Posts Tagged ‘google docs’

How to create a template letter that others can use

August 13, 2009

There may be other ways but this is what I would recommend:

Create an account with Google Docs if you don’t already have a Google account

Log into your Google Docs account and click on New, then select Document from the list that appears

If you’ve ever used a word processing package like Word this will look very familiar.¬†Click on ‘Untitled’ to give your document a name.

Type (or paste) your letter as you would in any other package. Leave out any personal information as this is going to be used by other people and visible by others.

When you’re done and ready to publish your letter so others can use it, click on Share (upper right) and select Get the link to share…

A new box will appear with a tick-box: ‘Allow anyone with the link to view (no sign-in required)’. Tick this. (Don’t tick the second box allowing others to edit the document unless you want to allow that too)

Now the box below should have a web address (URL) that you can copy and paste elsewhere. Copy this (right-click on it and select Copy)

Go to your investigation on Help Me Investigate and any relevant challenges. Accept the challenge and type some text explaining that you have created a template letter. Paste (right-click and select Paste) the web address in the Update’s link box so others can see it and use it too.

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How to create a form for people to add information to your spreadsheet

July 30, 2009

Rather than asking people to edit a whole spreadsheet, you can make it easier by creating a form for them to add particular information by answering questions.

To do this, open your spreadsheet in Google Docs and click on Form > Create a form.

A new window will appear containing a form that you can edit, with some information automatically added.

If you roll over any of the questions you will see buttons for you to edit, duplicate or delete it. You can also edit the form title and description and there are various extra options across the top. (more…)

Allowing others to edit your spreadsheet – and tracking what happens

July 30, 2009

Following on from the previous post on creating and publishing a spreadsheet online, here’s how you allow others to add to that, and how you track what happens:

To allow others to edit your spreadsheet, open it and click on Share (in the top right area) then click See who has access…

A new window will open – towards the bottom of that it will say ‘Sign-in is required to view this item’ which means users need a Google account to see it. Click ‘Change‘ next to that.
3 options will pop up: (more…)

Creating and publishing a spreadsheet online

July 30, 2009

For some investigations it will be useful to create a public spreadsheet of information. There are 3 main reasons why:

  • It’s a better way of displaying data than using a sentence of text
  • It means people can easily see where the gaps are – and fill them in
  • It also allows people to do interesting things with the data, like visualise it, or mix it up (‘mashup’) with information from elsewhere, e.g. maps

One of the most popular tools for creating public spreadsheets of data is Google Spreadsheets, part of Google Docs. (more…)

What to do if you have documents you want to upload

July 30, 2009

If you have a document relating to your investigation that is not already online – for instance a PDF, a Word document, a scanned document, or a letter, here is some advice on how to get it into the investigation:

1. Get it onto your computer if it isn’t already

If your evidence is physical – e.g. a printout – then use a scanner to get it onto your computer. Many company photocopiers now offer this facility as well.

2. Upload it to a document-sharing website

There are a number of these. Scribd is a very useful place to store PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations. You will need to create a (free) account first. Once you do, just follow the instructions given here. You can also use the service to create backup copies of documents that are already online. (more…)