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ISTE 2017 – Must-have Google Add-ons and Features

June 26, 2017

In case you checked in late good friendly user, these posts are a series of my notes from the various sessions and presentations at the ISTE 2017 Conference in San Antonio. Can’t vouch for the entertainment value of these notes, but can vouch for the valuable information you might find within!

Bret Gensburg, University Of Akron

Presentation and files at

You know you’re in the right spot, when you walk in and the crazy music is blaring and Bret dancing around in his cray loud pink shirt!

Bret reminded us of how to share Google Doc URLs, adding /export?format=pdf means it will automatically download the most recent document, as PDF, without requiring a Google account/login.

Sheets can also be published, and then the link stays the same, even though you may continue to update the sheet. You can even publish only certain sheet tabs, so that people can access what you give them access to, and you can keep other data secret/private/inaccessible. Diagrams -> Connect more Apps, use for later.

Google Docs

  • You can use the File menu within any doc type, to open any doc type.
  • There is now a Page Setup, so you can choose sizes, and backgrounds
  • Bookmarks, links within the document to help yourself.
  • Can set headers, and use it to jump around in the document
  • More Fonts, you can add more like Princess Sophia font

Docs Add-ons

Remove Line Breaks – highlight text in your doc that you copied from somewhere, and line breaks are messing you up. Tool will remove all the line breaks. Very quick and easy.

** Don’t forget that you can also search for double spaces ”  ” and do a replace with a single space.

Text Cleaner – Can do things like remove line breaks, multiple spaces, etc. But you can configure it to remove all kinds of things, and preserve different things like Bold, underline, smart quotes, etc. Very cool.

URL Shortener – Longer the URL, more difficult the QR codes, so shortening them helps out. Have a long one in the doc, can shorten right there within the doc.

** will also track how many times people use your shortened URLs

Capitals – can change cases, have every word changed, or sentences, or whatever. Very slick.

Doc Tools – Sort things, all kinds of useful things within Docs – Can work on concept maps, collaboratively. Can use them right within Docs. Can update from within and without. Very nice.

Doc to Form – Can take your doc, and turn it into a form. Handy if you already have it laid out in a Doc. Of course starting it in a Form is a better idea if starting from scratch.

Avery Label Merge – Create your merged labels from within Docs and Sheets

Koodid Barcodes – Setup Barcodes – really easy to insert QR codes in your doc

Twitter Curator – Pull info from Twitter feed

Sheets Tools

  • Label / Named Ranges – handy when building your formulas, and as data changes from year to year, easy to update.
  • Filter data, and Filter Views -> Save the filter as a view, easy to quickly look at something, but when others view the file, they see the original view
  • ctrl-v, you can paste the data, or a link to the data, so you get the updates, or use ctrl-shift-v for other features.

Crop Sheets – select your data, and crop the blanks.

autoCrat – automatically create documents based on data within your sheet. ie. make certificates for students. Unbelievably powerful add-on

Power Tools – Remove all kinds of stuff in your sheets, like spaces, leading or trailing spaces. Split columns, does not delete or modify the original data, and moves all the other columns automatically.

Remove Duplicates – remove all duplicate data, can even compare two sheets and modify appropriately.

Bret ran through a whole bunch of other great things, just too many things to document here. His list of add-ons is amazing, and I will need hours to go through the rest of them to see what best to use.

This is one of those sessions where the hour disappears in like five minutes. He could go for hours, and we would all be there until the end. Another amazing presentation Bret!



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