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Slides Archives - Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes

Google’s Office Compatibility Mode: Pros and Cons

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Users can edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides using Google’s Office Compatibility Mode. This is a great feature that may save you the hassle of converting between Microsoft formats and the equivalent Google program — for instance, it may no longer be necessary to convert a Microsoft Word .docx file to Google Docs, make edits, and then convert the Google Docs file back to .docx.

Office Compatibility Mode comes built into Chromebooks and the mobile apps for Android and iOS, and can be activated on the Chrome browser on PCs and Macs (go to Window > Extensions, search for Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides and install).

However, there are some limitations:

  • Office Compatibility Mode will not work with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, or other browsers.
  • Files with the .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, and .pptx extensions can be edited if they were created in Microsoft Office 2007 or newer versions of Microsoft Office. Older files (created in Microsoft Office 2003 and earlier) are not supported unless they are resaved with a more recent version of Microsoft Office.
  • It may not be possible to edit large documents, especially large Excel spreadsheets.

Converting Microsoft formats for collaboration

Collaborative editing (described in Chapter 6 of Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes) is not possible when Microsoft Office files are opened for editing. However, it is possible to convert Office files to the equivalent Google formats for collaborative editing (see screenshot, below). Conversion can take place automatically during the upload process. Alternately, you can select the uploaded file in Drive and use one of the following methods to convert it:

  • Right-click over the selected file and choose Open with.
  • Click the More Actions icon (which looks like three vertical dots) at the top of the screen and select the option to open it in Google Docs/Sheets/Slides.
  • Preview the file, then select the Open with option

Google Drive Office Compatibility mode vs. collaborative editing

Google Drive shortcuts: A basic reference list

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Google Drive shortcuts

Google Drive shortcuts use combinations of keys to issue commands or perform formatting.

Google Drive shortcuts: Why use them?

Keyboard shortcuts let users issue commands and perform basic formatting. They can save a lot of time. Instead of moving the cursor with a mouse to select a menu item or toolbar icon, you simply hold down two or more specific keys at the same time.

Here is a basic reference list of Google Drive shortcuts. It applies to Google Drive as well as Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.

All of the listed shortcuts work in the Google Chrome browser. Some may not work in Internet Explorer or Firefox. Google recommends the Chrome browser for Google Drive and other Google applications.

Google Drive home screen shortcuts

The following keyboard shortcuts work on Windows and Mac desktops and laptops as well as Chromebooks.

c – Create new file

u – Upload new file

o – Open file

d – Information about file

j or down arrow – Advance to next file

k or up arrow – Go back to previous file

x – Select file

t – Open settings pane

n – Rename selected file

Keyboard shortcuts for Google Docs, Sheets and Slides

Some keyboard shortcuts are identical to those used in Microsoft Office and other programs. For instance, copying and pasting text is the same in Google Docs and Microsoft Word.

Here is a list of shortcuts for Google Docs, Sheets and Slides:

Windows

Control + / – Show all keyboard shortcuts

Control + – Go to next misspelling (Docs only)

Control + Shift + c – Word count (Docs only)

Control + o – Open file

Control + p – Print file

Control + f – Find text

Control + z – Undo

Control + y – Redo

Control + b – Bold text

Control + i – Italicize text

Control + u – Underline text

Control + a – Select all

Control + x – Cut selected text

Control + c – Copy selected text

Control + v – Paste

Control + k – Create link to Web address

Alt + Shift + f – Open file menu

Alt + Shift + e – Open edit menu

Alt + Shift + v – Open view menu

Alt + Shift + i – Open insert menu

Alt + Shift + t – Open tools menu

 

Mac

Command + / – Show all keyboard shortcuts

Command + – Go to next misspelling (Docs only)

Command + Shift + c – Word count (Docs only)

Command + o – Open file

Command + p – Print file

Command + f – Find text

Command + z – Undo

Command + y – Redo

Command + b – Bold text

Command + i – Italicize text

Command + u – Underline text

Command + a – Select all

Command + x – Cut selected text

Command + c – Copy selected text

Command + v – Paste

Command + k – Create link to Web address

Control + Option + f – Open file menu

Control + Option + e – Open edit menu

Control + Option + v – Open view menu

Control + Option + i – Open insert menu

Control + Option + t – Open tools menu

Each one of our Google Drive, Google Docs and Google Sheets cheat sheets contains lists of keyboard shortcuts.

Storage of non-Google formats in Google Drive

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A reader of “Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes” wants to know more about storage of non-Google formats in Google Drive. This could include anything from images to PDFs to Microsoft Office documents. It’s possible to upload such documents to your Google Drive account and use it as an online drive that synchronizes to all PCs and devices that have the Google Drive application installed. However, there are a few issues that make Google Drive a bit different than Dropbox or other online storage services:

  1. There are no account limits on the size or amounts of documents saved in native formats (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.). In other words, you can save as many of these files as you like, as long as they were created using Google Drive.
  2. Non-Google Drive formats are limited to 5 gigabytes of free storage space per account. When you hit the limit, you have to buy more storage space, or start deleting files.
  3. Non-Google files that other people share with you will not be counted toward your Google Drive account total.
  4. When browsing the files in your Google Drive account, non-Google formats are clearly identified in both the online and offline version using icons (see image at the bottom of this page).
  5. Google Drive’s online interface has many advanced features that cannot be found in Dropbox or other services, such as automatic conversion of Microsoft Word, Excel, and other Office file formats.
  6. There are lots of synchronization options, such as being able to control which subfolders are synced with the master repository online.
  7. For cross-device syncing, I’ve found that the Google Drive application needs to be manually nudged in order to update. This is unlike Dropbox, which is completely automatic and requires no manual intervention to update.

I’ve extensively discussed conversion options between Microsoft Office and Google Drive in “Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes“, as well as in the free videos available here. However, in the coming days on this blog I will also cover:

  • Basics of uploading non-Google formats to Google Drive
  • Syncing and “nudging” the Google Drive application on PCs and Macs
  • Accessing previous versions of a non-Google file

Follow the links above to read about these specific issues.

Image: Non-Google formats are identified by different icons in a Google Drive folder. In this example, native formats have their own icons (.gdoc, .gsheet, .gslides), while a Microsoft Word doc and Adobe PDF file have their own icons.

Google Drive non-Google format