Sunday, January 15, 2012

CLOUD COMPUTING: Cloud Sharing and Collaboration using Google Chrome Browser and Google Documents

SHARE and COLLABORATE a newly created Google Document. Part 1.
As I have stated in my Cloud Computing introduction article at this link: http://pamelaparr49.blogspot.com/2012/01/cloud-computing-basics-of-cloud.html, using the Cloud at home is the best way to learn how to use Cloud programs (aka. Internet software programs). And, I am going to use the Google Chrome Browser and the Google Documents program (a Cloud, aka. Internet software program) to demonstrate some basic Cloud features which are sharing and collaboration as follows:

*Install the Google Chrome browser at this link: www.google.com/chrome

*Sign-up for a Google AccountGoogle Gmail, and Google+(Plus) Profile. NOTE: In order to use the Google Documents program, you must have a Google Account and Gmail. And, just recently Google has made signing-up for a Google+ Profile a mandatory requirement of signing-up for a Google Account. Click on 'Sign-In' at the upper right of the Chrome browser to sign up for a Google account or do so at this link: https://accounts.google.com/NewAccount.

Now that you have a Google account, to access it, just click on sign-in every time that you load the Chrome browser and enter your Gmail and password. After signing-in to Google you will see your name appear in the upper right corner instead of 'Sign-in'. When you created your Google account it involved creating a Google username (@gmail) which is also your Google email address.

*Create a Google+ (aka. Google Plus) Profile. This is another Cloud form of sharing your files (photos, videos, etcetera) with others. Click on 'Next' and it is stated that you now have a Google account. Create a Google+ (aka. Google Plus) profile that will help people find you and it also allows you to share your photos, etcetera, with others. If you want to you can upload a photo of yourself, too.

Click 'Next Step' and you will see your name appear in the upper right. Click on your name and you will see your name appear again and in this drop down menu you will also see listed your new Gmail address, Google + profile, Account Settings and Privacy. And, beside your name is a 'Share' button used to add people to your Google+ Circles and to share comments on your Google Plus postings.

On this same page under 'Welcome (your name), click on 'Get Started' and it takes you back to Google Chrome's Home Page. Click on your name at the upper right then click on Google+ (aka. Google Plus) and you can 'Find People' you know on Google+' using  'by connecting a site we can help find people you know' on Google+ by clicking the Yahoo and (or) Hotmail 'Find People' button. Or, click on 'Skip Step' button if you don't want to add people this way.

When you click on the 'Skip Step' button a screen pops-up with 'Connect a Site' and here you can also connect to others via the Yahoo and (or) Hotmail 'Connect' buttons to add people. Or, click on 'Continue' and you can add people such as celebrities, news, technology, etcetera. Click on 'Add More People' or 'Continue Anyway' and you can add information about you such as your employment history and education, and when completed click on Finish.

*At the upper left of the Chrome browser is your name, Gmail, Calendar, Docs (Google Documents), Photos, Sites, Web, More. Click on More and listed below More you will see these Google program links: Groups, Reader (Google Reader), YouTube, Images (online pictures), Videos (lets you search videos and upload your own), Maps, News, Translate, Blogs, etcetera. And, the last More link listed is 'Even More'>>(click on it for even more Google Cloud programs that are used online). Add these other Google Cloud (Internet) programs later, for now just click on the blue Google Documents Docs icon or Docs link to the right under 'Communicate, Show & Share' to start using the Google Documents program.

Just after clicking on the Google Docs icon if you see "Want a sneak peek at our new Presentation Editor?" ignore it for now. Now that you are on the Google Docs page, in the middle of the page you will see 'Welcome to Google Docs!' Click the 'Create' button to create a new sample (practice) document (just enter a couple of short sentences). By default every newly created Google Document is called 'untitled' so to give your document a name, when you're done creating it, at the upper left click on File>select Rename>type in a name for your document, click Ok.

*You can now SHARE and COLLABORATE your newly created Google Document with others. Below are the step-by-step instructions to do so under: (1) SHARE a newly created Google Document (2) COLLABORATE a newly created and Shared Google Document. NOTE: People whom you share and collaborate Google Documents with  must also have a Google account and Gmail. Signing up for a Google account gives you and them an automatic Google Gmail address.

 (1) SHARE a newly created Google Document. At the upper left, click on File>click on Share (or File>scroll down to Email Collaborators, or click on and use the Share button to the far right) to open the Sharing Settings pop-up screen and you will see 'Who has access' and under these words is 'Private-Only the people listed below can access' and to the right of these words click on 'Change' and you can select Public, Anyone or Private access. For now, use the default Private for sharing access to your document with only certain people and just click on Cancel to keep this default setting and to get back to the Sharing Settings pop-up screen.

At the bottom of this pop-up screen is 'Add People' and just beneath it, click inside (or directly on) 'Enter names, email addresses, or groups' and another screen pops-up that allows you to enter a person's Gmail address by typing it in or click on 'Choose from Contacts' to add the other person's Gmail address. For this Google Document sharing and collaboration practice just type in one of your friend's Gmail addresses. Have this friend practice Google Document collaboration with you later by following the collaboration steps below. And, to the right is 'Can Edit' to give your friend permission, by default, to Edit, Comment, and View your document after you Gmail it to them. You must use this default 'Can Edit' (already selected by default for you) to enable share and collaborate and for practice purposes. NOTE: You can select just Comment (only) or View (only) permissions but 'Can Edit' allows others to Comment on, View and Edit your Google Document.

