Friday, March 27, 2015

Converting files from Google Drive to Microsoft OneDrive (Office365)

I'm a huge Google person and use their services for most of my personal needs (email, blogging, video sharing, etc.). I have been using Google Drive and the Docs and Sheets apps for my word processing and other needs for several years and in general have been very happy with the performance and improvements they have made. At both work and school it is great to have access to my documents wherever I am and on whatever device I'm using at the time.

That being said, Microsoft is also making huge pushes into cloud computing and their Office365 offering is now fairly stable and mature. Dickinson College (where I work) has recently been moving towards official support for these services as they are now included in our Microsoft Campus license agreement. In order to help acquaint myself with the services I have been making an effort to use them more frequently and one of the first things I wanted to do was make a copy of my Google Drive "Work" folder on Microsoft's OneDrive service. Since my computer is now setup to sync to both services this shouldn't be difficult, however, Google's file formats are really just pointers to the web services, so the files need to be converted to Office formats for this to really work.

There are two ways to handle this conversion, one way would take a very long time, depending on the number of files you have, and the other will save you a ton of time. I'm going to document both here for reference, but if you are making a similar transition then the second method is the one you should use.

Converting a Google Docs file to Office

  1. Open the file you want to convert in Google Docs.
  2. Click File, Download As, Microsoft Word (.docx).
    Note that if you are working with a spreadsheet you will get the option to save as Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) instead.
  3. The converted file will download.
You can use this process to convert files one at a time and this can be useful when you need to share a file with someone and they need it in Word or another format. This function is also useful for creating PDF versions of documents to distribute.

Converting an entire folder at once
Google will allow you to convert multiple files at once and this will be more helpful for making a wholesale transition from Drive to another service. 

  1. Login to Google Drive.
  2. Highlight the folder containing the files you want to convert.
    Note that you can select multiple files and folders by holding in the Ctrl key on a Windows machine and the Command key on a MacOS machine and clicking the subsequent files.
  3. Click the three dots in the upper right corner below the Google bar.
  4. Click Download.
  5. Google will prepare a zip file containing all of your files. Docs will be converted to Word format (.docx) and Sheets will be converted to Excel (.xlsx).
  6. Open the zip file and extract your converted documents. These can now be placed in your OneDrive folder or anyplace else that you want to store them.