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Inspiration Lab - General Technology Skills

This guide is home to a few tutorials for basic skills that will be useful for patrons of VPL's Inspiration Lab.


Getting your files from a computer into the cloud is simple. Many of them will be straight forward, allowing for a few different options.

Drag and Drop: the interface of many cloud storage sites allows you upload the files you want to save by locating them in one window and clicking, dragging and dropping them into the cloud storage site in your browser window.

Upload Files: The other common option to upload content is in the form of an "Upload" or "Add" button somewhere on your storage service's main page. This button usually looks like either a plus sign or an up arrow. Clicking this button with open the computer's Explorer window and let you choose which file you'd like to add to the cloud.

General Cloud Storage

There are many general cloud storage options online. Most will store different file types, including: documents, video, audio, etc. We recommend doing some research to find out which service will be the best for you. The three most popular services for general cloud storage are Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Dropbox. If you mostly use Apple or Mac products, the Apple iCloud is a popular options for their devices and operating systems.

Google Drive

  • Can access files with Google account (Gmail, Google+, Google Calendar, etc.)
  • Can create original files within Google Drive (word processing, spreadsheets, presentations)
  • Can share files with other users, collaborate with team members, or have open documents for mass editing
  • Stores any kind of file type

Microsoft OneDrive

  • Can access files with Hotmail, Outlook, or Microsoft account
  • Can create original files within OneDrive using common Microsoft Office file types (Word, PowerPoint, Excel)
  • Can share files with other users and collaborate with team members on the same documents
  • Stores any kind of file type


  • Must create Dropbox account with an email address
  • Can edit some file types within the Dropbox website (Microsoft Office Documents)
  • Can share files or folders of files with project collaborators
  • Stores any kind of file type

Please note that these three cloud storage options will store your projects and files on servers located at their large data storage centres. Most of the storage centres for these services are located in the United States, because the data is stored on U.S. soils it is subject to U.S. law. There are cloud storage companies based in Canada, but none of them are completely free to start with. Some cloud storage services may also have restrictions or "codes of conduct" for the kind of content you are able to upload or share through their websites.

All of these services offer basic accounts and storage levels for free, but you will have to register for an account with that service. If you already use Gmail or Hotmail as your webmail services, you will already have access to the Google Drive or OneDrive services.



Google Drive




Free storage space

15 GB free storage

Includes Gmail, Google Drive, and Google+ Images

15 GB free storage

1 TB for Office365 subscribers

2 GB free storage

Cost for extra storage

100 GB for $1.99/month

1TB for $9.99/month

100 GB for $2/month

200 GB for $2/month

1 TB for $7/month

1 TB for $10.99/month

File size limits (files cannot be larger than…)

Stored files cannot exceed 5 TB, dependent on storage space

Files cannot exceed 10 GB in size

Files cannot exceed 10 GB in size.

When using the mobile or desktop app, there is no limit.


These storage options also have mobile applications and desktop applications that can be downloaded for easy access to your cloud storage. Pictures, videos, and other documents can be uploaded to the cloud straight from your smart phone or tablet.

General Cloud Storage - Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox

The three cloud storage sites described earlier will allow users to drag and drop files from the computer into the website. To upload multiple files at a time you can also use the upload features. To find those, look for:

Google Drive

Top left hand corner of browser screen

Microsoft OneDrive

Top left hand corner of browser screen


Top right hand side of browser window


When uploading large files, please keep in mind these uploads may take some time. Monitor the progress of your uploads to make sure they are complete before closing windows, logging out, or turning off the computer.