Someone recently asked me how they can edit Microsoft documents that are stored in Google Drive, without having to download them first. Google Drive is great for storing and sharing many different types of files - Google documents, Microsoft documents, images, video, etc. Storing and sharing are one thing, but when it comes to editing Microsoft documents that are stored in Drive, it can get tricky.

One option is to convert your Microsoft documents to Google. Problem solved, right? Not really. Sometimes you need to keep documents in their native Microsoft format. Well, if you are using the download > edit > upload method, there is an easier way. In fact, there’s more than one way to edit them directly from Drive!

Edit with Microsoft Office

Install the Google Drive App and Google Drive will appear as a storage location in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. When you open a file in your Microsoft application, navigate to your Google Drive and open your document (click Open, Browse and select Google Drive).

With the Drive App installed, Save documents directly to your Google Drive by navigating to your Google Drive when you save your document.

Also, when you open Windows Explorer on your computer, you can access your Google Drive files without having to open your browser. This makes it really easy to transfer files between your computer and Google Drive.

For basic edits, just use Chrome

With a free Chrome extension, Office Editing for Docs, Sheets, and Slides, you can open Word, Excel and PowerPoint right within your Google Drive.

Install the Chrome extension
  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. Go to Office Editing for Docs, Sheets, and Slides
  3. Click Add to Chrome. The Extension installs on your Chrome toolbar.

Using the Chrome extension
  1. Open Google Drive
  2. Navigate to a Word, Excel or PowerPoint document
  3. Double-click on the document
You will notice the editor does not have all the features of editing in Word, Excel or PowerPoint but it allows you to make basic changes to the document without having to download it first. The Chrome extension will appear in the address bar. As you edit, google will continue to automatically save your changes to your original (docx, xlsx, pptx) document.

Mobile Apps for Editing Microsoft Documents

I use my phone to access and edit my Google documents all the time. I can edit Microsoft documents on my phone too, using the following mobile apps (Android or IOS):
  • Google Drive to manage your folders and documents
  • Google Docs to edit Word documents
  • Google Sheets to edit Excel documents
  • Google Slides to edit PowerPoint documents
With the Google Drive App and the Google Chrome extension, it makes it much easier to store, share and edit all of your documents in Google Drive. Please leave your questions or comments below!

banner: an introduction to wevideo

You might remember that we were trying out when I made the 1:Button Studio Tour blog post. With our beloved Windows Movie Maker getting further and further out of date, we decided to invest in 100 Pro licenses for UMN Extension.

In this post, I'll share with you the basics of WeVideo and how UMN Extension personnel can get a license.

And if you're external, you can use the free version so might find this useful as well!

WeVideo: Primary Strength

One of the main advantages of WeVideo over other video editing software is that it allows for collaboration. This is something we struggle with in teams with video editing. Sharing the raw footage can be difficult, not to mention sharing the in-progress video editing files!
Since WeVideo is all online, it's like the Google Drive of video editing. 
You pick who to share it with and what they can do to your stuff. ISN'T THAT EXCITING? Squee.

If you're both working on the same "edit," WeVideo will lock the file while someone is actively working. So, although you can't simultaneously edit, you can at least still work on the same editing project.

WeVideo: Basic Editing

On top of collaboration features, WeVideo is a totally passable video editor. It does pretty much everything Movie Maker could do, plus a little bit more. I put together the video above demonstrating what I think are the most useful video editing features:
  • Green screen 
  • Webcam recordings
  • Screen recordings
  • Lower thirds
  • PowerPoint narration
  • "Cutaway" shots
WeVideo easily allows multiple video and audio tracks--so doing the coveted "cut-away" shot--where the audio continues but the visuals cut over to some photos or B-roll--is a very straightforward task!

Here's a screenshot so you can get the idea:

If you set up your YouTube account in WeVideo, it is just a one button publish to your YouTube channel! You can also download the file, or "publish" to Google Drive.

Get a License

If you think WeVideo would be useful in your video work, I encourage you to fill out our WeVideo license request form. Limited to UMN Extension personnel only for licensing reasons. Thank you!

