This section provides brief answers to the most common questions. See the relevant section of the FAQ for more details, if needed.
Click on the taskbar (system tray) Syncdocs icon. Then select ‘Preferences’
This depends on two things: your Google account type and whether you convert your documents.
Google currently provides 1GB of quota to free users. Google Apps for Business and Education (Premium accounts) default is also 1GB per domain user.
If you choose to convert your documents to Google Documents format, these do not count towards your quota.
Additional storage can be bought very cheaply from Google, for example 20GB costs $5 per year.
Syncdocs supports syncing files of any format.
Google Docs supports editing and viewing of common Microsoft and Open Office formats.
Google Docs can view, but not edit, .pdf files, image files, and movies.
Conversion to Google for editing may sometimes result in loss of some document formatting, so Syncdocs backs up your original file.
Syncdocs lets you upload Office files with and without conversion to Google Docs. You can always convert later, from inside Google Docs, if you wish. You can also change the convert setting inside Syncdocs, and it will apply this to new documents.
Conversion to Google format has advantages and disadvantages:
The main advantages of conversion are online collaboration and search.
The main disadvantage is loss of document fidelity. The Google conversion process is not 100%, and advanced document features can be lost. The Powerpoint conversion is excellent, the Word conversion is normally good, but the Excel import conversion is rudimentary. Google also enforces size limits on conversion, which is an issue with a 500kB limit for Word files.
The Syncdocs client software runs on Microsoft Windows XP and up.
There is no native Mac or Linux version yet. Syncdocs works well under Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux using the Wine or Crossover tools, though.
If your mobile phone, iPad, tablet computer or e-reader has a modern web browser, then you can use Google Docs on it.
There are two main ways of doing this from Windows Explorer:
1. You can copy it into your Syncdocs folder and it will get synced automatically.
The easiest way to do this is to drag and drop a file or folder onto you’re My Google Docs on your desktop:
or in most programs when you “Save As”, you’ll see the Syncdocs Favourite (not on Win XP)
2. You can right click on any file and click on “Open in Google Docs”. It will open in your browser.
(if you have selected Google as your default office suite or pdf viewer, then you just can double click on supported file types to open them directly in your browser)
It depends on your own preferences.
Method 1 above is best for transferring many files and sub-folders, and keeping them organized in folders. For example if you want to transfer your “My Documents” folder on your PC to Google Docs.
Method 2 above is best for quick viewing, editing or uploading of single files. If the files are not already synced, it can lead to all these files being put in one folder, as explained below in the next question.
You can always re-organise you files by dragging and them to other folders in Google Docs or in Windows.
With method 2, if the file comes from outside your Syncdocs folder, then it is stored in Google Docs in the “DirectUploads” folder.
Changes you make on Google Docs are synced to the copy of the file in this “DirectUploads” folder, not the original document you clicked on. This duplication only happens if the file you click on is not already in your Syncdocs folders.
When you click on a file outside the Syncdocs folder, Syncdocs checks to see if you have already uploaded or modified it since your last sync. If the file is unchanged, then the synced copy on Google is used.
This depends on your Syncdocs sync settings (convert or not) and on Google Doc’s supported filetypes and file sizes. For more details, see the “Conversion” section of this FAQ.
If you selected Google as your default office suite during Syncdocs installation, then if you double click on a word processor, spreadsheet or presentation file, it opens in Google.
To open these files locally, just right click on the file in Explorer and select “Open” or “Edit”.
If you want to permanently revert to using your previous office suite, then disable “Make Google Docs my default office suite” in the “General” tab in preferences. You will still have to option of opening the document in Google Docs by right clicking on it, and selecting “Open in Google Docs”.
This is probably because you are logged in to your web browser under a different Google account to the one you used to log in to Google with Syncdocs.
Syncdocs syncs between 10 to 20 seconds after changes are detected on your local PC or on Google Docs.
Local PC changes are always detected within 10 to 20 seconds. If the Google server is busy, then it can sometimes take a few minutes to show your changes.
If Syncdocs is busy syncing when new changes occur, then these new changes will be added to the queue and synced.
Make sure that you’ve saved your file in Google Docs. After you save on Google, the changes can take up to ten minutes to appear on Google’s server for download. Depending on the file size and your network speed, it can take another 30 seconds for you to see these changes reflected locally.
Typically, uploaded or newly created files appear in 10-30 seconds. Edits or updates to existing files sometimes take longer to appear on the Google server, especially if the last save was automatic by Google Docs, and not done by the user.
If you upload a lot of files, then after the sync Syncdocs says “Changes detected” and does a quick query sync to Google again. The cause of this is that Google’s conversion process sometimes lags Syncdocs, so new files are not seen immediately after upload.
A few seconds later, Google notifies Syncdocs that there are new files, but these are the files just uploaded or updated. Syncdocs sees this and does not copy anything.
Your PC clock is probably off compared to the Google clock, so Syncdocs sees “newer” files. Sync your PC clock with Internet time by double clicking on the clock on the Windows taskbar. Syncdocs tries to do this automatically at startup.
If you have many PC’s syncing to the same account at the same time, then try increasing the "Same Time Tolerance Window" in Syncdocs Advanced Preferences to a minute or two.
This works fine. We have tested syncing up to 8 PC's to one
Some tips for syncing multiple machines:
1. Make sure your PC's clocks are synced. Syncdocs uses file times during sync. Syncdocs tries to adjust your PC's clock with Internet time servers every few days, but cannot do this if you are not Admin on a Windows Vista or 7 PC.
