This month sees an updated Google Drive interface, the launch of new Tasks as a core Google product, as well as some useful new features in the calendar, slides, docs and Team Drive.
Google has introduced a new Tasks application that allows you to keep track of to-do items. This is now a core Google service and can be accessed via the App Launcher in the top-right corner of the screen.
Watch our how-to video to find out more about the new Tasks application:
When you change a meeting in Google Calendar, you can now add a short description of the amendments you have made, to let attendees know what has changed. After you send the message, other guests will see your message in the email they receive alerting them to the updated meeting details.
You can see the process in the following animation:
In another calendar update, you will now be able to see at a glance in your calendar when no invitees have accepted a calendar event that you have scheduled:
You can click on the event to cancel it, reschedule it or dismiss the indicator that shows that no-one else will be attending.
The Google Drive interface has changed to reflect Google’s new design principles, which include using colour to focus on content and a responsive layout grid to make your Drive experience the same regardless of the device you are using to access it.
All commands are available in the new Drive interface, but some things may have moved slightly on screen:
- The logo in the top left has been changed to the Google Drive logo
- If you’ve added a custom company logo, it is now in the top right.
- The Settings icon has been moved in line with the search bar
- The New button has been updated to the new Google compass layout
Anyone with full access to a Team Drive on their own domain can change Team Drive settings to control how the drive can be shared. You can set whether a Team Drive can be shared with users not on your domain and whether files within the Team Drive can be shared with users that are not specifically members of the Team Drive. Finally, you can control whether shared files can be downloaded, copied, or printed by commenters and viewers.
Watch our how-to video to find out more about the new Team Drive settings:
Note that G Suite administrators can set domain-wide options for team drives, including whether people outside the domain can access team drives and whether viewers/commenters can download, copy and print from team drives.
Google Docs, Sheets and Slides
The Activity Dashboard in Docs, Sheets and Slides shows you who has accessed your shared document over time.
An update to the dashboard this month introduces the ability to quickly email or any of the people that the file is shared with. You choose to email all collaborators, only some collaborators, or everyone that has accessed or not accessed the shared document.
You can now also see the activity on the shared document over time, as a graph. You can adjust the date range, and hover over specific data points for more details, as shown in the following animation:
You can now resize, reposition and rotate objects precisely using the Format Options command in Google Slides.
After selecting an object, you can click on the Format menu and choose Format Options to show the new pane where you can set the size, position and rotation percentage of the object. You can also right-click on an object and choose Format Options to show the pane.
Google Forms has a great update this month around themes. Previously, you could add your own image to a form, after which the colours of the form would be set automatically. Now, you can add your own image and decide which colours to use for the form and its background, as well as being able to set the font of the form.
Watch our how-to video to find out more about setting the theme of a form:
You can now make a copy of a site that you wish to use as a starting point for a new site. This functionality can also be used to create a “template” site and make a copy each time you wish to use the template for a new site.
In any site, click on the ellipses along the top of the site and choose the Duplicate command.
You’ll be prompted for a name for the new site, and where to save it. You can also set the sharing of the new site to be the same as the original.
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