Whether it’s hassle-free file storage, neat synchronization, deep integration with G-Suite of apps, and Maps, Google Drive has fully covered. Couple that with the 15 GB of free storage (shared across Gmail, Drive, and Google Photos) and it becomes hard to beat Google’s feature-rich cloud-storage service. It’s been a while since I started using Drive for file storage and I must say that the cloud service has lived up to my expectation. Having explored all the goodies that the cloud storage service has to offer, I have lined up an extensive roster of 20 Google Drive tips and tricks which you would love to master.
Google Drive is as popular on mobile devices as it is on the web. So, it’s apt to include tips for both platforms. Keeping in mind customization, the roundup also features hacks that let you either fill up the void or fine-tune preferences in sync with your workflow. Enough talk, let’s get started!
Best Google Drive Tips and Tricks is very useful to increase the productivity of the organization.
Let's have a look at some Tricks And Tips:
1. Voice Typing
When you are creating a Google Docs file, you can use Google’s in-built speech-to-text system to type using your voice. It works surprisingly well, too. Even better, the speech recognition tool can also understand commands such as “newline” and “period”, and it responds to them by creating a new line, or by inserting a period into the text.
Unfortunately, this feature doesn’t work on Safari (because Safari doesn’t support WebRTC), but it works on most major browsers, including Google Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc. To use Voice Typing, you simply have to go to Tools -> Voice Typing in a Google Docs file.
2. Add Links to Documents Without Leaving the Web App
Having to constantly search for things on the web, copying their links, and adding them to a document can quickly get annoying and tedious. Google Drive fixes this as well. You can simply select the text you want to create a hyperlink on, and press “Cmd+K” or “Ctrl+K“. This will open up a small dialog box just below the selected text, where you can search for keywords and choose the appropriate link, which will then automatically get hyperlinked in the document.
3. Publish Files to the Web
Google Drive also offers a feature to publish Docs files, Sheets, or Slides to the web. This bypasses the need to share links to the doc with people. Items published on the web using Google Drive can be shared via a link, or they can be embedded into a webpage. The best part about using Google Drive’s “publish to the web” feature is that you can set it up to be updated whenever you make changes to the file. This means that the published content will automatically get updated whenever you make an edit to the original file.
4. OCR on Images and PDFs
Google Drive also has a rather neat OCR feature hidden away inside the web app (and the Android app, unfortunately not in the iOS app). This feature can recognize the text inside your images and PDFs and create an editable, searchable Google Docs file. Isn’t that awesome? The limitation of this method is that the text should be neatly written, and should preferably properly contrast with the rest of the image, or the OCR might not be able to recognize the text properly.
5. See your Files Sorted by Size
Google Drive sorts uploaded files and folders by the “Latest Modified First” rule. This can be useful as it ensures that the files you uploaded the most recently are present at the top, for easy access. However, if you are running low on available space on your Google Drive account, you might want to sort the files by their size, to figure out where you can save space the most.
6. Check your Write-up For Plagiarism and Grammatical Errors
Google Drive has a lot of add-ons available that can greatly increase the productivity and effectiveness of using Google services such as Google Docs, Sheets, etc. One such add-on is called ProWritingAid, and it is a tool that can check your document for grammatical mistakes, spelling mix-ups, and plagiarism, among a lot of other features.
7. Automatically Save Emails and Attachments to Google Drive
Another add-on for Google Sheets, called Emails and Attachments, does exactly what its name implies. You can define rules based on the sender’s email ID, the subject, message size, attachments, etc, and the add-on will run every hour automatically, and sync emails from your Gmail email account into a spreadsheet. It also saves a copy of the email as a PDF inside Google Drive, along with any attachments in the email.
The add-on can also be run manually if required, by going into Add-ons->Save Emails and Attachments -> Manage Rules -> Run Manually.
8. Check Word Count
While writing any story or extensive article, I like to keep a track of the word count just to ensure I don’t go overboard. It sort of helps me maintain the speed required to complete the article before the stipulated time. Thankfully, checking word count in Google Docs is quite straightforward not only on the web but also on the mobile app.