2. If you can't sync times, increase to a few the "Same time tolerance window" shown below:
Conversion to Google format has advantages and disadvantages:
The main advantages of conversion are online collaboration and search.
The main disadvantage is loss of document fidelity: The Google conversion process is not 100%, and advanced document features can be lost. The Google Powerpoint conversion seems excellent, the Word conversion is normally good, but the Excel import conversion is rudimentary. Google also enforces size limits on conversion, which is an issue with a 500kB limit for Word files.
Syncdocs lets you upload Office files with- and without conversion to Google Docs.
You can always convert later, from inside Google Docs, if you wish. (do this in Google Docs in File menu, “edit online” ) Note that converting from inside Google Docs will not put the converted file in the right folder, though, it goes in the top level folder. This issue has been reported to Google, and they are fixing it.
You can also change the convert setting inside Syncdocs, and it will apply this to new documents, or new edits.
Google Docs does not yet support exporting to Microsoft Office 2007 (or Office 2010) file formats, so your .docx or .xlsx files may be converted to Office 2003 .doc or .xls files on download.
Syncdocs handles this file version skew transparently. Your Office 2007/2010 format file is converted to Office 2003 on download. Syncdocs backs up your original Office 2007/2010 file, in case formatting is lost in the conversion.
Your copy of Office 2007/2010 fully supports the Office 2003 file formats.
With the default settings, if Syncdocs can convert a document, it will. If the is file too big to convert to Google Docs, then it is just uploaded for viewing, not editing. The Google server’s document conversion can also fail sometimes. If conversion fails, Syncdocs uploads your original document for viewing only.
See here for more on Google’s document conversion capabilities for various file types.
Syncdocs is also intelligent, it attempts to keep the files in their original format, so if you converted a file to Google Docs format using the web-interface, it will stay that way, even if you have told Syncdocs not to convert.
You can control document conversion options preferences in the “Docs and Settings” tab of Preferences.
Unfortunately Google Docs and Spreadsheets does not always convert all the features of a document. For example, you may lose footnotes from a Word document, or charts from an Excel spreadsheet.
This conversion is a limitation of Google Docs, and Syncdocs cannot fix it. However, Syncdocs backs up your original document prior to conversion. These are typically stored in the “OriginalsBackup” folder in your Syncdocs data folder. To see this folder from Syncdocs, select “click to open original files backup folder” in “Docs and Files” tab in Preferences. You can open and edit your original documents here.
A good place to start with tips for better conversion is Google Docs’ guides.
Syncdocs tries to keep your files in the right file format. If you download a .txt text file, Syncdocs will keep it as a raw text file and not convert it to word processor format. Similarly, if a file is in Open Office format, Syncdocs can preserve it in this format, and not convert it to MS Office.
To disable format preservation, uncheck the option “Allow file extension to determine file format”, in the “Docs and Files” tab in Settings.
This is because the changes made in Google Docs are awaiting your approval in Microsoft Word. The documents have just been merged.
If you do not wish to see this revision markup, you can turn it off globally in Syncdocs. You do this by unchecking “Show revision markup in MS Word” in the “General” tab in Syncdocs preferences.
To turn revision marking off (or on) on a specific document, do the following:
In Word 2007 and 2010, look at the “Review” tab, and Accept or Reject the changes you want. You can accept all changes, go back to the original, or select “Final” view instead of “Final Showing Markup” view to make this view just go away.
In Word 2003, you can use the review toolbar to accept or reject changes. You can also use this review toolbar to change to “Final” view instead of “Final Showing Markup.
This is because revision marking is turned off and the Google changes have taken priority. Do the reverse of the above question, to show the colored underlined revision marking. You can then choose which changes to accept.
You can set to see changes by checking the option “Show revision markup in MS Word” in the General tab of Preferences.
On Windows 7 and Vista, Microsoft Word or Syncdocs can be started “As Administrator” from the Start menu. If one program (but not both) is started as Administrator, then this is the other user. To fix this problem, either run both, or preferably, neither programs as Administrator.
Syncdocs is waiting for you to answer a Word question, but you can’t see the question.
Word has popped up a message box asking you to merge, but it is behind a window on the screen. Click on Word on your taskbar to see this message box.
The file you are trying to merge is use by another user (see above question). Click on all the Word taskbar icons to find the right one.
If you password protect a file for opening in Word, Excel or Powerpoint, you cannot convert it to Google Docs. Syncdocs will still upload the file, and you can sync it between PCs, but you can only edit it in Microsoft Office.
The Microsoft Office feature “password protect to make a document read only”, is ignored by Google Docs, and you can edit the file.
Google Docs does not support editing files of these formats. You can view them though, but not edit them. Powerpoint 2003 is supported for editing on upload.
Syncdocs supports Open Office and ODF file import and export in Google Docs.
Open Office import conversion is good for Word processor files, but export and especially spreadsheet .ods export is basic. It is unclear whether Presentations are still supported.
You may be better off using the Microsoft Office formats in Syncdocs, and then using Open Office (or Libre Office) to open the Microsoft formats.
See the “Format Preservation” section above. Syncdocs tries to keep files in their original format. It will attempt to download the file as a text file, a file format which does not handle embedded pictures. If you want to get the picture in the local version of the document, replace with .txt extension on Google docs with .rtf, .doc or .odt while editing the file on Google. This will download the file in a word processor format that may be viewed locally with pictures.
