Today I want to share with you some elements of the free Google service known as Drive. This is something like a cloud drive (you can backup files) but also an online program suite. I will be discussing mostly the Docs features.
Google Drive includes:
Docs– This is an online word processor that is compatible with Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, and even Microsoft Works.
Sheets– A spreadsheet compatible with Office, Open office, and Works.
Slides – A presentation service that easily integrates into web sites or shared with others. Compatible to open files from Office and OpenOffice.
Forms – A service to create and compile information from forms. Includes easy to use templates, click and build features, and saves data to the drive for access later.
Drawing– This includes an online service to create or edit graphics. Saves as PDF, JPG, SVG, and PNG.
Google Docs works similar to most word processors, including formatting, templates, and printing. You can open and save, change file formats, and share/collaborate with others online. This also includes revision history. (Saved my butt when I ‘lost’ an entire chapter of a book I was writing).
You can also add ‘add-ons’ which improves function;
Table of Contents – Creates a table of contents that runs as a sidebar.
EasyBib- Bibliography creator
Speech Recognition- So you can talk instead of typing. This works great for those who have issues with typing for long periods of time.
Mind mapping- This is a great tool to plot stories or brainstorm ideas.
ProWritingAid- This is not free, but as an add on that works in the Docs. It corrects grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
Screenplay formatter- For the script writers out there, this add on helps with formatting your doc.
Saves in these formats:
DOCX – Document Microsoft Word file
ODT – OpenOffice Document Text file
RTF – Rich Text Format, works with any word processor
PDF- Portable Document Format, used for downloading files and eBooks
TXT – Text. Very simple with very little formatting but can be read by every word processor.
HTML/ZIP – Hypertext Markup Language is what web sites are built. Often used to upload to publish books.
EPUB – EBook file format that can be read by tablets and smart phones. This is new and is an industry standard.
Google drive can also
Cloud Storage– Back up photos, documents, etc. to your cloud drive. This includes 15 GB free, and you can pay $1.99 monthly for 100 more GB.
Collaborate with others– Not only can you share files with others, they can view or even edit them. You can also share LIVE with others. Some authors now share their writing in real time for fans to check out their process. Share via email or link on your blog. You can even embed files too
Share anywhere– Google Drive works on PC, Mac, smart phone, and tablets.
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