Using Emoticons w/Drive Folders & Files

Quite by accident I discovered it is possible to add emoticons as  a visual support for Google Drive Folders and Files. Over the past year I shared a post about adding visuals to Google Calendar Event Titles by copying pasting emoticons from the following Twitter Symbols Website: These same emoticons will work as part of a Google Drive Folder or File Name. This may make it easier for a young child or student of exceptionality to independently navigate both folders and files.

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Adding Emoticons to Files or Folders

  1. Go to
    • Copy Emoticon
  2. Create a New File or Folder
  3. Paste Emoticon in the “Title Section”


Creating Drive File Icons

My background is in special education and I’m always looking for ways for supporting  students of exceptionalities. One of the challenges for both young students and those with exceptionalities is navigating files. Today I’m going to share an idea of mine which incorporates using images to assist the student with finding and opening a specific file. This idea could be used for assisting the student with locating directions, specific classroom projects, independent work and etc… It is really a very simple idea which may save a bit of time and frustration for both the student and adults assisting them.

My last post was about color coding backgrounds of files to make it easier for students to find a group of content specific papers. Now if one takes the color coded file and adds one more step locating files may become even easier.  This step involves adding a specific images to the files within a student’s Google Drive Folder. When a folder is first open the student will see the color documents with images. Now all they have to do is click on the image to quickly locate a document.

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NOTE: If you are looking to expediting the lesson even faster. Add a Document with the directions using a large font size. This will save time for the student by letting them avoid opening the document but still read the directions needed to complete the task on hand.

Insert an Image

Google Docs, Drawings, Slides & Sheets:

  • Open a Google Docs, Drawings, Slides, or Sheets
  • Using the Toolbar Locate Insert 
    • Click “Insert” opens dropdown list
    • Select “Image” pop-up window opens
    • Click “Search”
      • Enter Image Name +png
        • (PNG will provide a transparent background)
    • Click “Image”
      • Blue Checkmark & Box appears around image
    • Click Blue Select Button

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Organize Google Drive Files by Color…

Recently this question has come up quite a bit in the help forums and I wanted to share an easy work-around. One of the beauties for using Google Drive and Docs is the benefit for sharing files and folders digitally. Printing of files is less often used and creating with color is no longer a budgetary concern. This opens doors to other ways of categorizing and organizing ones files.

If a user changes the background of a Google Doc, Slide, Sheet, Drawings or Forms it is easily spotted from within a folder. This means you can have several groups of colleagues or students collaborating within the same folder on different documents focused on  specific content. You can further tweak this method by adding numbers within the doc’s name to represent each color group. An example of this would be to use “00” for representing blue and “01” to represent the yellow group. This method for file organization will work both within Team Drive and Google Drive.

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