20 Google Drive Tips and Tricks to Increase Productivity

Whether it’s hassle-free file storage or neat synchronization or deep integration with G-Suite of apps, and Maps, Google Drive has got you fully covered. Couple that with the 15 GB free storage (shared across Gmail, Drive, and Google Photos) and it becomes really hard to beat Google’s feature-rich cloud-storage service. It’s been a while since I started using Drive for file storage and I must say that the cloud service has lived up to my expectation. Having explored all the goodies that the cloud storage service has to offer, I have lined up an extensive roster of 20 Google Drive tips and tricks which you would love to master.

Google Drive is as popular on mobile devices as it is on the web. So, it’s apt to include tips for both platforms. Keeping in mind customization, the roundup also features hacks that let you either fill up the void or fine-tune preferences in sync with your workflow.

When you are creating a Google Docs file, you can use Google’s in-built speech-to-text system to type using your voice. It works surprisingly well, too. Even better, the speech recognition tool can also understand commands such as “newline” and “period”, and it responds to them by creating a new line, or by inserting a period into the text.

Unfortunately, this feature doesn’t work on Safari (because Safari doesn’t support WebRTC), but it works on most major browsers, including Google Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc. To use Voice Typing, you simply have to go to Tools -> Voice Typing in a Google Docs file.

Having to constantly search for things on the web, copying their links, and adding them to a document can quickly get annoying and tedious. Google Drive fixes this as well. You can simply select the text you want to create a hyperlink on, and press “Cmd+K” or “Ctrl+K“. This will open up a small dialog box just below the selected text, where you can search for keywords and choose the appropriate link, which will then automatically get hyperlinked in the document.

Google Drive also offers a feature to publish Docs files, Sheets, or Slides to the web. This bypasses the need to share links to the doc with people. Items published on the web using Google Drive can be shared via a link, or they can be embedded into a webpage. The best part about using Google Drive’s “publish to the web” feature is that you can set it up to be updated whenever you make changes to the file. This means that the published content will automatically get updated whenever you make an edit to the original file.

Google Drive also has a rather neat OCR feature hidden away inside the web app (and the Android app, unfortunately not in the iOS app). This feature can recognize the text inside your images and PDFs and create an editable, searchable Google Docs file. Isn’t that awesome? The limitation of this method is that the text should be neatly written, and should preferably properly contrast with the rest of the image, or the OCR might not be able to recognize the text properly.

Also, OCR on Google Drive doesn’t keep formatting intact when it converts the document into a Google Docs file, this means that any formatted text will be recognized as normal text, without any formatting.

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