Tips and Tricks

Apr 9, 2014 - 3:41 pm

Brown's Google Apps service allows each of us to have 30 GB shared storage for email and Google Drive. If you're getting close to your limit or just feel like keeping things clean, you can find big files in your mail and drive using the following instructions.

There's now an easier way to search your emails by size. Open the Advanced Search by clicking the triangle on the inner right of the search box at the top of your email.

You'll see an option to enter a size in the Advanced Search. You might want to start with 15 MB - if you don't find enough results, decrease the number and try again.

Once you delete emails, they will be automatically removed from your trash after 30 days. You can also empty your trash manually.

You can also sort your Google Drive by size to find the biggest files. Find a column heading (such as 'Owner' or 'Last Modified') and click the small triangle next to it. Choose to sort by Quota Used. In Drive, the trash does not automatically empty - if you move a file to the trash and want to lower your used quota, you will have to click the Trash link on the left menu and then the Empty Trash button.

May 19, 2014 - 9:37 am

We've heard from a lot of students who don't realize it's possible to print to PAWPrints from their own computers. We've recorded Mac and PC videos of the setup. Remember that you need to be connected to Brown-Secure wireless or with an ethernet cable on campus in order to print.  Follow along with the text instructions here.

Dec 19, 2013 - 8:30 am

Google updated its look recently, changing the top menu bar. We've gotten a lot of questions about how to find some apps and features. Here's where to look:

Finding Apps
Previously, you could access Google's apps (such as Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Drive) on the black bar across the top. Now, click the grid icon near the top right of the page and a menu of apps will appear.

Access all AppsAccess all Apps

Shared Mailboxes and Signing Out
Click your photo / icon on the top right to see your shared mailboxes and to sign out.

Access Shared Mailboxes and Sign OutAccess Shared Mailboxes and Sign Out

Other Suggestions for Finding Apps
Looking for your apps? Try these two suggestions to make them easier to find:

  • Add your favorite apps (like Mail and Calendar) to your browser's bookmarks bar, and links will always show at the top of your browser. Every browser is different - here's  information about the bookmarks bar in Chrome.
  • Automatically open your favorite apps in new tabs each time you start your browser. Again, each browser is different - in Chrome, look for the "Open a specific page or set of pages" option
Oct 3, 2013 - 12:40 pm

A few people have noticed the RSS links on the top of our Announcements and Alerts pages and asked what RSS is and how to subscribe to it. RSS (which stands for "Really Simple Syndication") is a standard way to format dated content such as blog posts or newspaper articles. It's helpful to format these in a standard way so they can be understood by other applications such as a news reader phone app.

For example, let's say you are really interested in learning how to cook, and you find 20 fantastic food blogs and 5 newspaper recipe pages. You could bookmark all 25 of these websites and visit them every day to see if something's new, but that would be a lot of work! Instead, you could use a feed reader to display all the new content in one place. You can open a single app or website and see what's new.

If this sounds exciting, you might be wondering what feed reader to use. That's a matter of preference, and we don't recommend or support a specific product at Brown. It depends whether you want to read on a computer or a smartphone, and if there are other features you're looking for like social networking integration or slick design. Here are a few favorites:

For example, if you wanted to subscribe to our IT at Brown alerts, you would right-click (PC) or control-click (Mac) on the RSS link at the top of the Alerts page and copy the link address.

Next, you would open your preferred RSS reader and paste the link wherever you are able to add feeds. Here's what it looks like in Feedly:

Sep 26, 2013 - 1:05 pm

Upload your Syllabus
Add a copy of your syllabus to the Academic Services Gateway
Note: Once you upload your syllabus file, it may take up to 6-hours to appear on and Banner. For Canvas users, your syllabus will be uploaded immediately to the Syllabus folder for your course site.

Shopping Period
For shopping period, instructors may direct students to to download syllabi and gain access to Canvas course materials. During shopping, instructors can distinguish Banner-registered students from shoppers using the "Registration Info" button in the Canvas course navigation menu. Learn more about shopping period and Canvas (and send this shopping period tip sheet to your students.)
Note: Students can find captured video lectures for recorded courses during the High Holidays from the EchoCenter within Canvas (see left navigation in Canvas).

Publish Your Course
Students (including shoppers) will not be able to access course content until a course is published. From the Canvas Course Setup Checklist, click on the "Publish Course" step to make your course accessible to enrolled students. All Banner enrolled students will appear in your Canvas course site. Use the Student View to double check things are in order. Watch a video tutorial to learn more about publishing your course.

Add TAs
Do you have TAs or want to add other users not officially associated with your course? Submit this form ( with your course information and the Brown email addresses of your TAs. They will gain access to Canvas and other course resources by the end of the next business day. Be sure to submit this form to grant OCRA access as well!

Activate your E-Reserves
Are you using OCRA E-Reserves for access to online readings, audio, and films? Activate your electronic reserves through the Library ( and enable the E-Reserves button in Canvas. Please note film requests require at least 10 business days for your films to be reactivated. Watch a video tutorial to learn more about adding the E-Reserves button to your Canvas site.

Get Help

Sep 17, 2013 - 7:51 am

Having trouble connecting? We've collected our top issues and how to solve them.  For your privacy, security, and convenience, it's important that your computer and mobile devices are set up to connect to the Brown-Secure wireless network. 

Sep 13, 2013 - 2:22 pm

Are you frustrated with Gmail compose windows that are "stuck" to the bottom right corner of your browser? Learn how to set them free with this video tip.

Sep 13, 2013 - 1:56 pm

Google Forms recently updated to be more consistent with other Google Drive document types. Two helpful new features are auto save and real-time collaboration. The new format is fairly intuitive, but you should be aware of one major change – form responses do not get collected in a spreadsheet by default.

To indicate that you would like to collect responses in a spreadsheet, click the “Choose response destination” button at the top while editing the form.

Choose Response Destination
Next, you will be prompted to name the spreadsheet in which the responses will be collected. You will also see an option to always create new spreadsheets for forms.

Always create a new spreadsheet for forms

More information about response destinations
More information about the recent updates to Google Forms

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