To globally disable the file extension determining the file type for all Google Docs, change the “Allow file extension to determine file format” setting in “Docs and Files” in Syncdocs preferences. You .txt file will then be synced in your preferred office suite word processor format (.doc or .odt).
Google Docs deliberately puts these in on conversion. They indicate what sort of text file (UTF-8 byte order mark) it is. Most modern text editors will ignore them.
Google has two versions of its word processor. Documents uploaded with the old version do not keep their extensions. The change over occurred on Google in mid July 2010 (see here for more details).
You do not need to bother about this change, as Syncdocs transparently preserves your local file extensions whether your Google documents have them or not.
If you upload a Word .doc document to Google Docs, edit it, and then download it, the file size can sometimes double. The main reason for this is because Google uses double byte international character sets, while your local Word doc used a single byte character set. There seems no way around this issue at this time.
The file might have grown above threshold file size for editable documents on Google. So if you create a file on Google Docs, do some editing in Word that pushes it over the current limit (500kB) then update it, Google Docs will reject the file.
Syncdocs tries to keep the file in its old format, but if Google cannot convert the changes, it has to upload in a format (non-editable) Google will accept.
Google allows you to have duplicate file names. For example, you can have two files called “My September report.doc” in the same folder. Giving files of the same type and in the same folder exactly the same names is confusing.
Syncdocs assumes that the most recent file of a set with exactly the same name is the one to sync. Older duplicate files are not synced, only the most recent.
Starting in late 2010, Google began providing the ability to convert documents after upload in Google Docs.
For example: If you uploaded a file called File.doc, but did not convert on upload. Then, at a later time you chose to convert it. Then Google Docs will create another copy with the same name, but in editable format.
If you run Google Cloud connect, you will see many of these duplicate names.
Syncdocs assumes that the most recent file of a set with exactly the same name is the one to sync. Older duplicate files are not synced, only the most recent one.
As with duplicate file names, Google allows folders with exactly the same name. Syncdocs matches these duplicate folder names to one local folder.
This is the way Google folders work. Dragging in Google Docs is copy, not move. This behavior may be different in the new Google interface.
You can put a single file in multiple folders on Google. This is mirrored locally but putting a file in each folder. A change to either of these files locally can change the one file on Google.
The Google server may be rejecting this file. Typical causes we’ve seen are:
- your file has a virus
- you have an Excel .xlsx file with macros
- the server is busy, and it is rejecting this file for conversion.
See above “A certain file won’t sync”. Syncdocs will retry this file a certain number of times if it is rejected by Google.
Unfortunately, Google does not yet allow you to edit uploaded drawings online. Your previous, editable, Google version of the drawing will be in the Google folder named “Bin” or “Trash”. You can only view the most recently uploaded version, not edit it.
Drawings are a recent Google Docs feature, and Google may allow editing of uploaded drawings in future. (check here) When they do, Syncdocs should fully support drawings.
The time on your PC may be slightly off. Check the time on your PC. You can do this by double clicking the clock time on the taskbar.
Syncdocs will attempt to keep your PC’s clock in sync with time-servers on your domain or with atomic clocks on timeservers on the Internet. However, if you are not a local administrator on your Windows 7 or Vista PC, then you may not have permission to change the time. You can increase the “Same time tolerance window” option in the “Advanced” settings tab to fix this problem. You can also run Syncdocs as administrator.
Windows XP users do not have this problem and Syncdocs will keep their PC clock accurate.
If your company runs a Windows Domain Server, then ask your IT dept to check the clock on this server.
This is a known issue with Google Docs. Google are aware of this issue and are looking into it.
In the meantime, a workaround is to create a normal free (non-Premium) account and upload large files to this. These accounts do not have this issue.
Google can handle more symbols in its file names than your Windows PC can. If your file or folder name on Google Docs contains any of these symbols: ? < > | \ / * : “ then they will be replaced with an underscore(‘_’) on your PC. For example, a Google Doc called file?name will be called file_name on your PC. The two files are still synced the same way as files with identical names.
Google files or folders named . and .. get called _ and _ _.
Syncdocs supports file and folder names in non-Roman alphabets like Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Eastern European, Japanese and Korean.
This is caused by the way Google deletes folders, not by Syncdocs. If you delete a folder inside Google Docs using a web browser, its contents are (sometimes) moved to the root folder and not deleted. Google is aware of this bug.
If someone shares a file with you without edit permissions, and you then edit it locally. Syncdocs will upload a copy. If the file was in a shared folder, the copy will also be shared.
In short – Syncdocs lets you edit read-only shared files locally, but resolves the conflict by duplicating the file and sharing the changes with the original sharer.
The folder was likely shared with you as read only. Syncdocs will treat it the same as the shared file above.
This is because the person sharing the document with you has revoked the share.
If someone shares a document or folder with you on Google Docs, this document or folder will be mirrored on your local PC. If they then “unshare” this document, then it will be deleted on your local PC. However, you can still access it by looking in the recycle bin on your PC.
Sub-folders of shared folders sometimes do not disappear on un-sharing. This is a known issue in Google Docs and Google may fix it. Syncdocs tries to work around this bug.
Sometimes, if you delete a local folder and this folder was one that was shared on Google Docs, the folder still appears on the Google list. Google is aware of this issue and may fix it.
You might have been shared the folder as “read-only”. This means you have no permissions to alter it on Google. Syncdocs will have shown an “access denied” error.
To ignore shared folders, “un-accept” the share on Google docs, or unselect the relevant folder in Syncdocs Preferences shown below:
Anything you copy here is automatically shared.
