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?

Subscribe to get LITS News and Updates in your inbox.

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.

Subscribe to get LITS News and Updates in your inbox.

Tech Tip Tuesday: Snooze Google Calendar desktop notifications

You can now snooze Google Calendar desktop notifications directly from the notification itself. Just click on Snooze within the notification popup to hide it temporarily.

By default, snoozed notifications will reappear one minute before the scheduled meeting; you can change this timing in your Calendar settings. You can also “re-snooze” a notification for an additional five minutes as many times you’d like, until the meeting ends.

screenshot of a sample event notification popup from Google Chrome in Windows 10


Subscribe to get LITS News and Updates in your inbox.

Tech Tuesday: Add Co-Hosts to a Google Meet

Google Meet hosts can now designate co-hosts in a Google Meet. Here’s how:

  1. In a meeting, at the bottom right, click Show everyone People Tab.
  2. From the “People” tab, find or search the participant’s name.
  3. Next to their name, click Menu  and then Grant host controls Add people and bots.

The Meeting safety icon  appears at the bottom of the new co-host’s screen.

Flipped Classroom offers a quick video tutorial:

Subscribe to get LITS News and Updates in your inbox.


  • For a meeting participant to become a co-host, they must be in the meeting.
  • Co-hosts can turn Host Management off. Only the main host can re-enable Host Management for all other hosts.
  • Participants can’t be appointed or removed as co-hosts from Breakout Rooms. Participants must return to the main room to be granted hosting privileges.
  • Only the main host receives meeting info, like attendance reports or polling details, but can share meeting info with other co-hosts.
  • Host Management settings are saved for any recurring meetings or meetings that re-use the same meeting code. Appointed co-hosts will need to be re-appointed for any recurring meetings.


Tech Tuesday: Open Office Files

Google has changed the default editing mode for Microsoft Office files in Google Drive on the web. Now, when you double-click on an Office file, it will open directly in Office editing mode.

Brief video showing a .DOCX file in Google Drive opening in native Microsoft Office editing in Google Docs

Office Editing Mode in Google Docs and Sheets offers improved compatibility with Microsoft Office for layout, formulas, formatting, and other features. This makes it even easier to work with files created in Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. It works both on files you upload and on files shared with you.

Note that password-protected Office files will not open directly in Office editing mode. These files will continue to open in Preview mode.

Learn more about using Google Drive at the Google Drive Help Center.

Subscribe to get LITS News and Updates in your inbox.

Tech Tip Tuesday: Tips for a Secure Password

Today’s tips are courtesy of Public Services Technician Sue Gum:

Tips for a Secure Password

  • Use a password manager that will create strong passwords for you.
  • Use a long password–8 is a great way to start, but the longer the better.
  • Do not use the same password for multiple sites.
  • Use two-factor authentication (2FA) when possible.
  • Avoid common words and character combinations – thequickbrownfox or thisismypassword.  Also avoid using personal information like your name, nickname, the name of your pet, your birthday or anniversary, your street name or anything associated with you that someone could find out from social media.
  • Avoid passwords known to be stolen – Click this link and type in the password you want to use to see if it was stolen.
  • Try to include letters (both upper and lower case), numbers, and symbols.
  • Remember to update your Allegheny password once a year, as soon as you get the email reminder.
  • For other accounts, no need to periodically change your password unless you suspect it has been exposed. Microsoft now recommends that unless you suspect your passwords have been exposed, you don’t need to periodically change them. The reason? Many of us, by being forced to change our passwords every few months, would fall into bad habits of creating easy-to-remember passwords or writing them down where others can find them.
  • Go to password generator sites like this or this where you can choose the length of the password and if you want or all of the categories; upper or lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.


Find out if your passwords have been stolen

Mozilla’s Firefox Monitor and Google’s Password Checkup can show you which of your email addresses and passwords have been compromised in a data breach so you can take action. 

Have I Been Pwned can also show you if your emails and passwords have been exposed. If you do discover you’ve been hacked, see our guide for how to protect yourself.

