CLOUD Shortcuts: The Easy Way To Use Google Drive On Your Mac

7 Min Read

Google Drive is one of many ways to keep your Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides in sync across multiple devices. It also enables you to create new files that will automatically be backed up online like any other file in your account.

In this article, I’d like to show you how you can use Google Drive on your Mac without having it installed.

Shortcuts > Cloud

  • The Cloud – Without Installation, the beauty about these shortcuts is that they don’t require an installation process which could potentially hijack or slow down your computer because Google would need to install some program on your system. It uses the free Application “Cloud” by Jendrik Bertram which serves as a bridge between local applications (e.g. Google Chrome) and cloud applications (e.g. Google Drive).

Shortcuts > Cloud Shortcuts –

  • The Basics Get to your Google Drive files Without having installed the cloud app I can still open my existing files in Drive-by using Chrome, Imgur, or any other browser that is associated with Google Drive – but there is a faster method. If you’d like to get access to your drive files without going through a browser or using a different third-party application this set of shortcuts will help you. Here’s how: Open any site in Chrome and enter “Drive:” into the address bar followed by a space and a search term for example “Drive: Minecraft” Hit the return key which will prompt the shortcut overlay mouse click on “Search Files” You should now see a list of files matching your search term. If you want to research all files again enter “Drive:*” (notice the asterisk at the end).
  • This will display all Google Drive results that match you’re entered terms. You can also hit the “+ Shortcut” button on the right side to add this shortcut to your main menu for easier future access. Since I’m using Chrome you could just hit ctrl+shift+j and start typing in my search term directly but if you do not use Chrome there are other alternatives. For example, click here, enter any search term and click “Add to Search Bar“. Now every time you open a new browser window or tab you can just type in your search term and hit the return key. This will open your search results without having to click on anything else.
  • Adding new files to Drive You can also use Google Chrome or Google Drive itself as a shortcut which enables you to create new files directly from within any of these shortcuts. To do this; Open any website in Google Chrome Enter “Drive: new” into the address bar followed by a space and whatever filename you would like for your new file Hit the return key which will prompt the shortcut overlay Mouse over “Create File” The following window will pop up – adjust the file name and press enter You should now see a sample document with placeholders where you edit text/images, etc.

This method helps you avoid making an account and logging in if all you want to do is open a new file.

Shortcuts > Cloud Shortcuts –

  • The Nitty Gritty Now that you’ve got the basics out of the way let’s take a look at some shortcuts that might come in handy when using Google Drive. Here are my current favorite ones: Open Multiple Files in Google Drive This shortcut enables you to open any number of files at once which can be useful if, for example, you want to edit several pictures or spreadsheet parts simultaneously.
  • Google Drive’s Shortcuts are an alternative way to access many of the popular functions within the application. The shortcuts will allow you quick access for viewing, uploading, or sharing files with others. They can be set by accessing the drive website, accessible through a browser on your Mac, and then setting up the shortcuts there.
  • Since they mostly rely on using keyboard commands it can help if you have an extended keyboard hooked up to your Mac so that you have all the separate buttons available (example: Command+keypad number). Though if you’re like me and don’t like having something extra attached to your computer you can always just create hotkeys for these functions in System Preferences>Keyboard>Shortcuts>Services.
  • In doing so, if you have a file selected in Google Drive and use Command+Shift+4 your selection will automatically save to the Desktop. This can be changed or turned off by going to System Preference>Keyboard>Shortcuts>Services and then scrolling down to “Google Docs” where you will find options for what shortcut does what.
  • I’ve found this method much simpler than trying to navigate through Google Drive’s interface and it has proven itself within the time that I’ve been using it and I hope that anyone who finds this gets some use out of it.


Google Drive is an amazing document storage system that can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. The Google Docs Shortcuts are, above all others, the easiest way to get into your files and create new ones. I hope this has helped some of you out there manage your workflow more effectively than before so you can spend time on the important things in life.

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