Uncheck this option in your settings:
Currently (September 2011) Google gives 1GB per free user account. If you need more than 1GB, extra storage costs about 2 cents per GB, per month.
Premium, Google Apps for Business and Educational accounts differ, depending on your Google account policies, so ask your system administrator. However, default is also 1GB per domain user.
For an exact answer for your current user account, click on the storage space shown when you right click on the Syncdocs taskbar menu.
Follow this link to manage your storage on Google.
Right click on the Syncdocs taskbar icon. You will see a menu item showing you how much space you have. For example it may say “6.6% of 21 GB” used. If you click on it you can see more details of your space usage, like trash space used and ways of getting more space.
This will show you more details:
Documents in Google Docs format don’t count towards your used space quota. In other words, if you can edit the document, it is not using up your quota. Documents in their native format, like Word or Excel files that you can view, but not edit, do use up your space quota. Most other file formats like mp3, jpg and zip do use up your space quota.
As of 12 January 2010, all file formats are supported, not just documents, presentations and spreadsheets. Google Docs Product Manager, Vijay Bangaru announced this change.
Syncdocs can sync any sort of file if you wish, or only office type files (documents, spreadsheets and presentations). You can change this setting in preferences in the “Docs and Files” tab, under “Select file types to sync”.
Other limitations on files:
· The maximum supported file size is 1GB. You cannot sync files bigger than this.
· You need to obey Google’s policy on what you can upload (no illegal activities like hate speech, copyright infringement, spam etc.)
· Uploaded files are scanned for viruses by Google.
Free accounts users can purchase more space directly from Google.
Google’s storage price is way cheaper than other online storage providers. It is currently $5.00 per year for 20GB, (2c per GB per month) with plans from 20GB to 16TB available.
Here is the current price of storage or you can check the link above for more details.
This additional storage can also be shared with other Google services like Gmail and Picassa.
Educational, Premium and Google Apps users can ask their admin for more space quota.
Files on Google Docs are not immediately wiped. Rather, they are sent to a recycle bin called “Bin” or “Trash” on Google Docs. These recycled files still use up your space quota. To get your space back you need to click on the “Trash” or “Bin” folder and then click “Empty Trash”. You will then have your space back for new files. It seems to take a few minutes after emptying the trash for the Google server to report the correct space available.
On your PC, look in your recycle bin, right click on the file and select “restore”. This file will be restored by to Google by Syncdocs. Syncdocs also backs up your original document in its backup directory.
In Google Docs you can undelete files by clicking on the left side menu item titled “Trash” or “Bin”.
You previous versions of documents on Google are available by right clicking on the file in the list, or if you are editing the file, you can click on File|Revisions. For non-editable filetypes, your previous file versions are in the Bin or Trash folder.
On your PC, old versions of all filetypes are deleted to the recycle bin.
On Windows 7 and Vista they may also be available by right clicking on the file in Explorer and selecting “Restore previous versions”.
Because converting a document to Google Docs can sometimes lose advanced formatting settings (like Word equations), Syncdocs backs up your original document prior to conversion. These are normally stored in the “OriginalsBackup” folder in your Syncdocs data folder.
The default location will be “G:\OriginalsBackup”
To see this folder from Syncdocs, and click on “click to open original files backup folder” in “Docs and Files” tab in Preferences. You can open and edit your original documents here.
You can also view your originals file by right clicking on the taskbar icon and then clicking “Open Local Folder” and then opening your “OriginalsBackup” folder.
Syncdocs is normally set to mirror changes on Google Docs on your local PC, even if these changes occurred while your PC wasn’t running. If you deleted files on Google Docs using a web browser, or another PC running Syncdocs, then the next time you start up, these changes (deletions) will be mirrored locally. If you want to get these files back, just un-delete them using the recycle bin, as explained above. These un-deletions can also be mirrored.
Is the file shared with you? You can’t delete shared files you don’t own. Files that others have shared with you cannot be deleted. You can delete them locally, but they will be restored on the next sync if you do not stop accepting the share using Google Docs.
The solution is to stop accepting this share in Google Docs.
Another possible cause of this is if you have duplicate file names on Google; Syncdocs will only delete one of these files, the most recent. The older file will then be synced back to your PC, and you will see this as the file re-appearing. Giving files in the same folder identical names is not recommended for this reason.
The solution is to delete this duplicate too, assuming you don’t want it.
Google doesn’t always delete all the files. After deleting in the browser, hit F5 to refresh it and see if there are some that remain. Delete these again.
Google can take a while to delete all the files online on the Google server. During this time Syncdocs may sync some of these files, and then wipe them when the server wipes them.
This is often caused by duplicate filenames in the same folder. If you have duplicate file names on Google; Syncdocs will only delete one of these files, the most recent.
The older file will then be synced back to your PC, and you will see this as the file re-appearing. Since the folder it was in has been deleted, Google moves it to the root folder. Giving files in the same folder identical names is not recommended for this reason.
Another cause of this a Google server bug. If you delete folders on Google, the server sometimes moves the folder contents to the root (top-level) folder. Syncdocs tries to fix this, but requires two sync cycles to bypass the server bug.
Generally, deleting files locally is faster and more reliable than using the Google web interface.
See the above answer about deletions. It can take a while for the Google server to unshared all your data, in the meantime you might see some files in the root folder.
Was Syncdocs running when the files were deleted? Syncdocs works best when running continuously in the background. It will only monitor local deletions when it is running. If you close it, then delete files in the Syncdocs folder on your PC, and then run it again, it will restore these files.
