Get More from Google Drive with These Tips and Tricks

Get More From Google Drive with These Tips and Tricks

Google Drive is one of the popular cloud storage services that offer tons of storage features for its users. It integrates well with many third-party apps and most Google services, making it the optimum choice for many. If you are a Google Drive user, then you should know that it offers more than just storage space.

If you spend a little time to learn some features of Google Drive, you should get a bit more productive. In this post we will show you some handy Google Drive tips and tricks to help you get that little extra from Google Drive.

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In Gmail you don’t need to send attachments from your PC storage; you can directly send files stored in Google Drive as Gmail attachments. There are many advantages to it, and the most important one is the ability to send files as big as 10GB (unlike the standard 25MB limit)! Furthermore, while attaching files from Google Drive, the file is instantly attached without any need to upload again (no matter how big the file is). Just click on the “insert files from Drive” button next to the attachment button to add files from Google Drive.

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Similar to Evernote, Google Drive also lets you save online content on the go using a Chrome extension. Of course, it is not as good as Evernote, but it is there if you don’t want to get in the circle of Evernote. For this purpose, you can use the Chrome extension Save to Google Drive. It will let you save online text (in Google docs), images, audio files and videos directly in Google Drive. You can also take web screenshots and save them to Drive if you want.

Google Drive comes with OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology to extract text from images and PDF files. The process is simple: right-click on the image/PDF file in Google Drive and hover your mouse cursor over “Open With.” Now click on “Google Docs” in the side menu.

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This will open the image/PDF in Google Docs with text written below it. Of course, the extracted text will not be perfect, but it should be good enough if the picture is clear.

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Similar to other Google Apps, Google Drive also comes with tons of keyboard shortcuts. To access these shortcuts, just press “Shift + ?” on the keyboard anywhere on the Google Drive web interface. A window will pop up with all the shortcuts mentioned. Memorize the ones you need and you should be able to get things done faster.

To upload files to the Google Drive web interface, you don’t necessarily have to click on the “New” button and select the right option to upload. Just drag and drop files from your PC to Google Drive’s main interface. It will be automatically recognized and uploaded.

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If you want to quickly access the Google Drive folder anywhere, then it is best to pin it to the Windows taskbar. All you have to do is drag and drop the Google Drive folder in the task bar, and a file explorer icon will be created (if not already there). Right-click on it, and then click on the Google Drive folder any time you want to access it.

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You can only download audio files from Google Drive; there is no built-in web player to play the file. If you want to listen to the audio files in Google Drive, you can download the Music Player for Google Drive Chrome extension. This will let you play audio files from Google Drive to the extension’s main interface.

There is a lot more to Google Drive then these simple tips and tricks. You should try exploring a bit yourself as well, as there is much more to discover. Do let us know in the comments if you know any other Google Drive tricks.

5 comments

  1. I love, love, love my Google Docs! It is so easy to share a project with my team members, and the chat feature allows us to collaborate on ideas from any where we want. Also, I am very impressed with seeing the details of each edit made to the document. Keep up the great work Google!!

  2. Only trouble with GoogleDrive is that any files you add to it take up space on your C:Drive because it gets automatically installed to your C:Drive. And if you have a small SSD drive as your system drive, you do not want to store data on it. And if you just move the desktop app to your D:Drive, files no longer get synced automatically to GoogleDrive on the web so you have to upload them manually.

  3. Google Drive is pretty cool, the only thing that sucks about it is you have to login to the Google Drive page to empty your deleted items. I have the GD App on my phone and the application on my computer, but they don’t allow me to permanently delete items. This is pretty inconvenient and for the life of me I can’t figure out why they do this.

  4. Hi Karrar,

    What an extensive list of tips. As a huge fan of Google Drive, I have to admit that I didn’t know some of the “tricks”, like the OCR related features. I heard about the technology but didn’t know that Google has integrated it into GDrive (awesome!). I’ll definitely test it out to see if it would well handle scanned PDF documents (extracting the text, and perhaps images?).

    Another thing is the “Drag and Drop” feature, personally I feel Google could enhance it even further, not only allowing us to upload easily, but download as well. By download, I mean drag and drop some elements especially pictures out of a Google document. Unfortunately, it isn’t available as of now. That’s why I wrote a post today to introduce five ways to extract images from Google Docs. Check it out here: http://www.softwarehow.com/extract-google-docs-images/

    Opinions? :)

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