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Google Drive: What is it?

Google Drive home screen

We are all familiar with Google’s search capabilities.  However, did you know that Google also offers a free cloud-based word-processing suite?  It allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users.This service is called Google Drive, and it includes applications which are similar to Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, among others.  You may find these to be helpful in your education classes and in the classroom as you work with classmates and other teachers on collaborative projects.  

Step 1: Create an Account

Step 1:  Visit drive.google.com.  To create a project in Google Docs, you will first need an account.  If you already have a gmail account, you don’t need to create a new log-in, you can just use your gmail address and password.  However, if you don’t have a Google or gmail account already, you will need to create one.  You can use any e-mail address to do so, including your EKU e-mail address.              

 

Google sign up button

Google Drive sign in fields

Step 2: Create / Compose a Document

Step 2:  Create a document.  As mentioned above, you can create a spreadsheet, word processing document, presentation (slideshow), etc.  Click on the red "Create" button in the top lefthand corner of your Google Drive and choose the type of document you want to create from this menu.  (There is no need to download the desktop version of Google Drive.  You can do all of your word processing in the cloud from the Google Drive site).

You will find that Google Spreadsheets are roughly equivalent to Microsoft Excel, while Google Documents work almost exactly the same way as Microsoft Word.  Google Presentations work very much like Powerpoint.  They are intuitive and user-friendly.  

Google Drive menu

Step 3: Share

Google Drive is a cloud-based word-processing suite, so one of its chief advantages is that it allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users.  You may want to share your document with classmates,your professor, or other teachers.

First, make sure that the person you want to share with has a Google Drive account.

Then, look for the blue "Share" button at the top righthand corner of your document, and enter the e-mail address that the person you wish to share with uses for their Google Drive account:

 

Google Drive share option

Step 4: Organize Documents

As you create more and more documents, you will see them appear in the home screen of your drive.  You have the option of sorting them into colored folders for easy access, or you can sort the order in which they appear on your screen.  You have the option of keyword searching your documents to find what you need.  Tip:  Title all your documents so you will be able to tell them apart and find what you need from the home screen of your drive.  

 

Google Drive file list

Have Questions? Need help?

These are only a few things that Google Drive can do for you.  For more in-depth information about Google Drive, or with questions, please contact Heather Beirne at heather.beirne@eku.edu!