Norse Docs Training

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.

Getting Started

If you already have a Norse Apps account, you can access Google Drive and your Norse Docs by going directly to 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].

Navigating Google Drive & your Norse Docs

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:

NorseDocs - 1
NorseDocs - 1

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:

  • My Drive: Shows you all your files and Norse Docs, except those in the Trash.
  • Shared with me: Show all files owned by others to which you have access.
  • Starred: Shows you only items that you’ve marked with a star.
  • Recent: Displays everything you have recently opened or edited.
  • Activity: Displays live updates of everything you and others have modified.
  • All items: Displays all your items, including those you’ve hidden from the home view, but excluding those in the Trash.
  • Trash: Includes all the items in the trash.
  • Owner, type, more: Another method to display files by Type, Visibility, or Ownership.
  • Download Google Drive: Takes you to the web page from which you can download and install Google Drive.

Creating Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, and Forms

There are multiple ways to create a new Norse Docs file in Google Drive.

Create a New File

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.

NorseDocs - 2
NorseDocs - 2

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.

Upload an Existing 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.

Open a Norse Mail Attachment

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.

NorseDocs - 3
NorseDocs - 3

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.

File Storage and Backup

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.

Share a File

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.

Edit Simultaneously

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.

Review Changes

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.

Exporting Norse Docs Files

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:

  • Documents – ODT, HTML, OpenOffice, PDF, RTF, Text, Word
  • Spreadsheets – CSV, HTML, Text, Excel, OpenOffice, or PDF
  • Presentations – PDF, PowerPoint, or Text
  • Drawing – PNG, JPEG, SVG, and PDF

Saving Norse Docs Files

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.

Printing Norse Docs Files

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:

  • Document – You may be taken to a print preview mode, or you may be asked whether to open or save as PDF.
  • Spreadsheet – you may be prompted for the orientation, paper size, margins, and page numbers and whether the current sheet or all sheets are to be included.
  • Presentations – you select the layout and whether or not the background and speaker notes are to be included in the PDF.
  • Drawing – You may be taken to a print preview mode, or you may be asked whether to open or save as PDF.

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.

Working with Documents

After you select CREATE > Document, the following workspace appears:

NorseDocs - 4
NorseDocs - 4

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.

  • Separator – On the Insert menu, there are actions that include “Page break” and “Horizontal line”.
  • Header/Footer – On the Insert menu, there are options labeled Header and one labeled Footer. Selecting either will insert the requested item and take you to the item so that you can begin entering text.
  • Inserting Images & Drawings – On the Insert menu, there are options labeled Image and Drawing. Selecting Image will allow you to insert images directly from your computer, online search or adding a link to the image. The Drawing option will take you to a set of tools where you can make your own image and insert it into your document. Also you can drag images from your desktop or a website to your Norse document.
  • Word count – Located in the Tools menu, Word count displays a number of statistics regarding your document including the number of words in the file.
  • Find and replace – You will find this option in the Edit menu.
  • Document Settings – To change the default alignment, line spacing, or underline, use the Format menu. You can also reset your settings to the default settings from this option.
  • Check spelling – You will find this under View. Make sure the Show spelling suggestions option is checked and all misspellings will be highlighted in red. Right clicking on a word in red will bring up a list of alternative spellings from which you can select.
  • Footnotes – In the place you want to insert a footnote, click the Insert menu and select Footnote. Type your footnote in the text box that appears in the document margin.
  • Inserting a table – To insert a table, click the Table drop-down menu from the toolbar and select Insert table. Then, select the number of columns and rows for your table (up to 20×20).

If you’re looking for information about Google documents, see More Google document features.

Working with Spreadsheets

After you select CREATE > Spreadsheet, the following workspace appears:

NorseDocs - 5
NorseDocs - 5

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:

  • Editing – You can change to edit mode by clicking into a cell, pressing F2 while in a cell, or pressing the Enter key.
  • Sorting – To sort a column, click on the letter of the column to sort, and then click either the Sort sheet by column, A => Z or the Sort sheet by column, Z => A button under the Data tab. Alternatively, you can mouse over the column that you want to sort and a dropdown arrow will appear. Next click on it and select the A => Z or the Z => A options.
  • Formulas – To add a formula, click into the cell where you want the formula. Then click on the Insert tab and then select the formula you want to use under Function. Then select the cells to add using your mouse and dragging it over the cells involved.
  • Filling – When you click in a cell, you notice there is a small square in the lower right corner of the cell. If you click and drag this square, the contents of the cell are copied to the cells that have been selected. This option enables you to avoid inserting a formula multiple times. Dragging the small square over a set of cells will automatically use your formula or data across the cells involved.
  • Working with Sheets – To add a sheet, simply click on the + sign button in the lower left corner of the screen. You can rename, duplicate, protect or delete a sheet by clicking on the down arrow next to the sheet name found in the lower portion of the screen. You can also change the order of the sheets from within this menu.
  • Inserting and editing images – Open the Insert drop-down menu and click Image. In the window that appears, enter the URL of the image and click Select, or choose an image to upload from your files. The image appears in your spreadsheet. You can also insert other features such as Charts, Drawing and Gadgets by selecting them from the Insert drop-down box.

To know more about Google Spread sheets, see more about Google Spreadsheets.