You also can’t delete shared files you don’t own. Files that others have shared with you cannot be deleted. You can delete them locally, but they will be restored on the next sync if you do not stop accepting the share using Google Docs.
Another possible cause of this is if you have duplicate file names on Google; Syncdocs will only delete one of these files, the most recent. The older file will then be synced back to your PC.
If you delete a folder on Google Docs using the web interface, then the folder contents are not deleted, but moved to the root (top level) folder by Google. This is unusual behavior, but is the way Google engineers designed it. Syncdocs mirrors this behavior of Google locally.
If you un-delete a folder on Google, then Syncdocs will restore its contents, too. That is, the relevant files will be moved from the root folder back into the un-deleted folder.
If you want a folder and its contents deleted on Google, then delete the folder locally. This will delete all the contents, and this change will be mirrored on Google by Syncdocs.
If you rename a file locally while someone on Google Docs is concurrently saving the same file, you will end up with two files, the old and new names. This happens rarely.
If you delete a file locally while someone of Google Docs is concurrently editing this file, the file will not be deleted on Google, and the new file on Google Docs will be synced back.
If you wipe a folder tree and its contents while the folder and contents are busy being uploaded, Syncdocs will not wipe the already uploaded content on Google. This is to prevent possible data loss of changes may have been made online while the sync was in progress.
Syncdocs is efficient in using network bandwidth. It tries to connect as fast as your Internet link allows. It is also well behaved so that other network applications perform smoothly.
Google’s servers or your ISP may also be throttled to a maximum speed to allow fairness between various users.
Bear in mind that the Google server might also take a few seconds to convert file formats on upload or download.
If you are on an ADSL broadband Internet connection, your Internet download speeds are typically about 10 times faster of your upload speeds. This is how ADSL is designed.
When you click on a file, Syncdocs checks to see if you have already uploaded it or modified it since your last sync. If the file is unchanged, then the synced copy on Google is used this is fast. If the file is not already on Google Docs, the file first needs to be uploaded, and this can make viewing slow. The next time you view this file it will be faster, as it won’t need uploading.
It is faster, however it is not 100% reliable on the Google Docs API. For this reason, concurrent uploading and downloading is currently disabled.
Syncdocs reports speeds in bytes per second, where broadband is quoted in bits per second.
There are 8 bits per byte, 580 bits /8 = 72.5 bytes so Syncdocs is using your bandwidth efficiently.
Syncdocs measures files in bytes, not bits, so kB for kilobytes, MB for megabytes etc.
These factors determine speed:
1. Your internet speed, and how busy you are on it. If you are on an ADSL broadband link, your upload speeds are normally 1/10th of download speeds.
2. Google’s servers – if you are converting many documents to Google format or uploading .pdf files, the conversion can be the limiting factor.
3. If you are transferring many small files, there is a 1-3 second overhead time per file.
4. Google or ISP throttling – this rarely occurs, but may limit you to around 100kB/s per client.
5. Whether the Google server you are connecting to supports compression. Syncdocs attempts to use compression by default to speed up network transfers.
Before uploading your file, Dropbox checks to see it any other Dropbox user has uploaded this file before. If so, it does not upload your file again. This practice, known as “deduplication” is smart, but it trades off speed for security. Your files cannot be encrypted privately as the server needs to check if anyone else has the same file.
Syncdocs uploads are slower, but more secure: Syncdocs always uses encryption and uploads your file to your private Google store.
The Syncdocs client software runs on Microsoft Windows XP and later.
The Syncdocs installer will automatically download the required .Net components if you do not already have them installed. If you have Windows XP prior to SP3 you may need the .Net 3.5 SP1 client, which the installer can download for you. This .Net version should be installed on your PC already if you are running Windows XP SP3, Vista SP1, Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.
The USB-stick portable version of Syncdocs only requires .Net 3.0
There is no native Mac or Linux version, yet. Syncdocs works well under Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux using the Wine or Crossover tools, though.
Syncdocs does not run on mobile devices, but Google Docs does. Google Docs are supported on most modern web browsers and these mobile devices.
In summary, you can view a Google Document on almost any device with a web connection. To edit on a mobile device you need a smartphone like Apple’s iPhone or an Android based phone. Many Windows phones and Blackberries also work.
You can also edit on most tablet computers, like the Apple iPad, Android tablets, or even the Amazon Kindle 3. The editing experience on mobile devices with small screens and small or virtual keyboards is not as good as that on a PC or Mac.
Syncdocs uses the network time service on your Windows PC. This service connects to atomic clocks on the Internet called Time Servers to keep your PC’s time accurate. Accurate time is needed for reliable syncing with Google Docs.
wyUpdate is the utility we use to keep Syncdocs up-to-date. It is a small program that checks the version of Syncdocs, and applies updates if needed.
Google’s server can sometimes take a while (a few seconds to ten minutes) to convert your files. This sometimes happens when you upload many files at once. These files appear in your account, but are not found when you click on them. Google is aware of this issue. The only known solution is to wait a few minutes, or check on the Google Docs forums or for fixes.
Google Docs’ browser view is sometimes slow to refresh automatically. To see your files, click on “All items” on the left side of Google Docs window, or hit F5 or your browser refresh icon to refresh the list by reloading the web page.
If you upload a batch of big .pdf files this can take up to ten minutes for you to see all these files. Google’s servers are probably busy converting these files during this time.
This is a known defect with Google Docs. They may fix it in time. Syncdocs is working on a way to bypass this bug.
