Monday, February 2, 2015

Converting Files for Google Drive...

Many teachers have created documents and files in programs like Pages, Keynote, Word, Powerpoint, Excel, etc.  I was recently asked if there is a way to "convert" these files to use with Google.
In this post I will walk you through turning your non-google file into a Document, Presentation, or Spreadsheet. I'll also show you how to turn on (or off) the new Drive and set your uploads to convert automatically.

If you are working with Pages, Keynote, or Numbers '09 you will start by converting to Word, PowerPoint, or Excel.
If you are working with Word, PowerPoint, or Excel skip down to the Uploading Files & Automated Conversion section below.

Converting iWork Files (Pages, Keynote, Numbers)
Pages, Keynote, or Numbers '09
In order to use these files we need to start in Pages, Keynote, or Numbers. So...

Open Pages, Keynote, or Numbers.
Open the file you want to convert.
In the main menu select File and Save as...
If needed, click the arrow button to expand the save window.
Check the box at the bottom of the window to Save a copy as: Word Document (or PowerPoint or Excel)

Click the Save button.
(Repeat with as many files as you choose to convert.)
Uploading Files & Automated Conversion
The next step is the same for uploading Word, PowerPoint, or Excel files. So...
Open your Chrome browser.
Go to and login (if you need to).
First let's make sure you are in the NEW Drive.
Click on the "gear" icon (settings) on the right side of the page.
If you are in the new Drive you will see this - you are all set - move on. :-)

If you are in the old drive you should see this:

Select Experience the new Drive. Done.

One more choice before we finish up...
Under the settings button click on Settings.

Here we can choose to have files convert to Google Docs as they upload or leave them alone. The conversion works with MS Office files (Word, PowerPoint, Excel).

If you check the box your files will be automatically converted to the new format (Google editable). If you leave the box unchecked your files will upload and remain "untouched" - you can preview, print, download, and share them, but you won't be able to do any editing online.
I prefer to convert the files on upload (saves a later step), so I will check the box. If you prefer to leave the files unconverted, you can still edit them, but Google will need to make a copy for you to edit - the original remains untouched. I like to have the document uploaded and converted so I only have a single copy.
After you make your decision click the Done button in the upper right corner of the window.
You can always change your mind about this.

Finishing up...
Navigate to the folder where you would like to store the file. (To create a new folder click the New button.)
Click the red New button on the left side of the page.

Select File upload from the list.
Next select the file or files you would like to upload. You can select a single file or multiple files to upload.

Google will upload the file and add it to your Drive.
*Notice I have one copy of the original - with the green X icon - and one converted document - green icon with a table. I intentionally uploaded once without converting and once with conversion to demonstrate the process. You will only get one file - either converted or original.

If you turned on the Convert Uploads choice you will be able to double click on the uploaded document and begin editing (if it was a Word, PowerPoint, or Excel file).
If you chose not to convert the file double-clicking will open a preview of the file (if it is a supported file format) and allow you to view, print, download, or share the file. In the image below I have an unconverted Excel document, so the Open with... option offers Google Sheets as a choice.
Selecting this will create a copy of the file and open it in an editable Google document.

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