So what do you think? Would you like me to demonstrate some "How-Tos" in a future blog post? What have you discovered about WeVideo?

banner graphic, totes optional: Podcast episode 13. Trello for Project Management

Quick Bytes Live! Podcast

Episode 13: Trello for Project Management

(recorded February 22, 2017)
Tom, Amy, Karen, Terri, and Alison discuss this week's blog post on using Trello for project management. Terri was ambushed when "record podcast" just showed up on her calendar and she is a natural! We also share a couple great tools in the Tech Tips segment, including Flip Grid and Piktochart.
Be sure to subscribe and let us know your feedback!

Subscribe via iTunes
Subscribe via RSS

Have you ever worked collaboratively with a team and struggled to keep track of tasks? I suggest you try Trello. According to their site - "Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process." I find it useful because it keeps everyone in the loop during the whole process – even if you’re in different offices, working at completely different times. Here’s a deeper look into Trello’s features.


Trello consists of project Boards that can feature cards organized by different lists. When you open a Board you’ll see a blank canvas.

One of the things I like best about Trello is its simple User Interface and User Experience. Trello does not bombard you with too many options and all you have to do is click around to create lists and cards.

Each board has an unlimited number of lists. In each list, you can create cards. Finally, in each card, you have the ability to add details, which includes:
  1. Description – Explains what the card is about; can be as long or short as you need
  2. Members – Add specific people to the card and they will be alerted of any changes
  3. Labels – Can be customized per project
  4. Checklist – Allows you to add to-do items and check them off
  5. Due dates – Enforces a date to finish the steps on the card
  6. Attachments – Can add attachments, such as screenshots or documents, to the card for better explanations
  7. Comments – Members can communicate through comments
  8. Activity – Documents all the activity that happens within the card, keeping everyone on the same page


There are five action buttons on each card.
  1. Move – allows you to move the card to a different board, different list, or a different position on the list
  2. Copy – allows you to copy the entire card, or specific pieces of the card to create a new card
  3. Subscribe – allows you to get updates on the card changes
  4. Archive – once everything on the card is completed, you can archive it
  5. Share – You can share a link to the card, print it, or email it to someone

User Interface

Like I mentioned earlier, the user experience is one of my favorite features of Trello. Most of the actions require only your mouse or the Enter key on the keyboard. When creating new lists or cards, start typing in one, hit Enter when done, and you can start a new one. You’re able to click and drag the cards from list to list. You can do the same when reordering checklist items. Opening and closing cards requires a quick click on or off the selected item.

If you want to quickly edit a card, hover over it until the pen icon appears, click on it.

The background greys out allowing you to make and save a couple quick changes. You can’t do everything here, but it’s a helpful addition.

Describing Trello’s UI is not nearly as fun as actually trying it, so I would encourage you to check it out on your own!

Board Menu and Notifications

Back out at the board view, you’ll find a menu on the right side. This is where you can:
  1. Add members – include people you want to collaborate with
  2. Change Background - Change the color of the board background, which is only for your view
  3. Filter cards – you have several options for filtering. The one I find most helpful is filtering the cards assigned to me
  4. Power-Ups – Gives you options to integrate other apps with Trello
  5. Stickers – Are similar to emojis – fun, but without much added benefit for team collaboration
  6. More – Options for settings, labels, see archived items, sharing, and closing the board
  7. Activity – shows all the activity that happened on the board from every member

Different Boards

Finally, on the left side of the screen is a button that says “Boards.” This is where you can flip between different project and personal boards, create new boards, and see old ones.

I’ve been using Trello for a couple years now and love it. If you’re looking for a better way to collaborate with a team give Trello a try.

Some people have recently asked about how to find their WebEx meeting and participant data. WebEx provides a number of reports about your meetings and recordings. You can view details about who attended your meeting, how long they stayed in your meeting or see how many people have viewed your recordings. You can also export or download the data to a file to open in Excel or you can print them directly from WebEx. Since most reports are only available for 3 months, you may want to download and save your data shortly after each event.

