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What’s sweeter than sugar? Free lemons. Yes, that’s right. Anything that’s free is automatically made 10 times awesomer than it previously was. But that’s not the only reason that Google Drive is so snazzy.

You can access Google Drive by clicking on the “Docs” icon on the top right of USFconnect. You can also find it when you’re checking your USF email through USFconnect, and clicking on “Drive” on the top of the page.

In Google Drive, you get 5GB of free space to upload and store whatever documents you like. These can include, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc. But, you can use as much Google Drive space for Google documents, as you’d like. For these, you get unlimited space. So if you don’t have/like Word, you can just type all of your essays and homework on the drive. If you’re still adamant about using Word, but want it to be in a shared space, then you can upload your Word document onto Google Drive, and choose to keep it as a Word document (where it will take up part of your 5GB) or convert it to a Google document (where you get unlimited space). You can change these settings under “settings.”

Two of your most important buttons are the red buttons on the left. To upload a document, click on the upwards pointing arrow to upload a file. To create a file (which would be using a Google document) you just click on “Create” and then you choose what kind of file you would like to create (document, presentation, spreadsheet, etc.). shareable

Another cool part of Google Drive, is that you can easily share your documents. So instead of having to attach and email your documents to someone when you’re using a different program, you just press the blue “Share” button on the top right of your document. When you do this, your sharing settings will pop up, and you can select who can view your document (type in their email) and write them an email if you so choose. You can choose to allow them to view only, comment only, or to edit. (As well as a mix).

When using a Google document, Google Drive has a chat feature, which allows you to see who is viewing the document at the same time as you and you can see all of their revisions as well as your own. You can also select people to view an entire folder. But this is not to say that sharing is necessary and that everyone can see your documents. All of your documents are automatically defaulted to private, so unless you specifically choose to share something, nobody can see your files.

In my opinion, the most convenient part of Google Drive, is that all of your files are online. This means that if you’re presenting something, like a PowerPoint presentation, in class you can place/convert/use the presentation on your Google Drive, and so you won’t have to worry about if it will open or not, or if the formatting will change with the use of different computers. Also, if you have a particularly large document that you’re having trouble emailing to someone, Google Drive is an easier way to send it out.

PS, there’s even an iPhone/iPad and Android app where you can not only view but actually edit a Google format document. But then again, who wants to edit a paper on their phone…?

Google Drive

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