Working with Presentations

After you select CREATE > Presentation, the following workspace appears:

NorseDocs - 6
NorseDocs - 6

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.

  • Inserting Slides – To insert a slide, click on the slide prior to the location where you want the new slide and click the Slide tab, then New slide. The slide will be inserted after the current slide. To have a background to your slide you can choose different themes by clicking Slide > Change theme. You also can import your own picture by clicking Slide > Background.
  • Inserting videos – To add videos to your presentation, just click Insert > Video above the toolbar and search for a video you would like to insert. Once you’ve selected the video, click on the video’s thumbnail and then click Select Video.
  • Copying and pasting slides – You can also press the Shift key to select a sequence of slides, or use the Ctrl key to select multiple, non-sequential slides. After you’ve selected slides, you can copy them by right-clicking the slide(s) in the slide-sorter view and selecting Copy slide.
  • Navigating Slides – To move from one slide to the next while editing your presentation, you can click on the thumbnails on the left side of the screen. You can also use the arrows found above the thumbnails.
  • Deleting Slides – To remove a slide, click on the slide and then click on Slide > Delete slide.
  • Viewing Your Presentation – To begin your presentation, click Start presentation which is located on the top right side of the page. Once loaded, you can press F11 to toggle between full screen mode and regular size. To move between slides, use your arrow keys or the arrows located in the lower left corner of the screen. When finished, you are prompted to Restart or Exit. At any time, you can press ESC to exit the presentation.
  • Sharing Your Presentation – To share your presentation, you can use the Share button on the upper right corner of the page, and enter their contact email address.
  • Publishing – Open the presentation you would like to publish, and click the Publish to the web option found under the File menu. Share this link with those you would like to give access to the presentation.

To know more about Google Presentations, see more about Google Presentations.

Working with Forms

After you select CREATE > Form, the following workspace appears:

NorseDocs - 7
NorseDocs - 7

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.

  • Title – Text entered in the ‘Untitled form’ area will become the name of the form. If you would like to provide notes on the purpose of the form, or other information, it can be entered in the field directly below the ‘Untitled form’ box.
  • Creating Questions – To make a new question, simply enter the title of the question, select the type of question it is, and provide answers if necessary. When you are satisfied with the question, click the Done button, and it will be saved. There are two sample questions as default settings of the form. To add a second question, mouse over Sample Question 2, a pencil icon (as well as several others) will appear to the right. Clicking on the pencil will allow you to edit your question. To add more questions after the second, click on the Add item button in the upper left hand corner. Note: when creating questions of type “Choose from a list”, you may want the first item to be “Select one…” so that people intentionally choose their answer.
  • Deleting Questions – To delete a question, hover your mouse over it then click on the trash can icon on the far right side. A dialogue box will appear asking you if you are sure you would like to delete the question.
  • Edit Questions – To edit an existing question, hover over the question and click the pencil icon to the right of the question you want to edit.
  • Duplicate – To duplicate a question, hover over the question and click the duplicate icon to the right of the question.
  • The Confirmation Message – When someone submits one of your forms, they receive a default message. This message can be changed by clicking on Edit confirmation, which is located under the More actions drop-down box. Enter the text you would like people to see after they fill out your form, and then press the Save button.
  • Sending Your Form – To send your form in an email, simply click the Email this form button near the top of the page. After listing the email addresses you would like the form sent to, press Send.
  • Receive Notifications -To receive notifications about a form’s activity, begin by opening it from the Norse Docs page. Then click on the Tools menu in the spreadsheet and Notification rules. Check the boxes to define when and how often you want Google to send you an email.
  • See the Results – After a form has been sent, you can open it from your Norse Docs page. When you do this, a spreadsheet filled with the information people have submitted in your form will open. To view data trends in a graph form, first click on the Form tab at the top of the spreadsheet and select Edit form. Then, in the edit window, click on See responses > Summary. Charts will be generated to display the information from the form in an easy to read manner.
  • Stop Accepting Input – In order to stop accepting new information from forms into your spreadsheet, start by opening the form up from your Norse Docs page. Under the Form menu, click on Accepting responses. Now no new information will be collected. If you want to resume the collection of data again, simply select Accepting responses again.

To know more about Forms see more about Google Forms.

Working with Drawings

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.

  • Creating drawings – To start creating drawings in Norse Docs, go to your Docs list, click CREATE and select Drawing. Then, use the menu options and the buttons in the toolbar to create flow charts, and design diagrams and other types of drawings. The following workspace appears once you create a drawing:
NorseDocs - 8
NorseDocs - 8

  • Edit – By using the toolbar and edit tab, you can use options such as cut, copy, paste, duplicate, change a shape, formatting the text, etc.
  • View – Click this menu to zoom in, zoom out, snap to grid, snap to guide, or use compact controls.
  • Insert – Use this menu to insert lines, arrows, scribbles, polylines, text boxes, and images. You can also click the individual buttons in the toolbar to add features.
  • Format – Click this menu to change the background of your drawing, change the shape of the items, and select line decorations. To learn more about formatting see: Formatting your drawings.
  • Arrange – Use this menu to align and rotate items, change the order of items, center items on page, and group items.
  • Adding images to your drawing – Click Insert > Image or click the Image button in the toolbar. You can upload the picture from your computer, Picasa or from a URL.

To know more about Drawings see Google Drawings.

More Apps for Norse Apps

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.