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5 Apps That Help Microsoft Office and Google Apps Play Nice Together

5 Apps That Help Microsoft Office and Google Apps Play Nice Together

Even though Microsoft Office is a standard Office suite in many organizations, on occasion you may work on a project of mixed Microsoft Office and Google Apps users. While this might sound open to frustration up front especially when it comes to multiple authors on documents, there is a growing list of options to help Microsoft Word and Google Docs play nicely together without a loss in productivity.

Beyond the multiple authors or geographically dispersed project team use cases, some of the tools in this post can even be helpful to freelancers to backup or sync their project documents with a Google Apps account.

Here are some free apps you can resort to if you are a Microsoft Office and Google Apps user to help with transferring documents back and forth:

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1. Google Cloud Connect

Google brings us Google Cloud Connect, an installable Microsoft Office toolbar that adds collaborative editing, tracking tools, versioning, and sharing to the Microsoft Office interface. It also helps resolve the document hijinks that can ensue when it takes a lot of the complexity out of these tasks. I use Google Cloud Connect to synchronize certain project documents to my Google Docs account even if I am not collaborating with another writer. Google Cloud Connect requires Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP with .NET Framework 2.0. It is compatible with Office 2010, Office 2007, and Office 2003. It is not available for Mac OS X, which is a bit of a disappointment to us Mac users.

    2. Google Drive

    As I write this post, Google Drive  is going live around the web. Even before the pundit complaints die down, it is easy to see that with the Google Drive desktop client (available for Mac and Windows), that Google Drive can become a handy bridge between Microsoft Office users and Google Docs users through straight up file synchronization between Google Drive’s free 5 GB online storage and a Mac or Windows desktop.

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      3. SyncDocs

      I found this gem in the Google Apps Marketplace (always worth a visit!). SyncDocs is free up to the first 10,000 documents and lets you treat Google Docs as another drive on your PC. It creates a backup that is an exact mirror of your local files in your Google account. It is an example of the power of Google Docs for the freelancers and small to medium business users out there because it is easy to use and maintain without the need of an in-house IT department.

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        4. Harmon.ie for Google Docs

        Originally, I wasn’t planning to mention this option because Harmon.ie for Google Docs  is a Microsoft Outlook Add-in. While, I have objections over using Outlook as a document management tool I do know there are those of you out there who live and die by the email inbox with Outlook open all day. This app is for you! After installing Harmon.ie for Google Docs, you have a new sidebar in Outlook, which you can use to upload and convert Office document into Google Docs. Since it is an Outlook add-in, Harmon.ie automatically shares linked document with your email message recipient(s). This is a great option for breaking Outlook users of email attachments because it asks you if you want to replace a file attachment with a link and then automatically uploads the file attachment into the sender’s Google Docs account for sharing. It has some useful search tools and lets you open and edit Google documents in Outlook (groan!). Most importantly, it lets users save Google native format documents in Microsoft Office formats, OpenOffice, PDF, HTML, and TXT. One annoying element of this app is the Thank you pop-up that appears after you use the sidebar encouraging you to share the fun of Harmon.ie with your social network contacts.

          5. GoDocSync

          To round out the list, I chose the free standard version of GoDocSync for this lineup. It’s a great example of how synchronization should work between Google Apps and Microsoft Office. GoDocSync supports Microsoft Office 2003/2007/2010. This Microsoft Office add-in application also includes a powerful search tool, local file history and restoring, and support for Google Docs file attributes. This app is simple and elegant in its implementation.

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            The apps I profiled in this post can help you get Microsoft Office and Google Apps to play nice together during a project, hopefully saving you time and frustration. Plus these apps let you and your team have the best of both Office suite worlds.

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            Last Updated on February 19, 2020

            11 Google Chrome Apps & Features for Getting More Done with Less Effort

            11 Google Chrome Apps & Features for Getting More Done with Less Effort

            In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

            Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

            In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

            Minimizing Tabs

            Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

            Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

            Incognito Mode

            Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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            1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
            2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
            3. Download extension New Incognito Window

            This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

            Save Webpages as PDF Files

            Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

            Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

            Open Recently-closed Tabs

            Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

            One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

            The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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            Solve Mathematical Problems

            Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

            For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

            Play Media Files

            Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

            In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

            Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

            With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

            Stay Focus(e)d

            Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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            Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

            With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

            This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

            Grammarly for Editing

            Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

            You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

            Loom

            There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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            There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

            With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

            Chrome Calendar Extension

            No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

            Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

            Final Thoughts

            Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

            Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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