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Tip of the Week: How to Share Documents in Google Drive

Collaboration is something that no modern business can do without, which helps to explain why so many current applications feature it so heavily. Let’s focus on Google Drive and its multitude of collaborative capabilities that so many businesses are now making use of.

Document Sharing

This is the foundation of any collaborative process: the capability to share a file and allow others to edit it. Google Drive provides you a few means of doing so:

● From My Drive, click one of your various documents to highlight it and click on the Share icon in the toolbar at the top-right of the page.

● Right-clicking the document and selecting Share will provide you with the option to do so.

● Google Drive’s assorted applications, like Docs, Slides, and Sheets, each feature a prominent Share button at the top of the page.

Each of these options pulls up the same window: The Share with people and groups panel. Let’s examine the options that this panel provides.

The “Share with people and groups” Panel

This panel allows you to select who can access your document, and what they can do with it afterward. As a result, it is simple to share with anyone from a single coworker to an entire department—all you need to do is type in the appropriate name or email address, add a quick message if needed, and determine the access you’re granting:

● Editor­—Someone with editor-level access privileges can make whatever changes to a document that they see fit, as well as extend permissions to others to share the document in question.

● Commenter—A commenter has much more limited capabilities, as they are not able to directly change the content of a given document or share it out, but they can leave their feedback and suggestions for an editor to review and approve or deny.

● Viewer—A viewer can read through a document but can leave no feedback or send it along to others.

You can also adjust these settings even more, taking away or adding capabilities as you need to (or even taking away permissions entirely). In the Share pane, click the field that specifies the user’s access and make the changes you need to. From there, you can set an expiration date to their access to match your needs.

The Share pane also allows you to generate a link that allows your document to be shared that way. Under Get Link, you can select the option that gives anyone with the link the appropriate privileges, whether that be edit access or the ability to comment. This access can be removed whenever you need it to be.

Determining Which Documents Have Been Shared

Finally, Google Drive also simplifies the process of establishing which documents have had their access shared. A small icon will appear next to the filename that looks like two silhouettes, so long as you aren’t working in Grid view.

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of the capabilities that Google Drive offers in terms of collaboration. There are plenty of other ways that your business’ IT can help to facilitate teamwork, too, so give us a call at 334-834-7660 to learn more today.

 

 

 

Tip of the Week: Pin a Chrome Tab for Easy Access Later

Google Chrome is far and away from the most used Internet browser on both PC and mobile platforms, so it only makes sense to make using the Chrome browser as convenient as possible. Here’s a tip to help you simplify your Chrome browser tabs management.

Pinned Browser Tabs

Most times, you’re going online to do a set list of things, using just a few certain websites more than most others. Studies have shown as much. However, if a user prefers to keep these tabs open throughout their browsing session, it is too simple to accidentally close it out when trying to navigate between them.

This is where the benefits of pinning a browser tab become apparent.

By pinning a browser tab, your tab can no longer be closed out and the website name is removed so that it takes up less space and leaves more room for other tabs.

Pinning a tab is simple:

1.Right-click on the tab

2.Select Pin tab from the drop-down

When you want to unpin your tab, follow the same process, and simply select the correct option from the same drop-down. If a tab has been pinned, any internal links (directing to a page on the same website) will open in that tab, while external links will open in a new, unpinned tab.

Interested in learning more about how your technology can work harder for you? Reach out to Jackson Thornton Technologies today by calling 334-834-7660.

 

 

Tip of the Week: Keep Your Gmail Messages Private

Gmail has proven to be as secure as most other email platforms, but email is email and there are times when you send an email that isn’t opened promptly and you’d rather not have the information in that message get sent around or archived where you can’t control it. Now Gmail has added a feature that allows users to send messages that will delete themselves in a predetermined time frame, and work to keep the contents of those messages from being shared. Let’s take a look at them today.

Introducing Confidential Mode in Gmail

We’re all familiar with the secret agent that has a mission briefing that will self-destruct when it finishes. Made popular by the Mission Impossible franchise of movies, Gmail now gives users the ability to essentially do this. Users that don’t want messages to disintegrate over time can also send a passcode via text message that the recipient must enter to read the contents of the email. Pretty useful stuff.

Using Gmail’s Confidential Mode

Once you have the Compose window up, you will want to click on the little icon of the padlock and clock next to the Send button. This will toggle confidential mode on/off. Clicking on it will bring up a compose window in Confidential mode.

