Google Apps Tips & Tricks
This article will provide some of the most useful tips and tricks for getting the most out of Google Apps.
Using Google Apps Offline
You have the ability to use Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar while you are offline. Follow the links below for directions on configuring offline access.
- Set Up Offline Gmail: Offline access requires the Chrome or Safari browsers.
- Set Up Offline Google Drive: Offline access requires Chrome, the Google Drive app for iOS, or the Google Drive app for Android.
- Set Up Offline Google Calendar: Offline access requires the Chrome browser.
Using Bookmarks in Google Apps
Saving certain pages as bookmarks can simplify your Google Apps usage. If your browser supports it, OIT recommends pinning tabs for the webpages you keep open most of the time, in order to save space in your open tabs. Pinning a tab will shrink it to just the page's icon and move to the far left side of your tabs. For more information, visit Arrange Tabs in Google Chrome or Pinned Tabs in Firefox.
You may find it useful to bookmark certain Google App pages, including:
- PSU Gmail: mail.pdx.edu
- PSU Google Calendar: cal.pdx.edu
- PSU Google Drive: drive.pdx.edu
- Open a new Google Doc: docs.google.com/a/pdx.edu/document
- Open a new Google Spreadsheet: docs.google.com/spreadsheet
- Open a new Google Presentation: docs.google.com/presentation
- Start a new Hangout video call: plus.google.com/hangouts/_
Using Shortcuts in Google Apps
Keyboard shortcuts can be great time savers, as nearly all functions in Google Apps have keyboard shortcuts. You can bring up a list of keyboard shortcuts by typing ? (done by pressing Shift + /). Please note that your cursor cannot be in an area where it is inputting text, otherwise you will simply type a ? symbol. If you are inside a Google Doc, press Ctrl + / to pull up the shortcut list.
- Keyboard shortcuts for Gmail
- Keyboard shortcuts for Google Drive
- Keyboard shortcuts for Google Calendar
Using Search in Google Apps
The search tool in Google Apps is very fast and powerful, performing wide-ranging searches in seconds. The search tool's power can be further leveraged by using search operators and search techniques.
Search operators can be used to refine your search results and help you find items that might be difficult to spot among a large number of results. Search operators are typically written in this format:
For example, if you have a number of documents and spreadsheets with "Survey Results" in the title, you could find only the spreadsheets with those words in the title by searching for for:
- survey results type:spreadsheet
- "search terms" - Placing quotation marks around your search terms will allow you to search for an exact match to the phrase.
- -negating -terms - Placing a hyphen/minus sign in front of a term will remove any items containing that term from your search results.
Contact the Helpdesk for additional assistance.