U-M Google Updates

New ways to comment on non-Google files in Google Drive


Google is making it possible to comment directly on more file types including Microsoft Office files, PDFs and images—without having to convert them into Docs, Sheets or Slides.

This update enables commenting on non-Google files in Drive the way you're used to in Google Docs. In the Drive preview pane, comment, assign tasks, or mention coworkers and they can reply back, even if they’re not using G Suite. When commenting in Drive preview, you don’t need to open up other tools to complete tasks. To comment, open Microsoft Office files, like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, in Drive preview and give feedback in comments.

If you find you would rather convert your non-Google files, go to Google Drive, right click on your Office file and click Open with and then select Docs (or Sheets or Slides). Or, you can choose to edit Microsoft files without converting them fully using Office Compatibility Mode (OCM.)

This update will be slowly rolling out on the UMICH domain.

Google Marketplace and Third-Party Apps


The G Suite Marketplace is a collection of apps that integrate with Google to provide additional features. Most of them are developed and maintained by third-party vendors, and not by Google or U-M. They are not covered by the university’s contract with G Suite. 

Unlicensed Applications
Unless officially licensed by the University, G Suite Marketplace apps may require an additional terms of service agreement. Those agreements are accepted by the individual and not on behalf of the University. Unlicensed G Suite Marketplace apps are also not supported by the ITS Service Center and are not promoted by the U-M Google support team. 

Licensed Applications
We have, however, acquired enterprise licensing for U-M for two G Suite Marketplace apps -  Awesome Table and Yet Another Mail Merge (YAMM). These apps  integrate with U-M Google, adding new features and productivity possibilities. The contracts and licensing agreements with the vendor ensure that the university has an official relationship with the developer.  

Awesome Table lets you display the content of a Google Sheet into various types of views: From a simple table to people directories, Gantt chart views, Google Maps, or card views. There are many possibilities to suit your needs. With it, data in Sheets are shown in a more functional way and can be shared to anybody. This is available to the university community for free.

Yet Another Mail Merge (YAMM) improves email quality with custom content for each entry on your mailing list. Create email campaigns with Gmail and Google Sheets, and then personalize and track each email sent. This is also available to the University community for free.

When contacting the ITS Service Center, please mention that you are working with an approved G Suite Marketplace app. 

Google Drive File Stream Update



Google Drive File Stream is now available for all U-M Google accounts, including MiWorkspace-managed computers. 

Back in the fall, we announced Google Drive File Stream (GDFS), but had not made it available to install from within U-M Google Drive. It is, however, available to download from Google Drive Help. As of last December, the older Google Drive for Mac/PC app (also referred to as “Google Drive Sync”) was officially retired. As such, it is no longer supported by Google and will shut down completely on May 12, 2018. Accessing Google Drive with a web browser is not affected.

MiWorkspace Devices

  • At this time, Google Drive File Stream is not available on MiWorkspace-managed Mac or Windows computers. If you have a MiWorkspace Mac, do not self-install Google Drive File Stream.
  • MiWorkspace Macs use System Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP) for antivirus protection. Currently, macOS machines using SCEP for antivirus protection experience severe performance degradation when Google Drive File Stream is installed.
  • The week of February 19, MiWorkspace will make Google Drive File Stream available to MiWorkspace Windows devices in ITS only. MiWorkspace will monitor and assess the deployment.
  • The Collaboration Services and MiWorkspace Mac and Windows Engineering teams continue to work with Google on any outstanding issues.  Google Drive File Stream will be released more broadly to MiWorkspace Windows and Mac devices once issues are resolved.

Other Devices

  • Google Drive File Stream works well on Windows and Mac devices not running SCEP for antivirus protection.
  • If installing Google Drive File Stream, exclude the “Google Drive” volume from antivirus scanning.

About Google Drive File Stream

With Google Drive File Stream, you access your Google Drive files directly from the cloud to your Mac or PC. This frees up disk space and network bandwidth, as files are accessed on demand, rather than synced locally in the background. Because the Drive files are stored in the cloud, any changes you or your collaborators make are automatically updated everywhere. You’ll always have the latest version. You can also make Drive files available for offline access. These cached files sync back to the cloud when you're online, so the latest version is available on all your devices.

With Drive File Stream, you can:

  • See your Google Drive files (including Team Drives) in Mac OS Finder/Windows Explorer.
  • Browse and organize Google Drive files without downloading them to your computer.
  • Choose which files or folders you'd like to make available offline.
  • Open files in common apps like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop.


U-M Google December and January Summary


The monthly U-M Google Summaries inform campus of Google releases for Core Apps as well as the Non-Core Apps (those that are not part of the G Suite for Education agreement.) We communicate important information on Core Apps throughout the month. Core and Non-Core Apps are listed on the G Suite website.

Core Apps:

Non-Core Apps:

Previously Communicated:

Note: Keep in mind that even when non-core apps are found in a core app (like Google Drive), they are not covered by the G Suite for Education agreement.

New Features in Google Sheets!


Google announced new features in Google Sheets. They began rolling out today, January 24.

Pivot table updates

  • Create new ones with Explore
  • Customize row and column headings
  • Summarize values as a fraction of grand totals
  • View cell details
  • Combine groups to aggregate data
  • Repeat row labels and format in new ways

See Help Center for more details:  Customize a Pivot Table.

Suggested formulas

Using machine intelligence, full formula suggestions appear when “=” is entered in a cell.

More new Sheets features

  • Waterfall charts visualize sequential changes. Click Insert, Chart, and then choose waterfall.
  • Sheets will automatically split up fixed-width formatted data without a delimiter.

Read the full announcement on the G Suite updates blog.