
- Icons allow form creators to add titles, sections, photos, and video.
- Change the colors used in the form by clicking the easel icon.
- Preview the form by clicking the eye icon.
- The settings icon (look for the gear) controls who can use the form, as well as presentation options. Use the drop-down menu to select Anyone or one of the other options, if available.
When complete, click the Send button, which shows various distribution options. Email is the default choice, but social media icons, Web links, and embed code (which can be used to insert the form into a blog post) are other possibilities.
Data entered into the Web form can be accessed via the Responses tab at the top of the form editor. Click the Sheets icon to flow the data into a new or existing spreadsheet, which can then be formatted, sorted, filtered and otherwise manipulated. To return to a form, search for it in Google Drive or visit https://docs.google.com/forms.
I hope this Google Forms tutorial was useful. For more information, check out the updated version of Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes.