• Google Drive

  • Basics

    Google Drive: The Basics

    New to the cloud? Watch this - Common Craft video 

    • What is Google Drive?
      • Cloud storage for all your files
      • Ease of accessibility - get your files from any Internet-connected device

    • To Log in, go to https://drive.google.com. Log in with your PISD Credentials: Full email address,  (Students: username@mypisd.net) and your network password.

    • Storage Space
      • Google for Education (school) accounts are unlimited
      • (Personal accounts are limited to 15G)

    • H Drive vs My Drive
      • Similar in that they are both "private"
      • To access H drive, you must be in PISD network; to access My Drive, all you need is internet access

    • S Drive vs Shared With Me
      • S Drive (on our network)
        • Someone can edit, move, manipulate
        • Not 100% private
      • Shared With Me (in your Google Drive)
    • Differences between Microsoft Suite Client (downloaded version) and Google for Education (Neither is perfect - each has pros/cons)
      • Google:
        • Ability to have real-time collaboration
        • Multiple contributors can edit at the same time
        • Accessible via web/app
        • Free
        • No file size limits (EDU version)
      • Microsoft:
        • Has been around longer, sometimes has more advanced tools
        • Hardware-based
        • No Internet connection required 
      • Microsoft Office 365 - you can upload your MS files to Office 365 and have similar sharing, editing, collaboration experiences as with Google Drive documents. Access the Office 365 app in Webdesk. Learn more at https://www.pisd.edu/office

  • Creating a Google Doc

    Creating a Google Doc

    • From Google Drive, click +New > Google Doc 
    • Blank doc comes up in a new window
    • Each doc has its own web address instead of a file extension
    • ** Alternatively, type docs.new in the address bar.

  • File Management

    File Management

    • Upload a single File from your H: or S: drive by clicking +New > File upload
    • Upload a Folder from your H: or S: drive by clicking +New > Folder upload
    • Move folders/files by clicking and dragging
    • Create a folder by clicking +New > Folder
    • Change the color of a Google Drive folder by right-clicking > Change color
    • E-mail/sharing
      • you can share a Doc rather than attaching a document to an email
      • instead, you attach an email address to the Doc!
    • When you delete items in Google Drive, you are moving it to the Trash. It will remain in the Trash for 30 days or until you empty the Trash folder. 

  • Google Docs: Force Users to Make a Copy

    Google Docs: Force Users to Make a Copy

    To force users to make a copy of your doc, highlight the word edit in the URL: 

    Sample URL with "edit" highlighted

    ... and then replace edit with the word copy:

    Sample URL with the word "copy" highlighted


    Instructions on how to force a copy including comments

  • Google Docs: Insert Bookmarks

    Google Docs: Insert Bookmarks

    Use bookmarks to link within a document to a specific section or page. Great for multipage docs, handbooks, or detailed files.

    Create a bookmark: 

    1. In the Google Doc, click where you want the bookmark.
    2. Click Insert > Bookmark.

    Link to a bookmark: 

    1. In the Google Doc, select the text you want to link from.
    2. Click Insert > Link.
    3. In the window that opens, click Bookmarks. A list will show the bookmarks in your document.
    4. Click the bookmark you want to link to Apply.

    To remove the link or bookmark, click it, then click Remove.

    View How to Gif by Jake Miller:

    Insert bookmarks in Docs gif

    Ref:  Jake Miller: 5 Ways to Link to Parts of Google Docs


  • Google Docs: Insert Video

    Google Docs: Insert Videos

    Insert a video within a document using Google Drawings. 

    🎦Videos play in Google Drawings without leaving the doc! Save students from having to switch between tabs and play video without YouTube distractions.

    1. Select video from Google Slide:

      1. In a new tab (CTRL-T), enter: Slides.new
      2. Insert > desired video into the slide.
      3. Select video, copy (CTRL-C) the video.
    2. Place video in a Google Drawing in a Google Doc

      1. Open destination Google Doc
      2. Insert > Drawing > +New
      3. Paste (CTRL-V) desired video in Drawing.  Resize if needed.
      4. Click: Save and Close
    3. Click on image to view video

      1. Video will open and play in Drawings
      2. Click Save and Close when finished.

  • Google Docs: Prevent Downloading, Printing or Copying

    Google Docs: Prevent Users From Making a Copy

    To prevent users from making a copy of your doc, click on Share button > Settings gear: 

    Hotspot share cog

    ... and then uncheck the box: Viewers and commenters can see the option to download, print, and copy:

    Share settings

  • Google Docs: Publish to Web

    Check the Sharing Settings

    1. Make sure the sharing settings are appropriate for your purpose. For example, if sharing with people outside of the PISD organization (parents with a Gmail address), change the sharing settings to "Anyone with the link" and make them Viewers. 

    google doc sharing settings

    Publish to the Web

    1. Click on File

    2. Publish to the web

    file, publish to the web

    3. Follow the prompts to finish publishing. 

    4. Copy and paste the publish link where your users can access it. For example, in an email/your website/teacher page. 

  • Google Drive Shortcut Tips

    🦓Move/Add folders

    • Click once on folder/file
      • Z - to move item to folder, click MOVE HERE
      • Shift-Z - to add item to folder, click MOVE HERE

    🤝Open Share Settings

    • Click once on the folder/file in Google Drive
      • . (period) - to open share settings for any file/folder in order to get a sharing link.

    Organize Files

    • Click once on file
      • P - to preview the file without opening entire item
      • N - to quickly rename files

  • Install Google Drive Desktop on Desktop/Laptop

    Google Drive Desktop

    Install Google Drive Desktop to access Google Drive from your Windows Explorer Files. This is only available on Desktops or Laptops. It is not available on Chromebooks.


    1. Click on the App Depot tile on your Windows Desktop dashboard. 
    2. In the Search bar (top right), search for Google Drive Desktop (it may be on the Applications page when you open App Depot).
    3. Click on the image, then click Install

      App Depot          GoogleDrive Desktop icon


      1. Click on Windows Explorer Files folder
      2. Click on Google Drive (G:)
      3. Click on My Drive

      Windows Explorer File                   

      Drive Explorer image


      If Google Drive (G:) no longer appears in your Windows Explorer Files folder, follow these steps to open Google Drive Desktop app.

      1. In the Windows search bar at the bottom left of your desktop/laptop, enter "Google Drive"
      2. Select the Google Drive app, and click "Open" Google Drive app in windows Image
      3. Check to see if the Google Drive app icon appears in the lower right corner of screen.

       Google Drive icon in bar

      • Leaving the District & End-of-Year Clean-Up

        Visit our page Google Drive: Leaving the District (located on the left side of this page)

      • Manage Permissions (Transfer ownership, Temporary access)

        Manage Permissions

        Share Settings  allows you to manage permissions for files and folders such as Transfer Ownership, Give Temporary Access, and Limit the ability for viewers and commenters to download, print, and copy files. 

        If you're in an open Google Doc, click the Share button on the top right.


        If you're in your Google Drive, right-click the doc/folder that you'd like to share. Then choose Share

        right-click share

        Sharing Settings: Give Temporary Access 

        • Only available for Commenters and Viewers, not Editors.
        • Click the dropdown next to the name.


        • Select "Give temporary access"
          • Select date for access to end. Click Close
          • Alternatively, click "Remove expiration" to restore permissions

        Sharing Settings: Transfer Ownership

        • Only available for Editors.
        • Click the dropdown next to name in the Share settings.


        • Select "Transfer ownership"
          • Message pops up, confirming the change.
          • Click Yes.

        Watch this Gif explaining how to transfer ownership.

        Detailed instructions on the Google Support page: Google Drive Sharing Settings

      • Organize Your Google Drive - Slide Deck

        Organize Your Google Drive Slide Deck

      • Project Management - dropdowns & building blocks


        🔻 Keep track of the status of your document or various collaborative project milestones with the dropdown option. 

        Great for team projects, student writing assignments or group projects.

        • Go to Insert > Dropdown

        • Select preset options or create your own dropdown. 

        • Project status:  Not started, Blocked, In progress, & Complete

        • Review status: Not started, In progress, Under review & Approved

        Building Blocks

        Save time by using pre-formatted templates such as email drafts, project maps, meeting notes, and more!

        • Insert > Building Blocks >

          • Meeting notes

          • Email draft

          • Product roadmap

          • Review tracker

          • Project assets

          • Content tracker


        Learn more on the Google support page: Google Docs: Drop-downs and building blocks

      • Remove Duplicate Files

        TCEA Blog post: Google Drive Cleaner: Remove Duplicate Files

      • Settings: Convert to Google Docs Format

        Change Upload Settings to convert uploaded documents to Google Docs format

        Turning this on will automatically convert an uploaded Word/Excel/PowerPoint file to a Google Doc/Sheet/Slide format.

        • Click the gear at the top right of the Google Drive home page, then click Settings

        google drive settings

        • Check the box next to "Convert uploaded files to Google Docs editor format" then click Done.
        • You only have to do this one time, ever.

          Google Drive Settings - Convert uploads

      • Sharing Settings

        Sharing Settings

        Sharing files and/or folders allows you to collaborate with others on a document in real-time. You can also set the sharing settings to just enable others to view/comment but not edit. 

        If you're in an open Google Doc, click the Share button on the top right.


        If you're in your Google Drive, right-click the doc/folder that you'd like to share. Then choose Share

        right-click share

        Sharing Settings: Share with Plano ISD

        • Only select this if you don't mind students being able to see the document, as well as staff. 

        pisd link

        • If you want the document to be viewable ONLY to Plano ISD staff, then you'll need to:
          • enter the email address "allstaff@pisd.edu",
          • change the rights from Editor to Viewer (unless you want others to edit),
          • uncheck the box to notify (otherwise every staff member will receive an email),
          • and restrict access to specific users (which is the default). 

        all staff email sharing

        Sharing Settings: Google Support page

        Detailed instructions: Google Drive Sharing Settings

      • Table Spacing in Docs

        Table spacing in Docs

        • Find the table properties by clicking Format > Table > Table properties
        • Adjust column width, minimum row height and row overflow settings
        • Adjust cell vertical alignment and cell padding according to preferences
        • Consider using smaller measurements to minimize spacing within table.

      • Update PDF without changing the Link

        Update a PDF Without Changing the Link

        Replace the PDF in Google Drive without changing the URL address.

        • This is particularly helpful if you have linked the PDF in multiple places and need to replace the document. 
        • With the PDF highlighted, right-click and select manage

        • In the pop-up window, select Upload New Version.
        • Select the new PDF from your files. 


      • Uploading a Word/Excel/PowerPoint File

        Uploading a Word/Excel/PowerPoint File

        Click on +New, then File upload. Then you will locate the Word/Excel/PowerPoint file to upload. 

        upload file

        Google now lets you edit a Word/Excel/PowerPoint file in its native format. You can always convert it to Google format, if you want. If you do convert it to a Google Doc, a duplicate is made: 

        google doc vs word doc

        Working with Microsoft Office files in Google Drive

        Great resource: https://support.google.com/a/users/answer/9308757?hl=en

        Upload Settings

        You can change your settings to automatically convert Microsoft files (Word/Excel/PowerPoint) to Google Docs (Doc/Sheet/Slide). See the section on this webpage titled "Settings: Convert to Google Docs Format".

      • Videos: Adding Captions

        Adding Closed Captions to Google Drive Videos

        🤔This is a manual process that is time-consuming. The easiest thing to do is use YouTube's automatic captioning. Instructions here: pisd.edu/youtube

        1. Follow the instructions on the Google Support page

        2. Reach out to Leah.Heerema@pisd.edu if you need help. 

      • Support & Training


        For technical support, contact your CTA or the Help Desk at tsos@pisd.edu or extension 28767. 

        For support on using this tool or to set up a training, contact the Digital Learning Team for assistance at digitallearningteam@pisd.edu

        Self-Paced Training

        Google for Education Teacher Center - courses on Fundamentals, Advanced, Certifications, etc.

        Learn by Product - Google Sheets, Docs, Slides, Forms, etc.

      Google Drive Training by the DLT

      Dec. 5 - Organize your Google Drive