Tech Tip Tuesdays

Tech Tuesday: Using Labels in Google Contacts

We’ve talked before about using labels in Google Keep. Google Contacts is another service where labels can help you keep things organized.

On your Android phone or tablet:

Create a label

  1. Open the Contacts app .
  2. At the top left, tap Menu and then Create label.
  3. Enter a label name and tap OK.

Add contacts to a label

  • Add one contact to a label: Tap Add contact and then choose a contact.
  • Add multiple contacts to a label: Tap Add contact and then touch and hold a contact and then tap the other contacts and then tap Add.

In a web browser:

Create a label

  1. Go to Google Contacts.
  2. At the left under “Labels,” click Create label.
  3. Type a name, then click Save.

Add contacts to a label

  1. Go to Google Contacts.
  2. Select one of the following:
    • A single contact: Check the box next to the contact name.
    • Multiple contacts: Check the boxes next to all the contacts you want to add.
    • All contacts: Check the box next to any contact and in the top left, click Selection Actions and then All.
  3. At the top, click Manage labels .
  4. Click the group label you want.
  5. Click Apply.
If a contact has multiple email addresses, only their default email address is added to the label group. You can use the Contacts app  on an Android device to change the default email address for a contact.

You can email all your contacts under a particular label from within Gmail.

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. At the top left, click Compose.
  3. In the “To” field, start typing the name of the Contacts label, then select the label name from the list that appears.
  4. You’ll see a list of contacts in the “To” field.
What else can you do with Google Contacts?

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Comment on Microsoft Office Files & PDFs in Google Drive

You may already be familiar with using comments in Google Docs and Google Sheets. Did you know you can use similar features to comment on Microsoft Word files, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, and PDFs that you’ve uploaded to Google Drive?

Comments can be a great way to collaborate–letting your team know your thoughts and asking questions about a document that all of you have access to.

To comment on a PDF file, double-click on the file in your Google Drive.

In the upper right corner, click on the “Add a comment” button:

Screenshot of the interaction menu from a PDF file in Google Drive, highlighting the "Add a Comment" button

You can then select a portion of the PDF to comment on, type your comment, and use the Comment button to save it:

Screenshot of a comment being left on a Google Drive PDF file, reading "This is a great illustration of this feature."

To be able to add comments, you must either be the owner of the file, or have editing or commenting privileges on the file.

You can also comment on images and video files!

Learn more about file storage and collaboration in Google Drive, Docs, and Sheets.

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Tech Tip Tuesday: Using Filters in Google Sheets

Sometimes it can be helpful to view only a subset of a Google Sheet. This is especially helpful when your spreadsheet grows unusually large or complex. Filters are one way to separate items according to your specific criteria, and especially useful if you don’t want to change what other people sharing the spreadsheet can see.

Zapier Blog provides step-by-step instructions on how to filter in Google Sheets. Technology trainer Leila Gharani presents some examples on YouTube as well:

Learn more about how to sort and filter your data in Google Sheets.

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Tech Tip Tuesday: Replace Your Background in Google Meet

In Google Meet, you can replace your background with one supplied by Google, or even upload your own.

This feature is now available in both Google Chrome and the Android app.

A brief moving image showing a user selecting from among several background images in Google Meet.

You can also upload your own images to use as a background.

Using Chrome on desktop, you can even use a video. Google offers three videos to choose from, with more on the way. Google also plans to make video backgrounds available for mobile in the future.

Learn more about using Google Meet.

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Tech Tip Tuesday: Remember to Clear Your Browser History

David Nield of Popular Science offers a great explanation of Why and How to Clear Your Web History in Any Browser. In short, routinely clearing your browser history (also often referred to as “clearing your cache”) can help protect your privacy, speed up your browser performance overall, and help you avoid mysterious glitches with web pages displaying incorrectly or behaving in odd ways.

LITS offers brief instructions on clearing your browser history on Microsoft Edge or Safari, or in Google Chrome or Firefox.

UPDATED: Please be aware that, depending on your choices in this process, you may be logged out of your accounts, and will have to log back in when you revisit them next. In some cases, you may lose custom settings for some sites as well.

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Tech Tip Tuesday: Show Editors of a Google Doc

From the Google Workspace Updates blog:
“You can now view richer information on the edit history of a particular range of content in Google Docs. Simply highlight and right-click on a range of text and select Show Editors from the dropdown menu. Here, you can view a list of editors and their latest edit along with time stamps. You’ll also have the option to open the Version History of the document.

Screenshot showing a segment of text selected in a Google Doc and a list of previous editors of that segment.
This makes it easier to track edits made by multiple collaborators, giving greater insight into who the recent editors were, what changes were made and when.”

Learn more about seeing changes in Drive files and folders.

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Tech Tip Tuesday: Google Alerts

Sign up to receive personalized alerts in your Gmail inbox for various topics of interest to you.

  1. Make sure you are logged into your Allegheny College Gmail account.
  2. Go to Google Alerts.
  3. Fill in the search terms for the topic you wish to monitor, and other details in the Create Alert box.
    Screenshot of the search dialog box in Google Alerts with the phrase "Allegheny College" typed in
  4. Click on Show options.
  5. Choose your preferred frequency, language, and other options.
    Screenshot of the "Choose options" dialog in Google Alerts
  6. Click on Create Alert.

Based on your choices, you will receive emails alerting you to new Google search results using the terms you entered in the search box.

You can run a number of alerts concurrently, and revisit your Google Alerts account to modify/add/remove alerts.

Learn more about Google Alerts.

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Tech Tip Tuesday: Assign Tasks in Google Workspace

When you’re working with others in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, you can assign tasks and action items to specific collaborators.

  1. In a web browser, open a shared Google file.
  2. Select the text, images, cells, or slides you want to comment on.
  3. To add a comment, click the plus sign to Add comment.
    Screenshot of "Add comment" option in a Google Doc
  4. Somewhere in your comment, add the email address of the person you want to assign it to, and add a plus sign (+) in front of it.
  5. Click the box next to Assign to [name].
    Screenshot of a comment assigned to
  6. Click Assign. The person you assigned the action item to will receive  an email.
  7. Once the action item has been resolved, then return to the document. In the top right corner of the comment, click Done.
    screenshot of the "Mark as done and hide discussion" option in a comment on a Google Doc
If someone has set their status to “Out of office” and you have permission to view their calendar, you get a notification in the comment as you assign it to them.

You cal also see what tasks have been assigned to you:

  1. Go to Drive and click the arrow next to Search to show the advanced search options.
  2. At the bottom of the advanced search box, there is an dropdown menu for Follow up.
  3. Select Action Items Only from the Follow up menu, and click Search.
    Screenshot of the advanced search options in Google Drive, with "Follow up" and "Action Items Only" selected.
  4. You will see a list of all the documents where you’ve been assigned action items in one place.

Learn more about using comments and action items in Google Workspace.

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