Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tips for Using Microsoft Word in Google Drive #gafe

Are you one of those that likes to use Google Drive but still prefers to use Microsoft Word?  Google Docs is certainly not as robust with all the bells and whistles of Microsoft Word, but it does offer the basic features that most would need.  I would certainly suggest checking it out especially if you collaborate on a lot of documents.  Of course some still prefer to just use the program for which they are most familiar.  So how do you deal with working with Microsoft Word and Google Drive.  Here are some of my best tips.
  1. Download the local copy of Google Drive.  This will keep files online synced with files saved locally on your computer.  https://www.google.com/drive/download/
  2. Once the file is installed, you will see a Google Drive icon in the top menu bar. (bottom task bar on a PC)
  3. Click Open Google Drive folder to see files locally stored.  Click Visit Google Drive on the web for items that are not.  Ideally these stay synced but it's not required.
  4. Due to limited space on your computer, you may need to sync only specific folders.  (Example:  You may/may not want to sync shared folders or large files such a movies.)
Follow these steps to change syncing options.
  1. Click the Google Drive icon and then the 3 dots icon.
  2. Click Preferences.
  3. Decide if you want to sync everything or specific folders.
  4. Check the box beside each folder you want to sync.
  5. Note:  In order to sync files that someone has shared with you click Visit Shared with Me button.  Then drag and drop that folder onto the My Drive.  
Once this setup is complete, be sure to click Apply.  Depending on how many files you may have, the sync the first time may take a long time.

Now that you have Google Drive and sync working, here are some other tips that may be useful.
  • Go to Preferences and click the Advanced button.  Make sure Start Google Drive on system startup is checked.  This will ensure that files are always syncing.
  • Make it a habit to always pull up and save Microsoft Word files via the Finder(Mac) or My Computer(PC).  This will always make the full version of Microsoft Word open to edit the file.
  • If you just want to do "light" editing of Microsoft Word files you can use the Office Editing extension that works in the Chrome browser.  https://goo.gl/UX69Y9 
Let me know if these tips help you or if you have questions.