Norse Docs is a web-based word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and form program that makes collaboration more efficient. It lets you keep a document online that others in your organization can edit and update simultaneously right from their browsers, so you don’t need to keep track of attachments and who has the latest version of a file. Multiple people can make changes at once, and see other people’s edits as they happen in real-time. And each revision is automatically saved for you, so you can see who changed what, when, and revert to an older version at any point.
It’s easy to get files into and out of Norse Docs, and it can be used as an online file storage and backup tool. To start from an existing file saved on your computer, simply upload the document and pick up where you left off. To work on documents offline or distribute them as attachments, simply save a copy of your Norse Docs file to your computer in the format that works best for you. Whether you upload or download, your formatting will be preserved.
The Norse Docs suite is not intended as a full replacement for workstation-based tools such as Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. But it does offer a powerful suite of complementary functions to be used alongside more full-featured software.
If you already have a Norse Apps account, you can access Google Drive and your Norse Docs by going directly to http://docs.luther.edu. You can also access it by starting in Norse Mail and clicking the Square Icon in the top right corner of the page. Then click on Drive.
If you do not have a Norse Apps account, contact the Technology Help Desk at x1000 or email [email protected].
Once you login to Google Drive, you will see a screen that looks very similar to the following, though you may not have any files to view at first:
If you’d like to search for items you’ve added, you can simply enter the search entry in the search box that appears at the very top of the page. You can type keywords for searching the document, spreadsheets, etc. If you click the arrow next to the search box you will find the options for searching for different files such as by Type, Ownership, or Visibility.
The left side of the screen allows you to view your files in a variety of ways. For example, There is a view called My Drive, another called Shared with me and another called Activity. The contents of the Activity view are controlled by you so that the content you access the most often is easier to get to. You can remove files from the Activity view by right clicking the file and selecting Don’t show in Activity list to hide them. And when you need them, these files can always be found later by selecting All items or using search.
The central part of the screen shows the files themselves in different document types. You can Sort the files in a variety of ways, display the files in List or Grid view, and manage your Settings. To rename, add star, mark as unviewed, remove, or download a Norse Doc, right click the title of a file in the Document List.
Above the left and right sides of the screens is a menu of options. Each is briefly described below:
There are multiple ways to create a new Norse Docs file in Google Drive.
If you want to create a new file, you simply open the CREATE menu found in the top left corner of the screen and select the type of item you want to create.
You are taken into edit mode for that type of file and you can begin working. Norse Docs creates a generic name for the file, such as “Untitled” (for a document), “Unsaved spreadsheet”, “Untitled Presentation”, “Untitled Form”, or “Untitled Drawing”. To rename the file, click on that text (e.g. “Untitled”) and enter your preferred name for the file.
You can upload one or multiple files to Google Drive. From within Google Drive, you can upload an existing file by clicking on the Upload icon and then identifying the file to be loaded into Google Drive. By default, the same name will be used though you are certainly welcome to give the file a different name if you prefer.
When you upload the files, you can choose whether or not to convert any uploaded documents, spreadsheets, and presentations to Norse Docs formats. This will allow you to edit your files from within Google Drive. However, it is not necessary to do this, and you can upload any type of file to Google Drive as long as it meets the file size restrictions.
If you prefer you could instead drag files directly from your desktop. Select one or more files from your computer and drag them to your document list. This option may only be available in recent versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
Integration is a key word for Norse Apps. If you receive an email message that contains an attachment that is recognizable by Google Drive, within the Norse Mail web interface you can either View, Share, or Download the document. To add a copy of this document to your Google Drive list, select View, and then click Save in Google Docs in the upper right hand corner of the screen. If you wish to be able to edit the file, select Edit online; the document will be saved in your Google Drive list, and you will be able to edit it. Alternatively, click on the Word icon to open the document in Word.
If Google Drive recognizes the attachment as a spreadsheet, you will have three options: View, Share, or Download. Simply click Share to upload the file and begin editing it in Google Drive. You may also click on the icon to open the document in Excel.
For PowerPoint files, the options are View or Download, or click on the icon to the left of the file name to open the document in PowerPoint.
For file types that Google does not recognize, you can download the file to your computer and then upload it to Google Drive.
The above section discussed how to upload documents, spreadsheets, and presentations to Google Drive in order to work on them, but, as noted, any type of file can be uploaded. This means that you can also utilize Google Drive as an online file storing and sharing service. Files uploaded to Google Drive on one computer can be downloaded to another computer, and can also be shared with other Drive users.