From here you can set the message’s expiration date if you so choose. It ranges from a day to five years, and you can select to provide a passcode for further security. If you do select to have a passcode, you will then be prompted to enter the phone numbers for both your phone and the recipient.

On mobile, Gmail offers additional confidentiality, using a similar process. To compose a confidential email, open the three-dot menu and select Confidential mode, and then select the preferences you’d like for that particular message. 

Obviously, this doesn’t guarantee security, but it will go above and beyond just sending a standard email. 

If you would like more tips and tricks, subscribe to our blog and check back to our site regularly. 

 

Tip of the Week: Use Confidential Mode in Gmail to Feel Like a Secret Agent (or Secure Your Emails)

Gmail is as secure as any comparable email platform, but there may be some messages you send that you’d rather not have hanging around in someone’s inbox. However, did you know that Gmail enables you to send messages that delete themselves after a set timeframe… while also preventing the contents from being forwarded, downloaded, copied, or printed?

Introducing Confidential Mode in Gmail

We’ve all seen the spy movies where an agent’s briefing contains instructions to destroy the message inside to ensure that the details it contains are never leaked—sometimes, the message itself is rigged to take care of the destruction on the agent’s behalf.

Think of Gmail’s confidential mode as a digital version of that: you can send an email to another user (regardless of the email client they use to read their messages) that will expire after the amount of time you specify. You can even add an extra layer of security by sending your recipient a passcode via text message that they must provide to read the message at all.

Let’s go over the process for creating such a message in Gmail.

How to Use Gmail’s Confidential Mode

First, there’s the obvious step: accessing Gmail. Start your message by clicking the Compose button at the top-left of the page. In the window that appears, you’ll find a row of icons next to the Send button, one of which appearing as a padlock and clock. This is the button to Turn confidential mode on/off. Clicking it will pull up the Confidential mode window.

There, you can set the message’s expiration date to meet various options, ranging from a day to five years, and even require the user to input a passcode that Google will generate, either sending it to their email or via SMS. If you do require a passcode, you’ll be prompted to provide the phone numbers for both you and the recipient.

The mobile version of Gmail also offers confidentiality, with a very similar process. To compose a confidential message, open the triple-dot menu and—selecting Confidential mode—set it to your preferences.

While any information sent over the Internet cannot have its safety guaranteed, encrypting your more sensitive emails is certainly advisable.

For more handy IT tips, security best practices, and the like, make sure you keep coming back to our blog!

 

Helpful Features Found in Google Docs

Within Google Workspace is Google Docs, a useful word processing solution that can be accessed through your web browser. In case you’re new to using Google’s productivity software, we have decided to assemble a short introduction to some of Google Docs’ most useful tools and features.

Want to check out Google Docs? It’s free for anyone with a Google account, although if you are going to use it for your business, you should talk to us about Google Workspace. 

You can log in at docs.google.com to see how the free version works.

Version History

Undoubtedly, one of Google Docs’ most useful features must be its referenceable version history. Think about it—you could go back and review how people have edited the document and the rate that progress has been made. This not only enables a higher level of accountability in your work, but it also makes it clear who made certain changes and when these changes were made.

As a result, it is far clearer to everyone involved who has contributed their share, and how the status of the team’s efforts currently stands. Accessing this area is as simple as clicking File>Version history>See version history and choosing from the list of dates and times provided.

If you want to restore a file from one of these past versions, it is as simple as clicking the Restore this version button at the top of the screen in the review section when one of the past modifications are selected.

Interacting with a Document

Due to the collaborative nature of Google Docs, the likelihood is high that your documents are frequently shared throughout your organization and amongst your clients. Of course, not everyone who has their hands on these documents necessarily needs the capability to make changes—or even leave feedback at all.

Google Docs enables you to share these documents while also dictating the amount of access that your recipients have—as well as to limit your own capabilities as well, to help you effectively accomplish specific tasks. This can be done by altering how the document is presented, which comes in three modes: Editing, Suggesting, and Viewing.

Predictably, Editing mode enables a user to make changes. However, with the document set to Suggesting mode, the user can only (as the name would suggest) suggest changes to be made. Likewise, Viewing mode only allows a user to view the document—pretty handy, especially when you’re looking for feedback over collaboration.

