Google Chromebooks are different from other laptops as they run on Google’s Chrome operating system (OS). Chromebooks are designed to be used while connected to the internet, with most applications and documents living in the cloud. Closing the Chromebook’s cover or closing the browser window will end your session. Ending your session without saving your work to Google Cloud or to a flash drive will cause you to lose your work, so save early and often!
Q: How do I check my email and surf the web?
You can check your email by going to your email provider’s website and logging into your email account. Google Chrome is a web browser, so as soon as you accept the Wi-Fi Policy, you can start surfing the web.
Q: Where is Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint?
Chromebooks use Google’s Chrome operating system. Instead of Word, Excel or PowerPoint software programs, Google has equivalent applications called Docs (Word), Sheets (Excel) and Slides (PowerPoint).
Q: How do I use Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides?
You need a Gmail email address in order to log into and begin using Google services. Get a free Gmail address, or visit the 2nd Floor Computer Commons for assistance.
Q: I have a Gmail account. How do I access Google applications?
You can access your Google Apps by clicking the icon that looks like a 3 by 3 box grid, located in the upper right corner of the the screen. Click the “Drive” app to start Google Drive, which is Google’s cloud storage site (similar to a virtual flash drive customized for you with your Gmail login) where your documents will be saved as you create them.
Q: How do I start a new document?
After clicking “Drive”, click “new” in the left hand column and select the app you want to create the document in.
Q: I see that my document is just called “untitled doc”. How do I change this?
Click the words “Untitled Doc” and give the document a name.
Q: How do I save the document?
Your document will be automatically saved in whichever application you are working within your personalized Google Drive account.
Q: I need to save my document in order to share it with someone that has Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint. How do I do this?
In the document you are working on, go to the File menu and scroll to “download as”. From the pop-up menu, choose the Microsoft format that appears.
Q: I did that. Where did the document go?
It downloaded to the downloads location on the Chromebook. To access this location, you will need to open the “Files” application on the Chromebook. There is a magnifying glass icon in the lower left corner of the screen—the same place the start menu is on a Windows machine. Click this to open the app browser. If the “Files” application isn’t listed—the window lists the four most recently run apps—click “more” to open the full application suite and then click the “Files” application. The downloads folder should appear.
Q: How do I save this so I can use it on another device running Microsoft?
You can either email the file as an attachment to yourself or insert a flash drive into one of the Chromebook’s USB ports and then cut or copy and paste the file from the downloads folder to the flash drive.
Q: How do I locate my flash drive on the Chromebook?
Open the “Files” application. In the left column you will see your flash drive. Click on it to open it and view the documents on the drive.
Q: Can I open my Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint document?
Google applications will open Microsoft format documents in the corresponding application: Word will open in Docs; Excel will open in Sheets; and PowerPoint will open in Slides. However, the full suite of editing tools will not be available until the document is converted to the corresponding Google application.
After double clicking the file you will be in preview mode. To open the file in the corresponding Google application, click the “Open” button at the top of the preview window and Google will convert the document into the corresponding Google App format and automatically save it in your Google Drive.
Q: How can I print my document?
You cannot print to one of our printers directly from within Google applications. First, you will need to save it as a Microsoft format or PDF document, as outlined above. Then, you need to access our web printing service.
Follow the onscreen prompts to send your print job to the print server. You can ignore the area on the second screen that asks what format your document is. Print jobs utilizing this service are sent to the 2nd Floor Computer Commons printer and are held in the print queue for up to four hours.
Q: How do I safely eject my flash drive?
Go to the “Files” application and in the left column, to the right of the flash drive name, there will be an eject icon (triangle with a line under it). Click the icon and then remove your flash drive from the Chromebook.
Q: Can I add applications to the Chromebook?
You can add applications to the Chromebook from the Chrome Web Store. However, they will only be accessible for that session and will be removed from the device at the end of your session. If you have a suggestion for an application available in the Chrome Web Store to add to the list of managed applications available through the Application launcher, please let us know and we will see if it can be added. Please note, not all applications that are available in the Chrome Web Store can be added to the Application launcher.
Q: How do I know my personal information isn’t stored on the Chromebook after I use it?
When you power down the Chromebook, close the lid or end the public session, the Chromebook is restored to the state it was in before you used it. All browsing history and any documents or applications saved directly to the Chromebook will be permanently erased.
Q: I’d prefer a Windows laptop to a Chromebook. How do I checkout a Windows laptop instead?
We do not have Windows laptop loans available at this time. Please complete our Chromebook survey and let us know you’re interested in a Windows laptop loaning program.