Additionally, files stored on your Google Drive account are automatically backed up by Google. Even if your computer crashes, your Google Drive files will remain intact. Furthermore, deleted files go to the Google Drive trash, where they can be undeleted, and you can undo changes made to files by viewing their revision histories. For other ways to backup your files, see Data Backup Training.
Now that you have a file with which you can work, you can share this file with others, whether or not they are members of the Luther community.
To share a file with another person, open the doc, and then click on the Share menu at the upper right hand corner. Or, click on the File tab and select Share…
At the bottom of the ‘Sharing settings’ window, under ‘Add people,’ type the email addresses of your collaborators and click Share & save to share your work with others. You can add a single person or a mailing list. To the right of the list of names you can select Can view or Can edit from the drop-down menu. If you’d like to add a message to your invitation, click Add message, enter text, and click Share & save. You can add collaborators and viewers from the Luther domain (those who use Luther email address), as well as also anyone who uses a Gmail account.
It’s very easy to email the collaborators/viewers. The File Menu contains options to collaborate and share documents via different methods such as Email collaborators, Email as attachment, and Publish to the web.
If you have one or more collaborators, you are able to edit the file simultaneously or separately. When editing at the same time, the changes you make will appear to the collaborator after about a 5 second delay. Notice in the screen shot below that you can see who is also editing the file at this time.
If you want to identify, online, who is making what change you can select the Insert menu and add a Comment that will put a sticky note at the right of the document with your user name. You also can chat with the viewers by clicking the blue message that xxxxxxxx is viewing.
Google Drive automatically saves changes while you are working on a file. Norse documents has a revision history pane that allows you to view all the changes made to a document by collaborators. To access revision history in Norse documents and spreadsheets Select File > See revision history. In a Document, the revision history shows the exact change that was made and you can choose to compare versions if you like.
Click a time stamp in the right column to see what changes were made at a given time. You can see the changes made by collaborators in different colors. If you’d like to revert to the version you’re currently viewing, click Restore this revision. If you’d like to return to the the current version of your document to continue editing, click the X in the upper right of the ‘Document History’ pane.
There are times when you may want to export a Norse Docs file out to a different format. The export process will leave the file in Google Drive and create a copy of it in the format and location of your choice. For example, if you are giving a presentation that has been developed collaboratively using Norse Presentation, you may want to export it to PDF so that you have a PDF copy of your presentation in case the Internet is not available when you give your presentation.
You can export from Edit mode of the file using the File option, or from the Google Drive Home page using the More option in the center pane, once one or more files are selected. Currently, the following formats are supported:
Norse Docs files are automatically saved for you as you are working on your file. You can tell when the file was last saved by looking at the text to the right of the filename when you are editing a file. Your work will be saved for you as you are working on it.
When you print a Norse Docs file using the File > Print option, a PDF file appears. You can open this file and print it from any printer that you wish. In Norse Docs all types of files behave similarly, with a few minor differences:
There are additional options for printing in the File tab such as Page setup (set the size of page), Print settings (setting the page numbers) and Print preview.
After you select CREATE > Document, the following workspace appears:
When working with Documents within Norse Docs, many of the basic functions of a word processor are present where you would expect to find them. There are a few items that are unique that warrant further discussion.
If you’re looking for information about Google documents, see More Google document features.
After you select CREATE > Spreadsheet, the following workspace appears:
Similar to Documents, when working with Spreadsheets within Norse Docs, many of the basic functions of a spreadsheet are present where you would expect to find them. There are a few items that are unique that warrant further discussion:
To know more about Google Spread sheets, see more about Google Spreadsheets.
After you select CREATE > Presentation, the following workspace appears:
Similar to Documents, when working with Presentations within Norse Docs, many of the basic functions of a presentation are where you would expect to find them. There are a few items that are unique that warrant further discussion.
To know more about Google Presentations, see more about Google Presentations.
After you select CREATE > Form, the following workspace appears:
Forms allow you to create questionnaires for people to fill out. These questionnaires can be sent in email form, and their responses are automatically added to a spreadsheet after they have been filled out. Forms have proven themselves to be very useful tools when looking for feedback or taking other types of polls. Because of the relative novelty of Norse Forms, some areas should be highlighted.
To know more about Forms see more about Google Forms.
With Norse Docs drawings you can easily create, share, and edit and publish drawings online. It’s easy to build org charts, design diagrams, flow charts and much more.
To know more about Drawings see Google Drawings.
On January 5th, 2011, there were changes to our Norse Apps account infrastructure that allow access to other Google services beyond the core suite of messaging and collaboration apps. This change lets users access many new services such as Blogger, Reader, Google Voice, Maps ,YouTube, SketchUp, and Picasa Web Albums from their Norse Apps account. For a detailed list, see More Google applications for your school.