16 secrets of Google Drive

David Chartier Contributor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

David has been covering Apple and how to get the most out of its products since 2005. Now a freelance tech writer, he runs Finer Things in Tech, jots down thoughts at DavidChartier.com, occasionally starts outlining the great American tech novel, and might still get to snowboard Breckenridge one more time.
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Google Drive—formerly Google Docs—has come quite a way in nearly a decade of existence. Originally launched as Writely, a startup’s clever collaborative word processor, Google quickly acquired the app, changed the name to Google Docs, and released it as a new way to help people work together more efficiently using little more than a browser.

Google changed the name again to Google Drive in April 2012, reflecting the ever-expanding goals and capabilities of the suite. Google Drive’s many and varied capabilities—from chat with collaborators in a document to the ability to automate your entire Drive—can sometime be surprising. I rounded up a few tips to help you get even more out of this online productivity platform.

1. Search by person

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How to work with iWork's new file formats

Ted Landau Senior Contributor, Macworld

With the recently released 2013 versions of iWork for OS X and iOS, syncing documents across Macs, iOS devices and even iWork for iCloud is now a seamless transparent process: Open and edit a document in one location, and the changes are instantly reflected at every other location that has access to the file. With very few exceptions, a document’s appearance remains identical on each platform. Warnings about file conversions and omitted features have all but vanished.

For anyone who has struggled with iWork file syncing over the years, this is fantastic news. It wasn’t always this way.

In the beginning…

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How Mac experts set up their desktops

Lex Friedman Senior Contributor, Macworld

Lex uses a MacBook Pro, an iPhone 5, an iPad mini, a Kindle 3, a TiVo HD, and a treadmill desk, and loves them all. His latest book, a children's book parody for adults, is called "The Kid in the Crib." Lex lives in New Jersey with his wife and three young kids.
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These days, I work on a 13-inch MacBook Air. On workdays, I connect it to a second display—a 17-inch ViewSonic monitor. My laptop serves as the primary screen, with my Dock at the bottom, and windows arranged somewhat haphazardly: Almost all apps live on the right (laptop) display, with extra Safari windows offloaded to the second monitor.

This approach is totally normal to me. But I’ve come to realize that while maybe no man is an island, almost every Mac is: Everyone uses a different desktop setup. And it’s interesting to learn how other folks use their Macs, because it might influence how you do things.

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Fact or fiction: What affects Wi-Fi speed?

James Galbraith , Macworld

James is the director of Macworld Lab.
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Michael Brown Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Michael manages PCWorld's hardware product reviews and contributes to TechHive's coverage of home-control systems and sound bars.
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Believe it or not, there was a time not long ago when surfing the Internet from your back porch required a very, very long ethernet cable. These days Wi-Fi seems to be everywhere, with inkjet printers, digital cameras, TVs, and even refrigerators connecting to home and office networks without the need for cables.

But for all of the gains made in Wi-Fi technology, much confusion remains about wireless networks and the problems that can plague them. To help clear up some of the confusion, we gathered a list of common beliefs about Wi-Fi speed and set about proving or disproving them using the tools available to us here in the Macworld lab.

‘The farther away from the router you are, the worse your signal strength will be.’

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How to make the most of Mavericks's Finder tags

Christopher Breen Senior Editor, Macworld Follow me on Google+

Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Mavericks’s Finder tags feature gives you the ability to assign labels and keywords to your files and folders, which is a mighty fine thing if you’re organizationally inclined. However, regardless of how keen you are on the idea of tagging your files, the process requires time and effort, particularly if you intend to tag the nearly countless files already on your Mac.

That doesn’t mean that Finder tags should become Mavericks’s “Mission Control”—a feature that can be helpful, but that few people touch. Rather, tagging requires a measure of will and some tools and techniques to make it as easy as possible. Let’s begin.

Use Smart Folders to find old files worth tagging

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Why (and how) I'm saying goodbye to Gmail

Joe Kissell Senior Contributor, Macworld

Joe Kissell is a senior editor of TidBits and the author of numerous ebooks in the Take Control series.
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It was great while it lasted, but I finally broke up with Gmail. Though I had relied on Google’s popular email service for years, my level of satisfaction had been dropping steadily for a while, and changes in the Mavericks version of Mail (about which I’ve ranted at some length) were the last straw. Now I’m returning to a good old-fashioned IMAP server, and I’m not looking back.

Lots of people are blissfully content with Gmail. If you’re one of them, far be it from me to change your mind. But I want to tell you what I found problematic about Gmail—and exactly what I did about it.

What’s wrong with Gmail

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How to use iCloud Keychain

Joe Kissell Senior Contributor, Macworld

Joe Kissell is a senior editor of TidBits and the author of numerous ebooks in the Take Control series.
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Apple’s new iCloud Keychain aims to solve an irritating problem: even if you've entered usernames and passwords on your Mac, you still have to reenter every single one manually on your iPhone and iPad (as well as any other Macs you use). As of OS X 10.9 Mavericks and iOS 7.0.3, however, iCloud Keychain keeps these account credentials, along with credit card numbers and other personal information (including your account settings for email, contacts, calendars, and social networking services) in sync across your Macs and iOS devices automatically.

Plus, Safari on both platforms now sports new features that integrate with iCloud Keychain, such as a built-in random password generator and an improved autofill capability. (Third-party apps may add support for iCloud Keychain in the future.)

The setup process for iCloud Keychain is suprisingly involved, and has a couple of less-than-obvious steps. However, once you’ve done this for each of your devices, iCloud Keychain syncs invisibly in the background, just like other iCloud data, and normally requires no manual intervention.

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