I’d never really grasped the benefits of the Hidden option in Google Docs until Renee Flatness called and sparked an idea. It had occurred to me, as someone who often displays their Google Docs account in front of hundreds of students and many teachers, it is an option to prohibit personal files from displaying during a lesson. I thought that if I chose to hide a file, it could only be seen if I clicked on the Hidden link on the left. Not true! Why’s this a good thing?

I’ve had several teachers (and a few students) express their dislike at the overwhelming, long list of files that appears when they log into the accounts, as All Items is selected by default. Since some students are turning in assignments digitally by sharing them with their teachers, I think several teachers feel that the All Items view is almost like an inbox. In the past my response has been, “Get over it.” Well, now I have a better answer. If you hide documents, they are no longer displayed in these views: All Items, Owned by Me, Opened by Me, Shared With Me, or Starred (even if it is starred.) However, the file will be displayed in search results, and if the file has been tagged with a folder, it will appear when the folder is selected.

So this means, if you are someone who wants a clean All Items view when logging into your Google Docs account, you can have it. As you grade students’ shared assignments, collaborate in shared documents, create or upload files, just tag the file with a folder and then hide it. The file will disappear from most of the viewing filters. But you can still access the file by clicking on its folder, clicking the Hidden filter, or by searching for it using the search box at the top. Actually you don’t have to add the file to a folder before hiding it, since you can still find it with Hidden filter and search box, but I’m guessing most of you will want to use the folder option.

I can hear the sigh of relief in English Department hallway. ;>)


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