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Google Drive: Like Microsoft Office -- Only Free!

from any google tool page including www.google.com.
Select "Drive" from the tools listed on the black menu bar across the top of the window.
Overview of Google Drive

Home & Office


Create, share and keep all your files online. Google provides the unique ability to give others the ability to view or edit files using the Share feature. Download to your computer or sync with your tablet to access and edit them offline.
  1. documents: letters, reports and word processing tasks.
  2. spreadsheets: data organization and number crunching. Also the unique ability to read results entered in web-forms or surveys. e.g. "contact us" or sweepstakes give-away entries.
  3. presentation (slides): promote your knowledge through slideshow presentations that can be given live or posted on your google website.
  4. drawings: digital doodles and illustrations.
  5. forms: easily create and distribute webforms, surveys, and polls. All responses are neatly collected in a spreadsheet. 

How to share files

With Google Drive, you can share files — like documents, images, and PDFs — without having to email them as attachments. You can let others view or contribute to shared documents. Email addresses are used to grant others access to a given file. You can also keep your content private or share it with the entire world. The choice is yours.

Share a file with an email address or mailing list

  1. Go to drive.google.com.
  2. Check the box next to the file or folder you'd like to share.
  3. Click the google drive share icon Share icon.

  4. Choose a visibility option: "Private," "Anyone with the link" or "Public on the web."

    visibility options

  5. Type the email addresses of the people you want to share with in the text box below "Add people." You can add a single person, a mailing list, or choose from your contacts.
  6. Choose the access level from the drop-down menu next to each collaborator: "Can view," "Can comment," or "Can edit."

  7. Click Share & save.

Tips for sharing in Google Drive

Notify people when you share something

Whenever you share something with someone, they’ll receive an email notification to let them know they have access and can retrieve what you shared the next time they sign into Google Drive. Prefer not to notify them? Uncheck the "Notify people via email" box.

Add lots of collaborators quickly by sharing with a Google Group

Rather than type your collaborators’ email addresses one-by-one, add an entire Google Group. Each member of that Google Group will have access to whatever you’ve shared, including people who are added to the group after you’ve shared something. This option isn’t available for mailing lists that aren’t Google Groups.

Share lots of files at once

If you want to share multiple items with your collaborators, move them into a folder and share the folder, with them. Since you’re sharing the folder, that’s their key to access. They’ll be able to access whatever’s stored there or lose access if you remove something that they don’t already have access to.

Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos give you 15 GB of storage space for free, so you can keep your files, emails, and photos accessible from any device, anywhere. If you reach the free storage limit, everything in Google Drive, Google+ Photos, and Gmail will still be accessible, but you won't be able to create or add anything new over the free storage limit.

  • Google Drive and Google+ Photos:  If you've reached or exceeded the free storage limit, you won't be able to sync or upload any new files, and syncing between your Google Drive folder and your Drive on the web stops completely. You'll still be able to create Google documents, since they don't take up any storage space. For Google+ Photos, you will only be able to upload new photos and videos under certain size limits.
  • Gmail: If you've reached the 15 GB free storage limit, you'll have some time to correct the issue before emails sent to you bounce, but please try to resolve the issue as soon as possible. To do so, free up space by deleting emails, purchase more storage space, or contact your administrator.
Google Drive Help
Click the gear icon's dropdown list to access help article and community forums.

Access everything in your Google Drive from all your devices.

Your files are always waiting for you at drive.google.com, but you can also get them straight from your computer, smartphone, and tablet. Install Google Drive on multiple devices and Google Drive makes sure they’re all the same. You can even get to your files after you go offline.

Keep files synced. Just connect to the web – it's pretty much automatic.

Any time your device has Internet access, it checks in with Google Drive. That ensures your files and folders are always up to date. Change something on one device and it changes everywhere.

Stop emailing attachments. Start sharing.

Google Drive lets you choose exactly who – friends, family, colleagues – gets your files. You don’t need email attachments anymore. Just share your file, folder, or Google Doc from any device.

Try Doctopus for Managing Google Documents

Doctopus is a Google Spreadsheet script developed by Andrew Stillman that can help teachers manage the flow of shared work in in their Google Drive accounts. The basic concept behind the script is to enable teachers to quickly share documents with all of the students on a roster, monitor usage of shared documents, and give students feedback within that roster spreadsheet. I was thinking about creating annotated screenshots of the process of using the script, but then I found a couple of nice screencast videos on YouTube that walk teachers through the process of using the Doctopus script. 

Using Doctopus