Monday, October 22, 2012

New Terms for Google Docs

If you frequent the Docs forum or Drive forum you might have noticed a few new terms for describing Google Docs.  With the introduction of Drive it has been difficult or many users to figure out what exactly is going on and what exactly everybody is talking about. You might have also noticed that "Documents" in your upper black bar now says "Drive."  I hope my guide below can help with the rebranding!

Google Drive (or Drive)- This is the all encompassing term for cloud storage of files using Google's service.  You can use this term by saying things like "Hey, my computer died, but luckily I have everything saved in my Drive."  Drive also has various apps associated with it that allow you to collaborate in real-time. These files are in a Google format and must be edited in a browser.  Currently, only Docs (see below) allow for offline editing and offline editing is not supported on mobile.

Doc(s) - Formerly known as Documents.  This will be the most confusing term going forward as the term "Google Docs" use to encompass Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, and Drawings.  This now refers to the Google format for word processing.  Google Documents is now Google Docs.  A single Google Docs file is called a Google Doc.  You can use this term by saying something like "Hey, I'm sick of sending this Word file through email.  How about turning it into a Google Doc so we can collaborate in real time?" (In my mind, this is much better and how it should have been from the beginning.)

Sheet(s) - Formerly known as Spreadsheets.  A single Google Sheets file is called a Google Sheet.  Not to be confused with a tab in the Sheet.  You can use this term by saying something like "Hey, I want to use Google Sheets to plan our next vacation budget!"
   Other notes: There has traditionally been dissimilarities between Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets terms.  We will see how this goes but in the past the term "workbook" has generally been avoided.  In the Google Sheets world, the terms "tab" and "sheet" will be synonymous and while the term "Sheets" could be used in place of "workbook."   However, I am going to strongly advise that "workbook" be used to describe the collection of "tabs" or "sheets" in a single file (regardless of whether we are talking about Excel or Sheets).  The capitalization of Sheets will indicate the Drive app only and a lower-case "sheets" will refer to a "tab." A lower-cased "spreadsheet" is also synonymous with "sheets" and "tabs" but the upper-case "Spreadsheets" no longer exists and should not be used.  You might want to read that a few times.

Slide(s) - Formerly known as Presentations.  This one is an easy transition and can be used by saying something like "Hey, you know building this presentation would be much easier if we did this with Slides?"

Drawings - Drawings is still Drawings.

As you can see this will be a difficult transition but I hope we can all use the same terms when discussing Google Drive on the forums or anywhere else.

Please comment if you think anything is unclear and I can make some edits!

Note: These are just my conclusions from using Google Drive but I hope Google releases something soon explaining everything.  But for now...use this.