 Also, at the bottom of this Sharing Settings pop-up screen is 'Notify people via email-Add message', put a check mark beside it and add a message if you choose to. You can also 'Send a copy to myself' (of this document to your own Gmail) so do so by placing a check mark beside it. Another option is to 'Paste the item itself into the email' (means Gmailing a copy of the entire document, not just its link to the other person) your option.

At the very bottom of this Sharing Settings pop-up screen in very small print is: 'Editors will be allowed to add people and change the permissions' click on 'Change' and allow editors, by default, to change (edit) your document, or select 'Only the owner (you) can change the permissions' then choose Save or Cancel to get back to the 'Sharing Settings' screen and to save all the sharing options that you have selected click on 'Share & Save' and the person(s) who you have given share permission to will appear under 'Who has access' (on this screen). Now click on Share & Save and the other person will get an automatic Gmail message of your Google Document to share and collaborate with you on.

Google Help Center for Sharing documents is at this link: https://support.google.com/docs/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=180199&topic=1360909&ctx=topic

(2) COLLABORATE a newly created and Shared Google Document. Now that you have shared your document via your Google's Gmail (email) with your friend you have enabled collaboration allowing them, too, to access, view, share and edit (add content, etcetera) to this same document at any time from anywhere in the world via any Internet enabled device via their Gmail copy of the document. Collaboration on a Google Document is done in real-time meaning that you and the other person are editing and commenting on a document together at the same time (now). And, of course, you and your friend can individually access, view, share and edit (add content, etcetera) to this same document without collaborating on it at the same time.

Once you have shared your document you will see (in the upper right hand corner under the Comment and Share buttons, '>1 more viewer' (or the number of viewers you shared with if it is more than one, 2 or 3, etcetera). Click directly on '>1 other viewer' and you will see your document activities such as 'has opened the document' and your Gmail address. To the right is a green box and when you scroll over it you will again see your Gmail address.


While editing your Google Document when you notice that the [>1 other viewer], changes to [>2 other viewers] you will know that another person is collaborating on your same document in real-time (now, at the same time) with you. And, beside your green box a red box appears, scroll over it and you will see the other person's Gmail address. Click on '>2 other viewers and both your Gmail addresses appear in the white pop-up box along with 'has opened the document' under both of your Gmail addresses.

Now click on your friend's (sharer's) red box (inside of the white pop-up box to the right) and you will see his edits inside of the document itself (to the left) that you're both working on appear with a red indicator at the end of each of his sentences or paragraphs. And, scroll over the red indicator and his name appears, too. When you add content to the document your friend will see a green indicator inside of the document at the end of your sentences and paragraphs, and your name appears when he scrolls over your green indicator.

At the bottom right is a chat screen or click on the Comments button (beside the Share button at the upper right) to talk to each other about this document that you're both collaborating on. Your Comments (messages) to each other are also sent to and appear in your Gmail. Both of your edits are automatically saved, so when you're both done editing just sign out of Google Documents. If your collaborator signs out before you do you'll see 'has left' beside their Gmail address in the white pop-up box.


*You have just shared and collaborated your first Google Document using the Google Documents (Cloud, aka. Internet) software program. Because your Google document is saved on the Internet (in the Cloud), not on your computer's hard drive, it is now mobile meaning that you can access it from anywhere at any time via any Cloud (Internet) connected enabled device, your own or someone else's. Just load Google Chrome, sign in to your Google Account, click on More (middle upper left of the Chrome browser Home Page) scroll down and click on Documents to open and use Google Documents.


Helpful Hint: When you load the Google Documents program you will see all of your documents listed under TITLE and there are option buttons above TITLE (and they are: Share, Organize, Move to Trash, Preview and More). To make these options appear you must first click on the small box beside the document that you want to work with and this click places a check mark inside of the box, making the options appear. To edit and format any document just click on the documents title under TITLE.


NOTE: Documents created using the Google Docs Program have a size limit in accordance with the free 1 GB amount of Google Docs storage. You must pay Google if you want more than 1 GB of storage, via this link: https://accounts.google.com/PurchaseStorage


NOTE: You can also use the Google Documents program to create spreadsheets and presentations, not just documents, similar to MS Office Suite which includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint.


*You and your friend can download the Google Docs App to access your document via your mobile phone at this link: http://www.google.com/mobile/docs/

*Google Documents Help Forum is at this link: https://groups.google.com/a/googleproductforums.com/forum/#!forum/docs, click on the Help Center link and its link appears: https://support.google.com/docs/?hl=en

*Google Docs Viewer lets you view documents without leaving your browser at this link: https://docs.google.com/viewer.

NOTE: You can also contact me with any of your computer related questions via my cnet.com profile at this link: www.cnet.com/profile/pamjparr/, then just click on: E-mail Pamela j.







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