On rare occasions, the Google Docs system corrupts a specific file. You cannot download it using Syncdocs, or export it using the Google web interface. The only known solution here is to open the file in the web interface, make an arbitrary change, like inserting a space character in the text, and saving it. Google will then save an uncorrupted version and you can download or sync this.
Check that Google Documents is up by talking to your network administrator and checking the Google status dashboard.
If your network is OK, make sure Syncdocs has permission to access the Internet (check your firewall settings).
You can also try logging in using a web browser. The Google Documents server may very occasionally ask you to enter a “CAPTCHA” code to prove that you’re human.
If you connect to the web through a custom http proxy server, you can set it up under The “Proxy” tab in preferences. Syncdocs tries to auto-detect your system proxy server.
If you only change one file, Syncdocs may sometimes say “uploading file 1 of 4”. These other files are actually folders or non-included or shared type files. If you change a file, then its parent folders are also checked for changes and possible sync. They are not synced if it is not necessary.
Syncdocs will only upload the file or files that have changed.
Right now drawings are still a new feature on Google Docs. Currently you need to select “sync all file types” (the default setting) if you want them synced. This has been partly fixed by the new Google API in May 2011. Raster images (jpegs and png format) work fine, but vector graphics (png) support is still not good.
If you move a file from one folder to another on your local PC, Syncdocs will replicate the move on Google Docs. However, it does this by deleting the file from the old folder and copying the file into the new folder. This takes more time than a raw move.
The time of the file displayed in Google is the time the file was modified or uploaded on their server.
This is caused when you have “convert to Google” set on and you are uploading a file that is not in the correct format for Google to convert. It is normally an .xls spreadsheet that is not in Excel format.
Fix this by either turning conversion off, or by checking this specific file, by trying to open it in Excel or Word.
403 errors also occur for the reasons in this Google forum discussion
It seems from that Google starts denying access if they think your account is being overused, or you have exceeded some sort of undocumented quota. There is no official Google documentation as to the cause.
If you leave Syncdocs, it will retry, and manage to sync the documents. Google normally resets the limit after an hour. This a slow way of doing it though.
If you are a Google Apps for Business customer, you might be able to talk to someone at Google who can remove the limit from your account.
If you have many pictures on your Piccassa account and have run out of space on Piccassa, this can cause Google Docs also to run out of space. However, the Google server does not report an out of space error immediately, but first reports a 403 error.
This seems to occur with Free Apps accounts (not paid apps or free docs) that have recently been upgraded or changed. One solution is to wait 24 hours for the change to propagate across Google’s worldwide servers. Try logging in using a web browser.
Firewalls that block https traffic but not http traffic also may cause this.
Login Error 413 and Google authentication only partically successful
This problem is often caused by the firewall letting you connect to docs.google.com but not to other domains like spreadsheets.google.com, apps.google.com, auth.google.com. After connection, Google will often redirect you to your closest Google server farm, which is much faster, but has a name like e100-231…
Give Syncdocs permission to access the web using the https protocol on your firewall to resolve this error.
If you haven’t logged in to your Google Docs account for a few weeks (or ever), then it may want you to verify yourself using a browser.
Try verifying your account by logging in using a web browser, perhaps entering a CAPCTHA, and then restarting Syncdocs. SyncDocs will continue working, when you get this error, but uploading of big files and non-Google filetypes might be disabled.
The file or folder may be locked on Google or you do not have write permissions to the sub-folder.
Try logging in using a web browser and checking the file or folder.
Also give Syncdocs permission to access Google through your firewall and quit and restart Syncdocs.
Your PC clock is probably off compared to the Google clock, so Syncdocs sees “newer” files when the times are actually the same. Sync your PC clock with Internet time by double clicking on the clock on the Windows taskbar. Syncdocs tries to do this automatically at startup.
If you have many PC’s syncing to the same account at the same time, then try increasing the "Same Time Tolerance Window" in Syncdocs Advanced Preferences to a minute or two.
If Syncdocs crashed while syncing, the sync database might be corrupt, try reseting to default settings in the the Syncdocs Advanced Preferences tab.
This error is caused when Microsoft Windows is missing a file.
The file you need is vbscript.dll, which should already be in your Windows folder.
To fix the problem, run the following from the command line:
If the file has been deleted from Windows, you need to get it from your Windows installation CD or the Internet.
Google Docs has much good online help and support forums. The best place to start is to click on the “Help” link on the top of any Google Docs page in your web browser.
While generally reliable, Google Docs is a work in progress and has some known problems, check here for known bugs.
Also check here for the status dashboard of the Google Docs service.
Check the forums, your supplier or contact us with a specific question. For most queries, the forums are a better (and faster) place to get help, as other users can benefit from your support answers, too.
The forums are a great place to discuss feature requests, too.
The problem is most likely with your local Internet connection, check that first. Although Google Docs uptime is better than 99.5%, Google very occasionally experiences outages.
A step-by-step installation guide is here.
The Syncdocs installer selects defaults most users will prefer. If you want to select ‘power user’ options, like the target install directory, or to install the product on your network, do an administrative install by typing:
msiexec /a syncdocs.msi
from a command prompt in the relevant directory.
See here for more information on advanced install options.
Syncdocs works find on terminal servers with multiple concurrent users. Do an administrative install (shown above) to install for multiple users.
You can install a new Syncdocs.msi, Syncdocs does an upgrade install and your old settings will be retained in the new version.
Syncdocs occasionally checks for upgrades to itself. You will be asked if you wish to upgrade if a newer version is available.
You can uninstall Syncdocs by clicking on “Add/Remove Programs” in XP’s control panel or “Programs and Features” in Windows 7. Find Syncdocs on the list and select uninstall.
You can get the version that runs from a USB stick here. Note that user settings are tied to the PC it runs on for security.
If your group policy for your domain (machine policy DisableMSI set to 1) forbids installing software you cannot install or uninstall Syncdocs.
Try the USB stick portable version from the downloads page.
Microsoft Office file formats are supported as described in the ‘Document Conversion’ section of this FAQ.
The concurrent (live) editing of documents online and in Office is supported between Google Docs and Microsoft Word 2003, 2007 and 2010.
This is not yet supported in Excel or PowerPoint, only one way collaboration (edit in Excel, view on Google) to Google is supported.
Online revision histories are now fully supported for all file types.
The file formats to and from these Office suites are supported as described in the ‘Document Conversion’ section of this FAQ.
Concurrent editing of documents on these suites and in Google Docs is not yet supported. However, online revision histories are fully supported.
You can point the Syncdocs data folder to the same folder as you use for Dropbox data. Your files will be synced to Google Docs and Dropbox simultaneously.
On Windows 7 and Vista, Dropbox runs with Administrator privileges by default, while Syncdocs does not. So if both programs point to the same folder, you will need to run Syncdocs as Administrator, too.
You can run a Syncdocs as Administrator by right clicking on the desktop icon or Syncdocs.exe file and selecting “Run as Administrator”. Syncdocs will still sync if not run as Administrator, but will not detect new files or file renames created by Dropbox, so for full operation, run both as Administrator.
The free storage offered on Dropbox is 2GB, about twice that of Google Docs, depending on how many documents you convert. Additional storage on Dropbox costs $2.40 per GB per year. Additional personal storage on Google Docs costs $0.25 per GB per year.
Syncdocs works under Linux and Mac OS X using Wine or Crossover. Syncdocs uses the .Net libraries, so it does not yet have a native Linux or Mac client. It works well on Linux and Mac OS X if the Crossover or great free Wine tools and .Net are installed first.
There are some differences to Syncdocs operation if run under Linux or Mac OS X:
1. the Syncdocs directory is “/home/usr/My Google Docs” by default.
2. There is no drive letter (“G: drive”) mapped to Google Docs.
3. The operating system integration is not present, so the right click “Open in Google Docs” menu is not present in the file explorer menu and, even if set, Syncdocs will not start automatically on system startup.
Otherwise, Syncdocs runs the same as it would in Windows.
Syncdocs running under Wine in Linux
Steps to get it running:
1. Install Wine using the Ubuntu package manager. It installed Wine 1.3.15
2. Run a normal user terminal window.
Enter 'bash winetricks dotnet30'
3. Wait while .NET gets downloaded and installed.
4. Install the portable version of Syncdocs or the installer, Syncdocs.msi
5. Click OK to ignore the partial login warning (this is caused by the RSA crypto libraries on Wine, and is not crucial to Syncdocs. We will fix it in future.)
Linux distributions and Wine installations vary, if you’re having problems, try these links:
You need the .NET Wine glass files, which might not be in your version of Wine.
To get the files from Wine:
You only need .NET 3.0 if you install the portable Syncdocs:
You can unzip this .exe file, if needed.
Syncdocs works over the TOR network. You will need to set Syncdocs to use the local TOR proxy (normally 127.0.0.1:8118) in Preferences, Proxy. Using TOR can give enhanced privacy at the cost of speed. Note that email spammers also use TOR, so Google blocks some TOR exit nodes.
We don't have access to your password. It is stored securely using Window's secure credential manager scheme on your own PC. Unless you are on some Windows domains, your password will never leave your PC.
If you are on a Windows domain, your domain administrator might also store all your desktop settings on the network domain controller, so you can move workstations. Your password is included in the workstation settings.
In other words, your password stays on PC or local network, Syncdocs servers never see it. Syncdocs never sends your password to anyone except Google’s servers.
Your credentials are encrypted on the Internet, the same as if you were using a web-browser.
Syncdocs will only log into Google using SSL (TLS). This is a way of encrypting data on the Internet, used by banks, eBay etc.
The encryption is the same as in your web browser connection
to Google Docs.
Typically, it is all encrypted using RC4 128 bit. The key exchange and is done using an RSA 1024 bit key, with SHA1 as message authentication. There is no non-https traffic from Syncdocs to Google Docs.
Local database storage is AES256 encrypted.
wyUpdate is the utility we use to keep Syncdocs up-to-date. It is a small program that checks the version of Syncdocs, and applies updates if needed. It only updates signed versions of updates.
That’s fine, get an application specific password as described in 2-Step verification below.
Yes, Syncdocs supports two-step authentication, for all accounts.
See this post for detailed setup instructions, or see the next point for brief instructions.
You need an “application specific” password.
Here’s how to get it working:
1. You will need an “application-specific” password from
Go here for to get one:
2. In Syncdocs Preferences, in the Account tab, in the password field, enter the password code Google gave you in step 1.
Not yet, but we’re working on it.
Click on “Revoke” in the Google Account Console next to Syncdocs. See this post for detailed setup and revoke instructions.
You also need to change your Syncdocs local password.
To change your Syncdocs password:
1. right click on the Syncdocs Taskbar icon.
2. Select "Preferences"
3. Enter your new password in the area shown.
If there are files or sub-folders in your local Syncdocs folder that you do not have access to, Syncdocs will warn you, but ignore them.