Accessing the reports

  1. Log into and select My WebEx 
  2. Select My Reports on the left

Reports are available for All Services, Meeting Center, Event Center and Training Center. For some reports, if you select the report link within 15 minutes after the event ends, you will see a preliminary version of that report. The preliminary report provides quick access to data before the final data is available. The final report will replace the preliminary report, usually 24 hours after the event ends.

All Services Usage Report

The Usage Report shows information about all of your meetings, trainings and events. When you select the Usage Report, enter a date range up to three months prior to the current date. The report shows a breakdown of each WebEx session including the type of meeting, date and time, duration, how many participants attended and the audio report if available. Information in the report can be exported to a CSV format or a Printer-friendly Format.

Session Detail Report
When you click on a meeting title, you can see additional information such as participant name, email, start/end times, duration, etc.

Meeting Center Reports

  • For Meeting Center meeting details and attendee data, run the Usage Report.
  • The Meeting Recording Report displays a list of attendees who downloaded or viewed a meeting recording within the last 12 months. 

Training Center Reports

  • Live Training Usage Report provides you with date, time, duration and attendance information for any 3-month period within the last 12 months. You can also drill down into participant data.
  • Recorded Training Access Report shows date, time, downloads and views for your recordings

Event Center Reports

  • While most reports are available for only 3 months, the Event Recording Report provides you with information for any 3-month period within the last 12 months.
  • Attendance Report includes the start/end times, duration, number of attendees, the host name and the minutes that all attendees spent in the event. The report also includes each attendee’s username, email address, IP address, time attendee joined/left and the attendee attentiveness during the event.
  • In-Event Activity Report contains the event name, date and time, information about the number of attendees, the number of questions asked and the response rate for the questions, and the number of polls and the response rate for the polls. This report is only available for events recorded on the server. 
  • Attendee History Report contains a list of all events that an attendee has joined on your Event Center Web site.

If you have questions about WebEx, feel free to connect with me anytime or leave a comment on this post!

A small group of 4-H Coordinators recognized that many 4-H clubs and project teams struggle to communicate with one another which creates challenges for fostering active participants. They also noticed that clubs and project teams who have been early technology adopters demonstrate effective communication strategies and outcomes. So this project focused on finding ways to bring those in the early majority adopter range up to that level.

Tech skills for program staff

We worked collaboratively with the 4-H Coordinators who brought the project forward, as well as the Center for Youth Development’s Leadership and Communications and Technology staff to ensure our work supported their policies and practices to keep youth safe, while also helping the 4-H Coordinators, youth, and adult volunteers increase their technology skills to support inclusive, active participation in clubs and projects.

The 4-H Coordinators learned to create screen capture videos and edit them with voiceover narration, and integrating branded PowerPoint slides, images, and music. They also learned to upload their videos to YouTube and edit the captions. These are all skills they will certainly use again in their Extension work. 

Tech skills for 4-Hers and volunteers

Now that the videos are complete and being promoted with a communications planning guide (also created by these ambitious 4-H Coordinators), the technology skills of 4-Hers and volunteers will also increase as they learn to effectively utilize Facebook Groups and 4-H Online to enhance club and project communication and engagement. It’s a win-win-win!

This project was selected through the Extension e-Learning Proposal Process. We work with Extension Educators, Program Staff, and Faculty who offer training or education, like the Turf and Ground Field Day, Equine Demonstrations, the Local Foods College, the Serve it Up Safely Course, and the AIS Detector Core Course. They are ready to expand their reach, make education more accessible, and/or collaborate with colleagues and community members at a distance. If this is you and you’re ready for help, contact us for a consultation or propose a project!
banner: Quick Bytes Live episode 12

Quick Bytes Live! Podcast

Episode 12: Tips for staying up to date with technology

(recorded January 20, 2017)
Tom, Amy, Karen, and Alison talk through how they recommend staying up to date in tech--including Karen's training opportunities and setting aside time for We also share a few great tools in the Tech Tips segment, including Trello, WeVideo, and Boomerang.
Be sure to subscribe and let us know your feedback!

Subscribe via iTunes
Subscribe via RSS