Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Google Drive Face Lift

The continual shifts and changes in technology never cease to amaze me.  I just finished Google Drive training two weeks ago, and while we had a great time discovering how to make Drive work for us, Google just introduced it's new Google Drive look a couple days ago.  I actually like the new, cleaner look, although there are a few changes in where things are located and how they function.

New Look for Google Drive

Let's take a look at some of those changes and help you get acquainted with this new look:

1.  Shared with me - This is now referred to as "Incoming."  It is still in the left-hand column directly under the My Drive folder.  When you click it on, you see the documents listed as...

  • This week
  • Last week
  • Older
When you look at the files themselves, you will see who shared the file first followed by the file name.  If you have added a file to a specific folder you created in Drive, it will show you that information too. 

 This is all you will see until you place your cursor at the end of the file.  Then you have options for downloading the file, adding it to My Drive (if you haven't already done this), and more actions (the 3 little dots).  Your options under more action may be limited due to the defined sharing settings given to you by the owner of the document.  If you can only view or comment on the file, then the Share and Rename options are grayed out.  The Share icon will even have a line drawn through indicating that you cannot share that file with other people.  Also under more action is Open with..., which allows you to choose what application you want to use to open that file.  Naturally, if you just click the file it will open for you in Google Drive or in a preview window.

At this time, I have not found a way to sort your Incoming files by owner, so all the files are sorted by date.

Settings Icon
2.  Settings icon - This has also received a more streamlined look.  In the past, you had more options under this icon related to how uploaded files would be converted.  Now everything is accessible when you choose settings under the icon.  You can set-up how files will be converted when they are uploaded to Google Drive, as well as managing the apps you've connected to in Drive and Chrome.

You can also Download Drive to your computer from this location.  If you recall, you had to choose Install Drive, which was tucked away under More in the left-hand column.

Currently, you have the option to experience or leave the new Drive under the settings icon, but that option will go away soon.  My suggestion...embrace the change now.

New Button
3.  Red New Button - This use to say Create and had an upload icon right next to it.  The New button has it all.  The ability to create new file types (documents, spreadsheets, drawings, folders, etc.) and the ability to upload files to Google Drive.  A new feature under this button is uploading folders to Google Drive.  This has not been possible in the past, so it is an exciting new feature!  Like before, you can get connect to more apps that can be used with Google Drive documents and spreadsheets through this New button.

4.  Working with Files - Before the new look, a single click on a file or folder would open it up for you.  If you wanted to select a file or folder and do something to it (move to the trash, share with other people, etc.), you had to click on the check boxes.  Now, a single click simply selects that file or folder so you can make changes to it.  You can even select multiple files or folders by holding down the command key (on a Mac) and click what you want to select.  If you actually want to open the file or folder, you have to double click.

Another change is where you go to make specific changes to files and folders; changes like sharing, organizing, previewing, etc.  In the old look, all those features were located under the word More at the top of your Drive.  Now the those options are available through icons at the top of your Drive and via the 3 little dots, also at the top of your Drive.  Check out the differences in the two images below...

Old Look

New Look
5.  Search - While this feature isn't new, or even changed for that matter, many people don't realize they can do a quick search for specific files.  This is a handy feature, especially if you have a large quantity of files in your Drive.  You can do a basic search by typing in part of the file name in the Search Drive box.  As you are typing, Drive will start displaying a short list of potential matches, however, if you hit return it will give you a full list of files with that word or phrase in the name.  The catch to this search is when you use more than one word they must be in the same order as they are in the file name.  For example, if I name a document Summer Projects 2014, I can search by individual words (summer, project, 2014) or even by the phrase summer projects; however, if I search by 2014 summer, I won't find that file.

Advanced Search Options
The search feature does have some advanced searching capabilities.  These include searching by file type, ownership, and opens with (designating what application the file should open in).  This can be useful if you have 20 summer project files but some are documents and others are spreadsheets.  You could at least narrow your search by adding the file type indicator along with the phrase summer project.  If you only created one of those 20 summer project files, then you could choose to search by ownership.

Want to try out the new Google Drive?
  • Go to the Settings icon - looks like a gear wheel on the right side of your Drive screen
  • Choose Experience the New Drive
 Enjoy the NEW Google Drive!

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