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 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

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.

Team Drives

Team 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 Team 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 Team 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,
  • 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 no longer download the Google Drive client to your computer; however, you can still get the same functionality.

Our recommended program is Google File Stream. The File Stream client allows you to select files and folders from your google drive which you can sync to your computer and from there you can access and work on them directly. Changes are saved auomatically to your Drive and Google will update your files with your new edits whenever you have internet access.

You can also access Google Drive from your other internet-enabled devices using Google Backup & Sync. This client allows you to browse and view your Google Drive folders from your computer. It functions similarly to File Stream in that you can edit your files locally. It allows you to backup files from your local disk directly to google drive. However, unlike File Stream, you cannot access files in Team Drives, stream files on demand, or sync only individual files in drive. 

Here is a brief overview of what each program can and can't do from Google's support pages. 

google suport page image

For more help in selecting your sync solution, see here.  


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