Help Desk

Computing & Information Services

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 drive.reed.edu and log in with your Kerberos name and password.

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

Our Google sharing help page has specific information and instructions for sharing your documents and folders in Google Drive.

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 do not 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.

If you need more assistance, you can contact CUS at x7525 or cus@reed.edu, or visit Google's documentation.

Shared Drives

Shared Drives are shared spaces where teams can easily store, search, and access their files anywhere, from any device. Unlike files in My Drive, files in a Shared Drive belong to the team instead of an individual. Even if members leave, the files stay exactly where they are so your team can continue to share information and get work done. Learn more about Shared Drives.

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

Reedies moving on from Reed may want to export their entire drive as their account will be closing. For this, we recommend using Google's takeout feature, to export your data. For more information on this see our Moving On From Reed page. 

Using Google Drive on your Computer

You can use Google's Drive for Desktop to access Google Drive files on your computer. The Drive for Desktop client allows you to save specific files and folders offline, including shared drives, so that you can access them and work on them from your desktop computer. Changes are saved automatically to your Drive and Google will update your files with your new edits whenever you have internet access.

Our support page for Drive for Desktop is found here.