Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Help! I Can't Open my Office Documents in Google Drive!

Yes, unless you own a Chromebook that awesomely and automatically updates, then this can happen to you. Don't panic! Check the following to make sure you have exactly what you need to open those Office products in your Google drive without changing their format.

1. If you can usually open Office documents in your Google drive without an issue on your computer, make sure you are logged into your Chrome browser so that all of your extensions are ready to go.

2. If this is all new to you, then we probably just need to add the Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides extension to your Chrome browser. Don't worry! It's easy, and you should only have to do it once!

  • Click the blue button to "add to Chrome"
  • You will have to give it permission to access all kinds of stuff, but just close your eyes and do it!
  • Once it finishes adding itself to your Chrome browser, try to open your Office document again.
  • Now, the Office document  should open. The extension can clearly be seen in the URL 
  • When you open the Word document, you can also see that the extension is working by clicking on "File" and seeing the words, "Office Compatibility Mode".

You are good to go!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Converting Office Documents to Google Docs

You have an Office document safely backed up in your Google Drive, and now you need to share it with your team. But, wait! You can't share documents saved in their original Office format.
No worries. Let's  convert that document to a Google doc,. "Convert" really creates a new copy, so you even get to keep your original just the way it is!

To convert:
  • Double-click to open the original Word document in your Google drive that you wish to convert
  • The Word document will open in a new tab, and the tab will have the big "W" for "Word" at the top.
  • Now for the conversion part:
    • Go to "File"  ,"Save as Google Doc" or 
    • Go to "Share", and the pop-up will  give you the option to convert
  • The Google doc version will now open in a new tab with the Google doc icon at the tab-top
  • Your Google Drive will now have two version of this document: one in the original Office format and one in Google doc format
This process is so simple and easy, that pretty soon you will become a real "convert" and create everything in Google Drive!

Confused by the duplicate documents? Look at the icons!

As you start converting Office documents to Google docs, slides, and sheets (and you will!), you can easily tell the two products apart by their icons. Seems silly, but it helps when the drive gets crowded.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Limitations of Office Documents in Google Drive

So, you have backed-up your Office documents to Google Drive! Good job! Now you can:
  • Open and view your Office documents
  • Open and do some editing
  • Download your documents from Google Drive
However,  there are a few caveats that you need to be aware of as you work with these Office documents from within your Google Drive.

1. Office documents do not share all the wonderful magic of Google docs, but have three limitations:

  • Editing is somewhat limited
  • They do not save automatically
  • They can not be shared at all. You must convert first!
These limitations are immediately noticeable if you are accustomed to working with Google docs.

2. NEVER insert Office documents from your Google drive into Google Classroom !!

Because the Office format can't be shared, these Office documents really get messy on the student end if shared for editing or as a template in a Google Classroom assignment.
If you must do this ....insert as "read only"!