Maybe the recent Sidekick debacle has you nervous over the concept of cloud computing, or perhaps you just want a local backup of all your Google Docs. No matter what the reason might be, Google has now made it easy to export all your documents, spreadsheets, and other Google Docs to your hard drive in one fell swoop.
According to Google, the hardest part of the process is selecting all your files. To do so, go to the 'All items' section, scroll to the bottom of the documents list, click the checkbox button, and then choose "select all visible."
And that's it for the "difficult part." All that's left to do at that point is right-click, choose 'export,' and decide what download format you want for each kind of file (PowerPoint for presentation files, for example). Google does the rest, compressing your files and tossing them into an archive. If you have a ton of documents and don't feel like waiting, you can have the archive emailed when it's finished.
Note that the above will not include hidden documents. To include those, go back to the 'All items' section and scroll to Hidden.
Two steps forward, one step back. Google Docs recent upgrade, which included shared folders and multiple file uploads, came at a price. Some users are experiencing problems printing, and importing/exporting certain files. In the Google Docs help forum Google acknowledges a problem exists, but is tight-lipped about the exact nature and extent of the problem.
Shared folders were the most requested feature asked for by Google Docs users. Shared folders allow users of Google Docs to work cooperatively on projects, with real-time updates to the documents they share. The advantage for Google Docs users is the feature being internal to the application suite, eliminating the need to rely on outside solutions, such as DropBox.
According to Bangaru: “To share a group of items, all you have to do is put them all into a folder and share the folder. As you'd expect, if you add an item to a shared folder, it will automatically be shared and if you add someone to an existing shared folder, they will instantly get access to all of the folder's content.”
Google had announced last week that it was going to overhaul the Google Docs interface over the next few weeks. Some of those changes have already taken place. One notable change is that the filter for “PDFs” has been supplanted by “Files” in the "items by type" slide-down menu.
Google this week expanded its Google Docs service to now include .docx and .xlsx file formats for uploading, adding to its list of supported files, including.doc, .odt, .xls, .ods., .ppt, .csv, .html, .txt, .rtf, and others.
"To import a .docx or .xlsx file, simply click the 'Uploa' button in Docs List menu, select your file, and voila!, "Google wrote in its blog. "We'll upload an convert your document for use in Google Docs. This is another great benefit of Google Docs - you don't have to worry about what format the file is in. Just upload it and we'll figure it out for you."
Google had already allowed users to open up .docx and .xlsx file formats from Gmail and Google search results, but this is the first time they've been able to do so in Google Docs automatically. Viewed as an important inclusion, the 'x' variants are the default format in Microsoft's Excel and Word 2007. Curiously missing, however, is support for PowerPoint 2007's .pptx file format.
Earlier this month, Google blamed a bug for causing an "isolated incident" which resulted in some users of Google Docs having their word-processing and presentation documents inadvertently shared. According to Google, the mishap only affected 0.05 percent of documents stored at the site, but that's enough to have privacy advocates turning to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to shut down all of Google's online services until government-approved "safeguards are verifiably established."
"If we were talking about a child safety seat that could not be securely attached to a car passenger seat, the commission in that instance would say to the company, 'Look, you've got to fix that problem,'" Marc Rotenberg, a lawyer and adjunct law professor, said in a telephone interview with CNet on Tuesday. "Consumers are at risk when that product is in the marketplace. We have a similar view of cloud computing at this point: people are at risk."
Leading the charge is the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), who submitted a letter to the FTC asking that all Google cloud-computing services be halted, including Gmail. In addition to shutting everything down, EPIC also wants Google to pay $5 million into a "public fund" to benefit advocacy groups.
Is EPIC asking for too much? And equally important, can you manage without Gmail? Hit the jump and sound off.