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Six Effective Features of Google Drive That Users Barely Put to Work

The simplicity of the Google Drive applications is what makes them so popular among users. But don’t think that just because they are easy to operate, they do not have a great deal of power locked in them.
The regular user sticks to several apps that are most suitable for his everyday online activities. In this article, we’d like to present you with a few that you might have overlooked.

The Research Ability of Docs

In a world where fewer people use paper, text has become interactive, and readers are used to be linked to the related titles. Giving credit to the authors whose work you quote and correctly referring to the sources you use in your academic papers is an absolute necessity. Google Docs has a few tools to make this task easier for you.

  • Research Tool

This tool adds a citation system on top of Google’s search capabilities. To start it, click Tools, and then Research. When you first open it, the Research Tool will be blank, but based on what you type it will provide research topics automatically.
The Research Tool has various search options: Quotes, Dictionary, Images, Scholar, Everything, Tables and Personal.
To perform a search, just click in the box, choose your option and start writing. You will be presented with three options, when you hover over a selection – link, cite and preview. The cite-feature simplifies inserting APA, MLA or Chicago Style reference citation. As soon as you choose a style a superscript numeral and a note will be added to the text.
Although the feature could not replace “Works Cited”, it can provide you with the content in the right format.

  • Power Linking

In case you need to add a great amount of links to a document or article you are writing, this is the tool for you! You just have to highlight the text you need to be linked and press Control and K. You will then be presented with a list of link-suggestions automatically. Just select the one that suits you and select Insert.

Sheets – The Tool for Your Surveys and Data

Sheets have some really useful features to offer when it comes to handling your spreadsheet needs.

  • Make Charts

Creating a chart form is something you can do quickly and easily with Google Sheets. You can even turn it into a graph to make more sense of the data you’d like to present. All you need to do is click on the Chart icon in the menu bar, and you will access the chart editor box. From the Start tab, you can select the number of cells and the layout options. You will also be presented with chart-suggestions depending on the type of data you have. You can always select More in case you don’t see anything that catches your eye. Insert will put the chart in the spreadsheet.

  • GeoMap

This feature can create a map from a location-based data. In case you have population or any other kind of information about a certain country, Map It will create a chart to represent it visually.
To start, press the Charts tab and choose Map. Modify data from a Google Sheet into a map. Then, select the GeoMap option. From the Customize tab, you can select and alter the colors that will appear on your map.

Find a Solution to the Group Work Issue with Slides

Google Slides can be very helpful when you have a group project. You can work together on a Google Slide just as you would with Docs and Sheets. You are presented with the option to upload a PowerPoint file and then convert it into a Slides presentation. All you need to do is to drag the PowerPoint file into the Drive interface and choose the box that converts the file to the relevant Google Drive format.

As soon as your presentation is ready you can embed it into a Google Site, so others can see or edit it. To do so, you need to choose Insert/Drive/Presentation in Sites and all of the visitors on your site will be able to view the slides directly from the webpage. You can also insert your presentation in your company website. Press File/ Publish to the web… and then just paste the HTML of the website in the dialog box that appears.

Google Hangouts

When it comes to working on a team project, this feature should not be ignored. It allows you to participate in a video chat with your team while you are editing a file. Just start a video hangout and press the Drive icon to the left. This way either of the participants in this hangout can discuss the contents of the file.
The screen-sharing capability can be quite handy when you need to clarify certain issues with your team. Hangouts is also available as an application for mobile devices and tablets.


Berta Bilbao

Berta is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space. Her fascination with IT security began a few years ago when a malware locked her out of her own computer.

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