Use two-factor authentication (2FA),  but try to avoid text message codes

If thieves do steal your password, you can still keep them from gaining access to your account with two-factor authentication (also called two-step verification or 2FA), a security safeguard that requires you enter a second piece of information that only you have  (usually a one-time code) before the app or service logs you in.

While it’s common and convenient to receive these codes in a text message to your mobile phone or in a call to your landline phone, it’s simple enough for a hacker to steal your phone number through SIM swap fraud and then intercept your verification code. 

A much safer way to receive verification codes is for you to generate and fetch them yourself using an authentication app like Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator. And once you’re set up, you can choose to register your device or browser so you don’t need to keep verifying it each time you sign in.


The revised passphrase method

This is the multiple word phrase method with a twist — choose bizarre and uncommon words. Use proper nouns, the names of local businesses, historical figures, any words you know in another language, etc. A hacker might guess Weldons, but he or she would find it ridiculously challenging to try to guess a good password example like this: WeldonsLincolnSi

To crank it up another notch in complexity, you can add random characters in the middle of your words or between the words. Just avoid underscores between words.


The sentence method

This method is also described as the “Bruce Schneier Method.” The idea is to think of a random sentence and transform it into a password using a rule. For example using the sentence Roff School Tavern has the best pizza  I can take the first 2 letters in every word and it would give me: rosctahatebepi but then I can take it a step further and capitalize some of the letters like RoScTahathbepi and it makes it even more secure.

To anyone else, it’s gobbledygook, but to you it makes perfect sense. Make sure the sentence you choose is as personal and unguessable as possible.

 How to set up backup email & phone number in Self Service

  1. Log into Self-Service
  2. On the left click on the user options and then user profile
  3. Scroll down to add a personal email address and your cell phone number

These can be used to reset your password from

Customize Folder Colors and Shortcuts in Google Drive

Last fall we showed you how to color-code your folders in Google Drive.

This summer, Google has expanded this feature. Now you’re able to customize colors for folders in your shared drives and for your shortcuts to folders as well.

To customize colors of a folder in a shared drive:

    1. Open Google Drive.


    1. Choose Shared drives. (Note: You will see this link only if you have been added to a shared drive.)
      Screenshot of the navigation menu in the Google Drive web interface, with "Shared Drives" selected.
    2. Open the shared drive whose folders you want to customize.


  1. Right-click on a folder to change its color to one of your choosing:
    Screenshot of context menu in a Google Shared drive, showing the choices for color customization


The color customizations you choose will not be visible to other members of the shared drive. Each shared drive member can customize their view as they please without affecting other members.

To Customize Colors for Folder Shortcuts:

The steps are very similar for shortcuts to Google Drive folders that you have already set up, except that the shortcut lives elsewhere in your “My Drive”. To identify which folder icons are shortcuts, look for a small curved arrow on the icon, and then follow step 4 above.

Screenshot of Folder Shortcut Context Menu showing color selections


Subscribe to get LITS News and Updates in your inbox.

Present Directly from Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

From Google Support:

Present a doc, sheet, or slide directly in Google Meet

You can present directly to Google Meet from Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides. This can make it easier to present a document, sheet, or slides to a meeting you are attending.

Present your Docs, Sheets, or Slides content

  1. Go to Google Meet.
  2. Join a meeting.
  3. Open a file in DocsSheets, or Slides.
  4. In the top menu area, click Present to a meeting .
  5. Choose your meeting (or enter a meeting code).
  6. Select the preview of the tab to confirm and start sharing.
  7. Back in Meet, view your presented content directly in the meeting.

For more Meet tips and tricks, Techy Coach provides an intro to 5 fantastic features of Google Meet.


You must be on a Chrome browser on your computer to present Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides in Google Meet using this method.


You can present slides in full screen.

After confirming your tab to present, click Present .

Back in Meet, you will see your slideshow in full screen mode.

Subscribe to get LITS News and Updates in your inbox.

Sign up for our Tech Tuesday Workshops!


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.

Subscribe to get LITS News and Updates in your inbox.