Google Drive – introduction and accessing

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1. INTRODUCTION

Like in the past, television was essential in every home, today its place is taken by internet. After the era of data saving on floppy disks, CD, DVD, and USB devices, it is becoming popular to save data on virtual disks. Many cloud applications popped up offering for free virtual space to save data in past few years. Among them, the most popular ones are:

  • Dropbox – initially offers 2GB of free space. The free space can be increased until 18GB. Dropbox was launched in 2008 and it is one of the most popular server.
  • SkyDrive – offers 7GB of free virtual space.
  • Google Drive – offers 5GB of free virtual space.
  • Apple iCloud – offers 5GB of free virtual space.

This handbook describes the use of Google Drive. To access the virtual space on Google Drive, you should:

  • open a Google Account (to access thorough internet) and/or
  • download Google Drive from internet (if you want to access it through the hard disk).

Google Documents are also a part of applications that are accessible through Google Drive. All the documents, presentations, forms or work sheets created using Google Documents are automatically saved on Google Drive.

All the documents saved on Google Drive can be shared with other Google Drive users. It is possible to post comments and chats on documents created using Google Drive and shared. Documents can also be directly published on internet.

2. BEFORE ACCESSING GOOGLE DRIVE

Before accessing Google Drive for the first time, you should open a free Google user account and/or download the Google Drive program.

2.1 OPENING A GOOGLE USER ACCOUNT

To open a free Google user account you should type in the internet browser www.drive.google.com or www.gmail.com. The internet page https://accounts.google.com will open where you can click the button, Sign up and follow the instructions to open an e-mail account. After signing up, a list of all Google services will appear on the Google menu bar (i.e. Google Mail, profile on Google+ etc.)

After creating an account, type the url, www.gmail.com in the internet browser, it is possible to open the existing account by inserting the Username and Password in the boxes showed for Sign in.

2.2 DOWNLOADING FROM INTERNET

You can download the program in two different ways.

  1. On the Internet page www.drive.google.com you should Sign in by writing your Username and Password of an existing Google account. A screen, as shown below will open where it is possible to start the downloading by clicking on the button, Download Drive for PC. The dialog box shown in Figure 2 will open. You can select a position on the disk for saving the file from Save file option. After finishing the download, you can find the downloaded program in the selected position and start it’s installation on the computer by double clicking with the left button of the mouse on the downloaded program .
  2. On the Internet page https://www.google.com/intl/en_US/drive/start/index.html click on the Download menu on the menu bar. A new screen will open where you can start downloading the program on the computter by clicking the button, Download Drive. A dialogue box will open to Download Google Drive for Windows.

Clicking the button Accept and Install, Google Drive Installer will start.

After starting Google Drive installing program, a new dialogue box will open to confirm the download of the program on the hard disk. From here, you can choose the position on the disk to save the file by Save file option.

After finishing the download, you have the possibility to localize the downloaded program and start its installation on the computer, left double clicking on the program . After installation, it is possible to start using the program.

2.3 ACCESS TO GOOGLE DRIVE

To access the service Google Drive, you should sign up on the internet page www.gmail.com or www.drive.google.com typing Username and Password. An existing account will open by clicking the keyboard button, Enter or by clicking the button, Sign in.

Under the Browser box, you’ll find the Google menu bar, where you should select Drive. The new menu, Activity – Google Drive will open, where all the contents of Google Drive are displayed.

On the left you’ll find the main menu, Create. By clicking on it, a context menu will open, where it is possible to select the type of file you want to Create. The new file will open in a new tab on the Internet browser.

By selecting one of the options under the main menu, details for the selected option will be shown on the right:

  • My Drive – a list of all files on Google Drive.
  • Shared with me – a list of all files shared with me.
  • Starred – a list of all files marked with a star.
  • Recent – a list of all files recently processed.
  • More – by selecting this option, another menu will open where it is possible to select the option, Activity – used to view the updates of all elements modified by you and/or by other users, Offline – if Google Drive was downloaded on the computer, it is possible to access and modify Google documents even when the computer is not connected to internet, All items – used to view all elements present on Google Drive, Trash – view the contents in trash and Owner, type, more – by selecting this option, a new dialogue box will open where you can specify the element to be searched, on basis of:
  • Type: All documents, Folders, Drawings, Images, PDF files, Presentations, Spreadsheets, Forms, Text documents, Videos or
  • Visibility: Public on the web, Anyone with the link, Private or Not shared.
  • Ownership: Owned by me or Created with…

By clicking on the button  Select – all the files present on the drive can be selected. By clicking on the button  New folder in My Drive – a new folder can be created in the drive. A dialogue box, New folder will open where you can type a name for the new folder within the folder My Disc. Clicking on the button Select or left clicking on one of files on the list, a contextual menu will appear, where you can  Share,  Move to,  Remove,  Preview the selected files, or choose one of the options from the menu More.

By clicking on the button  Sort, a contextual menu will open where it is possible to sort the files by categories namely, Last edited by me, Last modified, Last opened by me, Title or Quota used. Here you can also check the space occupied by a file.

By clicking the button  Switch to List – all the files present in the drive are shown in a list – Title and Last modified will appear, and by clicking on the button  Switch to Grid – files are shown as an image of the first page of the file with its name.

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