G Suite (previously called Google Apps for Work) has many nifty features that you may not have discovered yet. Features that can significantly improve your productivity. Here are some tips & tricks:
G Suite has introduced custom templates in Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms for the files that are frequently used by your team. Just submit files to the shared template galleries in the Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms home pages for your team members to use and customize as per the requirement. With these customizable templates, your teams can focus less on formatting and more on driving collaboration and sharing. You can configure categories and enable/disable template gallery by accessing the following path: Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Templates.
In addition to this, there is also an option to restrict new employees from submitting new templates or move the submission via approval process. There are altogether three options for template submission: Open, Moderated and Restricted.
Plug: TeamWave – Simple CRM, Project Management & HR Software for G Suite
Explore in Sheets
Explore option in sheets lets you ask questions in words without using any formula and answers your questions. For example, you can ask questions like how many products were sold on Cyber Monday or what are the top five products sold in the last quarter. Apart from charts and analysis, you also get suggestions on formatting. Once you’ve opened the sheet, click on ‘’Explore” present in the bottom right area.
Explore in Slides
Explore option in Slides automatically suggests some of the optimum design ideas depending on the elements present in your slide. All you have to do is pick up the design suggestion and apply that to your slide with a single click – there is no need for formatting, cropping or resizing. Access “Explore” option in Slides by clicking on the button present in the bottom right.
Explore in Docs
This option in Docs helps you in research activities while writing reports or any other document. Depending on the content you’d get suggestions to insert images, cite additional content by going through related topics. Apart from that it helps you write summary, proposals, etc. by showing related documents from Drive. Just like Slides and Sheets, this can be accessed in Docs by clicking on the “Explore” option present at the bottom right.
Whenever you log in to Drive or Slides/Docs/Sheets, you will see certain documents with a badge that shows the number of action items along with unresolved suggestions. This is a great way to point out the priorities, especially when there are plenty of documents in the Drive to get us bogged down and make action items go unnoticed.
Google Forms was launched in 2008 and till now billions of questions have been answered with these forms. Considering the sheer volume of data Google has, it makes sense that they would introduce features to help us quickly create forms by predicting some of common questions and the type of potential answers. For example, if you are planning an outing and need input from the team members to finalize the day of the week, then it will automatically suggest that checkbox is the suitable question type. Apart from this, the recent update includes a question type which would allow respondents upload files.
Last year Google had launched voice typing capability that allowed users to write content with voice instead of manually typing. In the last update, they have added new capabilities to customize and format content with voice commands – delete words, select text, change color, edit table, move to different sections within a document and more. Access voice typing from “Tools” present in the menu and use the commands specified in the support page to explore more options.
You can integrate G Suite and Slack to avoid switching between apps. In order to mention files from Drive and create docs/slides/sheets while conversing in Slack, you just need to press ‘+’. Slack will also automatically index every Google Drive file shared in Slack and make them searchable, helping your team members quickly search the collective knowledge. Check out the app directory to get started with the integration.
G Suite apps let you easily create links between documents by placing hyperlinks. So apart of linking external websites, you can use the add link option to search existing documents in Drive and link them.
Adding Images in Sheets
You can add images in spreadsheet cell by using the following formula: =image(“URL”).
There are number of formatting options as well. Just use the following:
=image(“URL”, 1)) image will be scaled
=image(“URL”, 2)) image will be stretched
=image(“URL”, 3)) image will be in original size
=image(“URL”, 4,1024,800)) image will be in custom size
Rolling Back to Older Version
When undo doesn’t save you from the mistake, you can roll back to previous version in any kind of document. Access revision history entry in the File menu and select the one that suits. At the bottom of the revision list there is option to hide or show changes and details of the edit logs.
Extracting Data from Web Pages
You can easily extract data from web pages by simply using the following formula: =ImportHTML(“URL”, “query”, index)
This command will fetch data from the webpage and populate the spreadsheet. There are similar formulas like ImportXML, ImportRange, ImportFeed and ImportData.
Listing Keyboard Shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts are crucial for productivity. G Suite gives you a keyboard short cut to list out all the keyboard shortcuts! Command + “forward slash” (Mac) or “Control” + “forward slash” (Windows) will bring up the list of keyboard shortcuts within a moment.
Bulk Edit Slides
Slide Master can be very useful while working with template and multiple slides. Access Slide Master by clicking Slide and Edit Master. You will be shown a new screen where you’ll be able to edit every slide in the presentation.
You can easily duplicate any object present in Slides. Just select the object you want to duplicate, and hit Alt on a Mac or CTRL on Windows. Now hold that key and drag the object; a duplicate object will be generated from the original object.
There is a smart scheduling option in Google Calendar, which lets you ask the app to “Find a time” for you and your team member. The app will intelligently arrange the times and additionally suggest available room as per the previous bookings. Whenever the list of participants becomes too long and no suitable times are available, it will automatically suggest times which are easiest to resolve. Note that this feature is currently available only on Android.
Embedding Slides on Web Page
There are many cases in which we need to showcase presentations on web pages. If you have a nifty Slide that you want to add on a web page, just access “File” in the menu and click on “Publish to the web” and click on Embed. After clicking publish, iframe code will be generated for you to embed on the web.
Setting Access Expiry Date
In many cases presentations, docs and files are shared with people outside of the organisation, such as clients and vendors. Once the projects are complete, accessibility should be restricted to those documents. To set the access expiry date open up the file, click Share >> Advanced >> hover over the person’s name. Click Set expiration, set the date and save changes.
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Our company just recently switched to GSuite and I have not got much of an idea how to use it. I didn’t know that Google, now, has a suite of apps that professionals could use. Are the functions in Google Sheets the same as in Excel? I wanted to know as it’s what I use most. Thanks for the great tips!