9. Customize Accessibility Settings
One of the lesser-known Google Docs features is the Accessibility settings which can be very helpful for differently-abled people. It provides screen reader and magnifier support. Besides, there is also an option to enable collaborator announcements that make it a tad easier to know when people enter and exit their files.
10. Fine-Tune Preferences
It’s always better to have the desired control over preferences so that you can fine-tune each important aspect as per your needs. To have a fully personalized experience, Google Docs let you customize your preferences. For instance, you can choose to disable smart quotes, turn off automatic correction of spelling and disable the action items suggestions. What’s more, you can also fine-tune substitutions in keeping with your specific requirements.
11. Customize Your Default Apps on iPhone and iPad
For a more personalized experience, Google Drive lets you customize default apps. For instance, you can choose Google Chrome as the default browser instead of Apple Safari, make Gmail the preferred choice, and set Google Maps as the default choice for navigation.
12. Lock Google Drive with Face/Touch ID
Whether you no longer want anyone to use Google Drive without your permission or wish to add an extra layer of safeguard to block unauthorized access, the “Privacy Screen” feature is for you. When this privacy-centric feature is turned on, access to Drive will be restricted to Touch/FaceID.
13. Use Siri Shortcut with Google Drive
Siri shortcuts are super handy as they let you unlock several possibilities with ease. And guess what, Google Drives also supports Siri shortcuts so that you can get the most out of the cloud-storage service on your iOS or iPadOS device.
To get going, open Google Drive on your device and tap on the menu button at the top left corner of the screen. Now, select Siri Shortcuts. Next, tap on the “+” button next to Search in Drive. After that, add a custom phrase and then hit Add to Siri. Going forward, you can use this custom shortcut to perform the desired action.
14. Check the Entire Details and Activity of Shared Files
One of my favorite Google Drive features is the ability to keep a track of the entire details and activities of shared folders. Many a time, I have to check the details to either fix any issue or stay in sync with collaboration. And that’s when this nifty little feature comes in handy in finding out every subtle detail.
15. Customize Notifications
Notifications can be both a boon and bane. While the unnecessary ones can eat into your patience, the important ones can enable you to remain in sync with things that matter to you. So, if you no longer want to let redundant alerts annoy you and receive only the essential notifications, you should ideally fine-tune Google Drive notifications.
16. Enable Dark Mode
Dark Mode has become (more or less) my default choice. Though I mainly use it at night to safeguard the eyes against burning/straining, it also comes into play whenever I wish to extend the battery life of the device. Considering the multiple advantages, you shouldn’t give it a miss either.
17. Translate Documents in Google Docs
Did you know that Google Drive can easily translate entire documents for you on the fly? Yeah, it’s no secret that Google Translate is one of the most powerful and accurate translation services out there, and obviously, it’s integrated well with Google’s cloud storage solution. Here’s how to translate entire documents into Google Docs.
18. Use Different Colors for Folders
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re a fairly advanced Drive user or trying to be. Well, if you use Google Drive extensively, you should probably consider color-coding your folders to better organize your digital life online.
Within Google Drive, just right-click on any folder and go to ‘Change Color’. Here, you can select any color from a fairly wide palette of choices available to you. You can use this to make your folders visually appealing or to code them according to priority or any other manner that suits your usage.
19. Keep Multiple Versions of a File
Have you used git to manage source codes? Well, Google Drive brings a similar version control system for your files. If you’re storing any document (PDF, image, etc) in Google Drive you can keep uploading new versions of the file whenever you make changes, and keep a track of older versions easily.
20. Complete List of Google Drive Keyboard Shortcuts
If you are anything like me, you prefer using the keyboard to navigate as much as possible around your devices. Using keyboard shortcuts is not only easier but also ends up saving a lot of valuable time. If you’re not convinced, consider what is easier: copying text using “Ctrl+C” or by right-clicking, and selecting “Copy”? This applies to almost everything that we do on our devices, and Google Drive is no exception.