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Getting started with Google Drive

This page will help you get started with using Google Drive at Reed. If your question isn't answered here, you can explore Google's comprehensive help website for Docs.

Logging in

Visit docs.reed.edu and log in with your Kerberos name and password.

Note: We have seen a bug where some people get a random language when logging in. Please see this screenshot for how to change it to English.

Creating Documents

Click on the red button that says Create and pick the type of document you want to build. You can create formatted text, spreadsheets, presentations, and an ever-growing list of other types of files.

View Google's youtube video on getting started with apps.

Sharing Documents With Others

When viewing or working on a document, find the Share button in the upper right. The sharing settings will appear. You'll see who already has access to the document, and there is an input field below where you can add collaborators. Add the email addresses of people you'd like to share the document with, and they will receive an email with a link to accept the invitation.

If you don't want your fellow editors to be able to share the doc with others, you can set that at the bottom of the sharing dialog; click change. Google's documentation has more.

Finding Shared Documents

To find a document someone has shared, you can either:

  • see all the documents shared with you in the left-hand pane,
    or
  • navigate to the shared folders on the lower portion of the left-hand pane.

You may also receive an invite to view a coworker's document in an email, or you can invite your coworkers to see your documents. Clicking on the link in your email will take you to the document in your web browser. You may be required to sign in with your Reed username and password.

Exporting and Backing Up Your Google Drive

Although Google's servers are reliable, it's a good idea to make back up copies of your documents in Google Apps.

To export a document from Google Drive:

  1. In an open Google Doc, click the File menu; scroll down and highlight Download As
  2. You'll see options to save common formats such as Word or Excel, PDF, or even OpenOffice. Once you've made your desired format, your browser will prompt you to save the file to your computer. 

To save all your documents at once:

  1. View all your documents (the default view).
  2. Select the top box to select all documents at once.
  3. Choose Download... from the More menu (on the right-hand pane).
  4. You'll see options to save common formats such as Word or Excel, PDF, or even OpenOffice. Your browser will prompt you to save the files to your computer.

Backing up your documents in this way will not automatically apply changes made after backup. If you would like copies of your docs on your computer that also save changes automatically to Google Drive, read the next section.

Downloading Google Drive for Your Computer

You can download Google Drive to your computer for free. Doing so will create a local folder on your computer, from which you can access your files and work on them directly. Changes are saved auomatically to your Drive and Google will sync this folder and its contents whenever you have internet access. You can also access Google Drive from your other internet-enabled devices.

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