Thursday, 22 January 2015

Google Docs, Sheets and Slides updated

Google Docs, Sheets and Slides updated with more desktop-class features

Friday, 21 November 2014

Google File Conversion Layout Issues

One of the most frustrating issues when opening or converting Microsoft Office files in Google is
its apparent need to change document layouts.

This is not all Google's issue.

Microsoft significantly changed file formats between Office 2003 and Office 2007. changing the file extension from (for Word) .doc to .docx (.xlsx & .pptx for Excel & Powerpoint). This change meant that some formatting commands worked differently after 2007, even within Microsoft products.
This was hidden from the Users as Microsoft built a 'compatibility'  mode into its applications, so that as long as you are in Office you will always see the file displayed as designed. Many users do not even know ( or care) they are using a file designed using the Office 97-2003 standard, until they want to use this file on another system (like Google or an Apple Mac). This is when converting files can cause issues with document layout.

Google have designed their 'compatibility' based on Office 2007 and later standard, so documents in the earlier standard will potentially have more formatting issues. One way of mitigating the level of error is to open an affected file in Office and re save the file using the 'save as' option, making sure you have changed the file format in the 'save' box. This will still change the form layout, but because Microsoft are more aware of the way their products work, the level of change will be less, when converting to another format.

So how can you tell if you are trying to convert or upload an old file format to Google ( or a mac)?
Look at the files extension, if you receive a file with a doc, xls or ppt extension the file was created using the pre 2007 format and files with docx, xlsx or pptx are in the latest format.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Changes in Google Drive

Google have made three significant changes that will affect the way information is handled in school

Firstly you are gradually being moved over to an updated Version of Google Drive, this is being done to allow new functionality that the current Google Drive can not handle. If you have not
been changed yet, you can move to the new drive by clicking on the invitation you will receive when entering Google Drive or by selecting the 'Experience the new drive' option in Google Drive settings.
Over time all school users will be moved to the new drive (when is not in school control).

Secondly one of the new features in the NEW Google Drive is limited editing of Microsoft Word, Excel & PowerPoint files directly from Gmail, Web links and Google Drive itself. Currently if you wish to edit any of these file types you have to download them to your N drive, open it from that location in an Office application, edit the file, re-save it and then if you want to re-distribute the file, either attach it to an email or upload it Google Drive and re share a link. Using the NEW option allows you to make edits directly in the word document, then either save it to Google drive as an office file or convert it to Google Docs and save it to Google Drive. This makes redistribution of the file  much easier as it is now in Google Drive you can simply share the file in the normal way. Also using this method does not use Word, Excel or PowerPoint directly, nor do they need to be installed on a computer to edit Office files. Great if you are using a workstation away from school.One thing to note however is that some office documents (often those with complicated layouts or created using a version of Office prior to Office 2007) will not open correctly and the formatting will be messed up.If this is the case Right clicking on the document\link (before you open it) and selecting 'Save Link as' will download the file directly to your N drive and you can open it with Word. Excel or PowerPoint from there.

Thirdly Google now allows unlimited storage on its servers for Educational users.The original 30Gb limit has been removed.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Google Basics for Teaching

This could be interesting view the Video below and register your interest HERE

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

How to Sync the school calendar with a mobile device

Want to sync the school calendar with an Ipad. Iphone, Samsung Tablet, Windows tablet or any type of mobile device, then look at the help HERE to see how its done.

View Your School Mail a different way

Wish Gmail would sort your mail into categories for you?

Wish you had control over what type of mail was stored where?

Fed up with one huge in-box which does not sort the 'wheat from the chaff'

Well look HERE (

And you may never see Email the same again.