Mobile Capabilities

Google Docs also comes as a very capable (if limited by the platform) mobile application, enabling your team to potentially make quick reviews and edits while on the move. While we wouldn’t recommend anyone write their next novel from scratch using this method, it can prove handy in a pinch. As you would expect, any changes you make there are reflected to any collaborators you are working with.

Obviously, Google Docs offers many more capabilities that we encourage you to discover for yourself. For assistance in implementing it for your organization, or more information about the other options available to you, give us a call at 334-834-7660 today.

 

 

How to Use Google Drive to the Fullest

For the business seeking out a comprehensive cloud-based content management and collaboration solution, Google Drive is an option that warrants serious consideration. While we don’t want to recommend it over another one of your options, per se, we did want to provide a brief beginner’s guide to putting it to use. That way, any business that does elect to adopt Google Drive—and the associated solutions it comes with—has more information going in.

Getting Started with a Google Account

If you have a Google account, you have access to Google Drive. Using your browser, or either the Android or iOS version of the application, you can log in to see your storage space.

There, you’ll find the root menu, titled My Drive, with options to view items that have been shared with you (under Shared with me) and all Recent documents, ones that have been Starred as important, and those that have been sent to the Trash. You are also provided with an indicator bar that outlines the amount of available storage remaining.

You can also find any files that Google has deemed to be of high Priority, as well as the folders that are shared within an organization in the Shared drives section—presuming that you’re using a business account.

Above those options is the New button, providing the user with the ability to create new folders and files of different types, or upload files and folders into the space. These files can cover a wide variety of formats, from the core Google applications of Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms to many others.

Sharing Documents You’ve Created

There are a few different ways that a document in Google Drive can be shared with another user, whether that’s between sharing access to a folder wherein it is stored, or by sharing the document directly.

Any document you’ve created can be shared from within it, through the Share button. From there, you can adjust editing permissions for those who you have shared it with and send it to them through a link, either by email or copy-and-pasting it as needed. Alternatively, right clicking the file in your Drive itself will present you with a few options, one of which being to share it.

When you and your collaborators are inside the document, you will all be presented to the others involved.

You can also share entire folders via a similar process.

Restoring Older Versions

Unfortunately, there is a lot that can go wrong with many hands on a document. To help resolve this shortcoming, Google Drive also saves a record of the document and any changes made to it for 30 days, or the past 100 revisions. From there, you can revert changes back to an older version if needed.

To do so, access the file and, from the File menu, select Version History. You can then review the saved versions and restore the ones you need.

Searching for Files and Folders

Finally, similarly to Google’s original function, Drive also has a search bar that allows a user to Search in Drive, with the option to add more specific criteria.

 

Consider Google Drive an Effective Business Solution

Depending on your circumstance, Google Drive may or may not be the right solutions for your needs. For more information, or to discuss your options, reach out to Jackson Thornton Technologies at 334-834-7660.

 

Tip of the Week: Introducing Google Chrome’s New Actions Feature

If it is going to remain the most common Internet browser, Google Chrome always needs to have new features added to it to make it the preferable choice for most users. Recently, Chrome Actions was implemented, likely contributing greatly to that goal. Let’s look at what Chrome Actions are, and how they could prove useful.

What Are Chrome Actions?

With Chrome Actions, the Chrome browser has a bit more utility crammed into its address bar (also known as the “omnibar”). In addition to helping users navigate to a webpage or network location, or facilitating a Google search, the omnibar can now accept and carry out a select few basic commands.

For example, if a user types “incognito” into the omnibar, pressing Enter will open a new window in Incognito mode.

Right now, Google has implemented just a few Chrome Actions into their browser:

● Clear Browsing Data - type ‘delete history’, ‘clear cache ‘ or ‘wipe cookies’

● Manage Payment Methods - type ‘edit credit card’ or ‘update card info’

● Open Incognito Window - type ‘launch incognito mode‘ or ‘incognito’

● Manage Passwords - type ‘edit passwords’ or ‘update credentials’

● Update Chrome - type ‘update browser’ or ‘update google chrome’

● Translate Page - type ‘ translate this’ or ‘ translate this page’

With this starting list came the promise of more Chrome Actions coming with future updates to the browser.

For more assistance with anything relating to your business’ IT, make sure your first call is to Jackson Thornton Technologies at 334-834-7660.