NTFS allows the user to make links and shortcuts to other folders inside folders. A typical example of this is “My Music” inside “My Documents”. “My Music” may be on a separate volume.
Old versions of Syncdocs before version 1.16 did not follow these links. Specifically, it does not follow directory symbolic links, junction links or shortcuts, while hard links are followed.
You can upgrade to the latest Syncdocs to follow these links. Or the advanced user can disable this behavior by setting FollowReparsePoints to true:
If you want Syncdocs to follow junction links:
edit file c:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Syncdocs\firstname.lastname@example.org\appsettings.xml
set <FollowReparsePoints> to "true"
The links should then be checked for loops.
Syncdocs will not detect renames or deletions that occur in files in these links.
Syncdocs has the ability to ignore certain files. The feature has no user interface right now, but if you're up to editing xml, exit Syncdocs first and then open this file:
and edit the section "FileAndFolderNamesToIgnore"
Files or folder names in this list will be ignored.
it can also ignore certain extensions:
Extensions are case sensitive.
It is the global Google server farm. Syncdocs may be redirected here from docs.google.com, so it will need firewall access to this domain.
According to Google:
“1e100.net is a Google-owned domain name used to identify the servers in our network.
Following standard industry practice, we make sure each IP address has a corresponding hostname. In October 2009, we started using a single domain name to identify our servers across all Google products, rather than use different product domains such as youtube.com, blogger.com, and google.com. We did this for two reasons: first, to keep things simpler, and second, to proactively improve security by protecting against potential threats such as cross-site scripting attacks.
Most typical Internet users will never see 1e100.net, but we picked a Googley name for it just in case (1e100 is scientific notation for 1 googol).”
If you wish to run Syncdocs only once, for backup purposes, say once a day, you can add an item to the Windows scheduler.
The Syncdocs command line option to run once is –OnlyRunSyncOnce
This option is not case sensitive.
Standard shell error reporting is supported, exit code 0 means no problems, 1 a serious error.
You can specify another user for Syncdocs with the –u or –user option.
The syntax is:
syncdocs.exe –u email@example.com
This will start Syncdocs with this user’s Syncdocs credentials and settings, the same as switching users in the Preferences menu.
If the user specified does not exist, then Syncdocs will ask the user for their details. If Syncdocs is already running, accounts will not be switched.
This can be useful for deployment.
If you use multiple accounts, you can create desktop shortcuts for each account using this command line.
Running with the –portable option tells Syncdocs to store its settings and Google Docs in the same folder as the syncdocs.exe. This is used for running Syncdocs from a memory stick, so you can carry Syncdocs and your Google Docs around with you.
Running with the–wipevault option wipes your credentials from the Windows security vault when Syncdocs finishes.
Syncdocs does not store your Google Docs password on the memory stick. It stores it in the secure Windows password vault on the PC. To tell Syncdocs to wipe your password from the PC when you’re done, run this option. Note that the extra security means extra hassle – you’ll have to re-enter your password each time.
The options below work fastest when Syncdocs is already running and synced. If Syncdocs is not running, it will take a few (5-60) seconds to log in first, before processing your command.
To create a new document on Google Docs:
syncdocs.exe create doc
In general the syntax is:
syncdocs.exe create [doc|sheet|presentation|email|calendar]
to create the new type you wish in a web browser on Google Docs.
To upload an existing file (of any type) from your PC to Google Docs:
syncdocs.exe upload “C:\path\filename.ext”
If exactly the same file (based on contents, file name and time) is already on Google Docs, then the file is not uploaded again. If the file is uploaded, it is uploaded to the “Direct Uploads” collection on Google.
You can upload entire folder trees in the same way:
syncdocs.exe upload “C:\path\folder\”
Note the trailing slash “folder\”. Syncdocs will upload the whole folder tree on the next sync, if it is not already on Google. The folder is synced to your Google Docs folder root, not DirectUploads like files.
Similar to uploading a file, to view a file in Google Docs using the default web browser:
syncdocs.exe view “C:\path\filename.ext”
Google supports viewing:
· Office 2007/2010 .docx, .xlsx, pptx
· Office 95-2003 .doc, xls, ppt, pps
· Open/Libre Office/Open Document Format .odt, ods
· Apple pages.
· .pdf, .xps
· most image formats: .jpg, .bmp, .png
· vector images: .ai, .dxf, .svg
· postscript: .ps, .eps
· fonts: .ttf
see here for a full list
If exactly the same file is already on Google Docs, then the online version is used. If the file is uploaded, it is uploaded to the “Direct Uploads” collection on Google.
Similar to viewing a file, you can open a file for editing, if the file format can be edited and your current settings allow conversion to Google Docs.
syncdocs.exe open “C:\path\filename.docx”
Only formats supported for editing will be opened (most MS Office and Open files and text files, see Conversion section of FAQ for more).
If the file cannot be opened, it will be opened for viewing.
Similar to uploading a file, to share a file in Google Docs
syncdocs.exe share “C:\path\filename.ext”
If exactly the same file is already on Google Docs, then the online version is used. If the file is uploaded, it is uploaded to the “Public Share” or “Direct Uploads” collection on Google, depending on whether it is shared publically, or just to specific users and groups.
You can share entire folder trees in the same way:
syncdocs.exe share “C:\path\folder\”
Note the trailing slash “folder\”. Syncdocs will upload the whole folder tree on the next sync, if it is not already on Google.