If you have a Google Docs account, the Google folks recently added a handy gadget that I think all teachers need to know about. And if you don’t have a Google Docs account . . . well . . . you should.

Basically the new feature allows you to store and share any sort of file online in your Google Docs account. Many of you have drives available to you on your school’s network. And they usually work great but if you’re away from your school network or simply want some off-site backup storage space, just think of this as your new Google Docs GDrive!

But how to use it?

You can upload one or multiple files to Google Docs. Here’s how you do it:

1. Log-in to Google Docs.
2. Scan over to the top left side of your screen. You’ll see the new Upload button.
upload button
3. Click the button and then the Select files to upload from your computer. Browse to the file or files that you want to upload. (Select multiple files by pressing Shift or Ctrl and click all the files to upload.)
select files
4. You can just store the file or convert it to Google Docs format so you can later edit it online. Google will assume you want to convert your files so be sure to uncheck that option if you are looking just for storage space. You can also store your files in pre-created folders if you want.
convert docs
5. You can upload any kind of file you want to store but if you plan to convert the file for later Google Docs use, these are the only types that work for that:
  • For spreadsheets: .xls, .xlsx, .ods, .csv, .tsv, .txt, .tsb
  • For documents: .doc, .docx, .html, plain text (.txt), .rtf
  • For presentations: .ppt, .pps

Files that you store but don’t convert can’t be larger than 250 MB each. You get 1GB of space but the Google Docs help page says you can buy extra space for $0.25 per GB.

6. You can always find your uploaded files under Items by type > Files on Google Docs front page.

item types

When you open one of these stored files on your Docs list, you can choose to see a preview of the file, share the file, print it, or download it to your desktop.

There are other storage tools such as Box.net, Drop.io and Dropbox.com but if you want quick, easy and simple to use, It’s hard to beat this new feature in Google Docs.

Have fun!

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