How to integrate Google Docs with your Ubuntu desktop

Google Docs is a great online office suite, and the fact that it allows collaboration has made it quite popular. Make it even better by integrating these services straight into your Ubuntu desktop…


4. Grant executable permission
The last step required for the installation of the script is to make sure that the script has executable permission. To check this, right-click on the file ‘Send To GDoc’ in the location ‘/home/username/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts’ and go to Properties. In the pane that opens, select the Permissions tab. Make sure that the ‘Allow executing file as program’ option is checked. Hit Close to finish up.

5. Send file to Google Docs
We’re all set up and we can now begin testing the nautilus-gdoc script. Launch Nautilus and locate a locate a file that you want to upload to your Google Docs account. Note that the file formats supported by this tool at the moment are a bit restricted. Use a text file to begin with. Right-click on the file, then go to Scripts>Send To GDoc.

6. Enter authentication
If the script was set up correctly, you will be asked for your Google account’s username. Enter it. Then you will be asked for you password. Once you have entered all the credentials correctly, nautilus-gdoc should begin uploading your document to your Google Docs account.

7. Log into Google Docs
After the upload of the document is complete, you will get a message confirming that this has occurred. Log into your Google Docs account to check if the upload was done correctly. You should be able to see the file you uploaded listed in the landing page of Google Docs. Click on it to verify that all the content is indeed intact.

8. Other formats
One of the surprising things about this plug-in is that it doesn’t seem to work with open file formats. It is not compatible with OpenOffice files. This may be something to do with Google’s end of things. Formats such as XLS, TXT and DOC worked fine for us. The workaround for files created using OpenOffice is to save them using one of these formats and then upload them.

In the nautilus-gdoc script that we just looked at, one of the missing features seems to be the lack of the ability to export OpenOffice documents to your Google Docs account. While we can’t fix that just yet, there is another option. The OpenOffice community has come up with a plug-in that allows you to import and export your documents, spreadsheets and presentations with your Google Docs account. The plug-in is called OpenOffice.org2GoogleDocs. Let’s take a closer look at it…

1. Get the plug-in
First, download the OpenOffice.org2GoogleDocs extension from the OpenOffice project’s website. Head to the extension section of the website to get it. The extension is hosted here. Click on the ‘Get it!’ button on the page to download the extension.

2. Install the extension
Once the OpenOffice.org2GoogleDocs extension has been downloaded to your desktop, launch one of the components of OpenOffice, such as the Writer. Go to Tools>Extension Manager in the application menu. This will launch the Extension Manager window. In this window, click on Add. Navigate to the location of the extension and click on Open. This should complete the installation of OpenOffice.org2GoogleDocs in OpenOffice. The extension should appear in the list shown in the Extension Manager.

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