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Google Makes New Features Rain Down on Cloud Apps

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GOOGLE MAKES NEW FEATuRES RAIN DOWN ON CLOuD APPS
BY MARK ROSCH AND CAROLE LEVITT
one of the benefits of productivity software “in the cloud” is that when new features and functions are introduced you can access them immediately. You no longer have to purchase an upgrade, either online or on a disk, or even install anything. While the new features and functions “auto-magically” appear in the software, they’re not always highlighted in such a way that users are aware of them. so here’s a look at some of the newest features added to our favorite online productivity suite: Google Apps (as well as some long-standing features that are often overlooked). note that with the exception of Google Vault, these tools are available to users of free Google Apps accounts, as well as paid Google Apps for Business accounts.
Opening E-mail Links in Gmail
Up until now, clicking on an e-mail link on the web or in any application would open the composition window in the default e-mail program on your computer (e.g., Outlook in Windows, Mail in Mac OS). That default had been a hassle for those who preferred to manage their Gmail inbox in their web browser because there was no option to set that default to open the browser-based inbox. A new option is available for users of the Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers to change that. You may have already seen the gray box at the top of your Gmail inbox asking if you want to “Allow Gmail (mail. google.com) to open all e-mail links.” Clicking the “Use Gmail” button enables this option. Thereafter, clicking on e-mail links in any application (not just on the web) on your computer will open a new Gmail message composition window. You can also click the “No” button if you do not want to use Gmail to handle all e-mail links or you can click the “x” to the far right to close the gray box and decide later.
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undo Send a Gmail Message
While not all that new anymore, the ability to recall a message after you’ve clicked the “send” button, but before it’s actually been sent, is still surprisingly little-known. At one time or another, just about all of us have inadvertently sent an e-mail message before we’ve actually finished writing it, or pressed send on a message that we never actually intended to send. “Undo Send” lets you set a cancellation period – up to 30 seconds – within which you can pull that message back. To turn on this feature, click the gear icon in the upper righthand corner of the Gmail inbox window and then scroll down, check the “Enable Undo Send” box, and select an amount of time (5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds) in which you can undo sending a message. After you send an e-mail with “Undo Send” enabled, a blue “Undo” link appears at the top of your screen. Clicking the link pulls the message back from being sent and reopens the message in a composition window so you can edit (or delete) it.
Previously, if you wanted to update all the text assigned the style Heading 1 in your document to look a particular way, you had to change each of them one at a time. Now you can customize all the headings, titles, subtitles and regular text in your documents using an intuitive “Styles” drop-drown menu or using your mouse buttons. For example, if you want to change all the text assigned the style Heading 1 in your document to be a 10 point Arial bold, you can select one line of type to which you’ve assigned the style heading 1, change it to 10 point Arial bold, select it, right click and choose “Update Heading 1 to match selection.” This will change all the text assigned the style Heading 1 already in your document and automatically update the style for any new text you assign the style Heading 1. Using the “Options” menu in the styles drop-down, you can also save the current document’s styles as your new default set of styles for new documents.
Customizable Styles in Google Docs
One of the complaints we hear most about Google Docs is the lack of sophisticated styles, like those found in packaged commercial word processing software. This is one of the areas where Google Docs has made some of its biggest strides. Now, not only can you set styles using a drop-down menu on the Google Docs toolbar, but you can also customize and automatically update existing styles throughout an entire document.
Cloud Connect Connects Google Docs with Microsoft Word
Cloud Connect allows you to continue to use the familiar Office software on your hard drive, while editing, collaborating, storing and syncing those documents in Google Docs. If you use Office 2003, 2007 or 2010 on your computer you’ll be able to sync your Office documents from your hard drive to the Google cloud from inside the Office applications you already use. Once synced, documents are backed up, given a unique URL and can be accessed from anywhere (including mobile devices) at any time through Google Docs. In order to use this cloud-based Cloud Connect tool for Windows XP, Vista, and 7, it must be downloaded from Google Apps at http://linkon.in/j3KKes and installed on your computer. A Mac version is not yet available.
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August 2012 Nevada Lawyer 17
GOOGLE MAKES NEW FEATuRES RAIN DOWN ON CLOuD APPS
continued from page 17
Google Calendar’s Find a Time Feature
Scheduling meetings is difficult in any business, but even more so for lawyers in busy law firms. One of the useful features available for the law firms that deploy Google Apps is the ability to internally share the calendars of the firm’s lawyers and staff. Even with those shared calendars, nobody wants to have to browse – one at a time – through the calendars of everyone you need to attend a meeting. Google Calendar’s “Find a time” feature makes it easier to view and coordinate all of the calendars of those employees you want to invite.
GOOGLE VAuLT
While we’re mostly looking at tools that law firms can put to work in their implementation of Google Apps, one recently introduced new product is worth mentioning here, even though lawyers would be most interested in it for their clients’ use. Google Vault (http://linkon.in/OOBwTV) is an optional add-on service to Google Apps that allows companies to archive and manage their employees’ e-mail messages and chat sessions for corporate governance and e-discovery purposes. For an additional $5 per user per month, companies can: • Create retention policies: Define retention policies that are automatically applied to all users’ e-mail and chat messages. • E-mail and chat archiving: E-mail and chat messages are then automatically archived and retained according to those policies, preventing inadvertent deletions. • Be prepared for E-discovery: Google Vault includes powerful search tools to find and retrieve relevant e-mail and chat messages for litigation and compliance audits. • Place holds on specific users’ messages: Google Apps administrators can place litigation holds on specific users as needed. E-mail and chat messages can’t be deleted by users when they’re placed on hold. • Export messages: Specific e-mail and chat messages can be exported to standard formats for additional processing and review. • Conduct audits: Administrators can run reports on user activity and actions in the archive. Searches, message views and exports are shown, among other activities. This is just a small list of some of the newer features Google has introduced to its full-featured Google Apps productivity suite. As they add more, users will have immediate access to them online.
Once you create a Google Calendar event for a meeting and invite attendees, clicking the “Find a time” tab displays all of the events already listed on each of those attendees’ shared calendars. The available blocks are easily located, making it easy to find the best time for all of the attendees to meet. Note, this only works for those attendees who have given you permission to view their calendars .
CAROLE LEvITT AND MARK ROSCH are nationally recognized authors and speakers on the subject of using internet-based resources effectively for legal and investigative research, as well as law firm productivity. They have presented hundreds of seminars in conjunction with law firms, corporations, and bar associations around the country. Levitt and Rosch are co-
authors of”The Cybersleuth’s Guide to the Internet” (IFL Press), which is available at a discount to Nevada bar members who purchase the book via the state bar’s website, The Lawyer’s Guide to Fact Finding on the Internet, the Find Info Like a Pro series, and Google for Lawyers (ABA Law Practice Management Section). They can be reached at authors@netforlawyers.com.
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