A part of Google’s online office suite called Google Docs is a word processor. It serves as a free alternative to Microsoft Word. Additionally, it has more features than you might be aware of.
The number of features and add-ons available in Google Docs can be a little intimidating if you’re just getting started. A step-by-step tutorial for using Google Docs can be found here.
What Is Google Docs?
You can skip ahead if you’ve used Google Docs before. Here’s a quick primer on what you need to know if you’ve never heard of it. We’ll go over the fundamentals and refresh your memory on what Google Docs is and how to get started immediately.
In order to compete with Microsoft Office, Google offers Google Docs, a free web-based word processor, as part of its full office suite, Google Drive. Sheets (Excel) and Slides (Powerpoint) are the other two key cloud-based services offered.
You can access Google Docs on any device or platform as long as you have an internet connection and a web browser (or, for mobile devices, the appropriate apps). While it runs the software in the cloud, Google handles the remainder and the bulk of the labor-intensive tasks.
Since Docs supports a wide range of file formats, including.doc,.docx,.txt,.rtf, and .odt, it is simple to view and edit Microsoft Office documents directly from Google Drive.
Additionally, because Docs is an online word processor, you can share and work together on the same document with multiple people, tracking revisions, changes, and suggestions in real-time.
How to Sign Up for the Account
In order to get started with Google Docs, you first need to have a Google account Please feel free to skip this section of the article if you already have a Gmail account. If not, we’ll show you how to quickly create a Gmail account and begin using Google Docs.
Go to Google’s official website and select “Create Account” first. You will be given the choice between creating a personal account and a business account. Choose according to your requirement and head over to the next page.
You are greeted with a form on the following page that asks for some of your personal information, such as first and last names, a username, and a password.
You must confirm your phone number on the following page for Google to confirm that you are a real person and not a robot when you attempt to create a new account. You can enter your phone number to receive a 6-digit verification code from Google. Fill out the field below with that code, then click “Next.”’
After verifying your phone number, Google will ask you to provide a recovery email (a backup email that can be used to restore this account in case you forgot its password), your date of birth, gender, and a form to read and agree to the privacy statement and terms of service. You will receive a completely new Google account once you’re finished!
How Do I Make a Google Doc?
The following step is to visit docs.google.com and sign in using your Google account once you have set up your Google account.
When you are inside, you can select a template or start a new blank document by moving the cursor over the multicolored “+” icon in the bottom right corner.
There are a ton of cool Google Docs templates to help you kickstart your document without caring much about its design of it. You can choose from a wide range of useful templates in Google Docs, including those for resumes, project proposals, brochures, reports, email newsletters, onboarding, and meeting notes.
How to Share Your Works With Others
To share your documents with other people, click the blue Share button in the upper-right corner of the doc you wish to share. The button will be wedged between your picture — assuming you’ve added one to your Google account — and the Open Comment History icon, which looks like a cartoon speech bubble. Afterward, invite other users by entering the appropriate email addresses in the resulting window and clicking Done.
Depending on the permissions you give someone you share with, they may be able to view, edit, or comment on a document. Once you’ve added someone, you can modify this by tapping the drop-down menu that is located directly to the right of the email address field. In this menu, you can mark someone as a Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.
If you want to share the document with people using something other than email, click Copy Link at the bottom half of the Share With People and Groups window. You’ll receive a link copied to your clipboard. Your document might have been set by default to a limited level of privacy. This implies that the link you send them can only be opened by those who have been added to your document. If you want to change the privacy level of the document so that it can be accessed by anyone who has the link, you can do so by clicking the blue Change to Anyone with the Link hyperlink, which is also located in the lower half of the Share with People and Groups window.
You’ll then be taken to a window where you can copy a shareable link to your document or further customize the permissions of your document by deciding what other people can do with the document once they receive a link to it. You can do this by clicking on the drop-down menu (that is to the right of the Anyone with the Link option) and then choosing Viewer, Commenter, or Editor from the menu.
Use the Comment Function
With Google Docs, you can view changes being made to a document in real-time. By clicking the Open Comment History button in the upper-right corner of your screen, you or anyone else who is in the document can start a discussion about your project. You can also see which users are currently looking at the document using the series of circles located to the left of the Open Comment History button. Nothing will show up here if no one else but you are viewing a particular page.
Additionally, you can configure each document so that you get notifications for all comments added to it, just the ones that mention you, or none at all. When working with big groups of people, notifications can be a useful tool. When working with a group that is not in the same physical space, it is ideal. You can also alter the editing mode (more on that in the next section) if you decide, for whatever reason, that users shouldn’t be able to add comments to a particular document.
Various Editing Modes
The editing mode drop-down menu (located on the right side of the screen under the Share button) lets you view and edit your document in a variety of ways. Following are your top three options: Edit the file yourself (Editing), suggest changes for another contributor to make (Suggesting), or view or print the document (Viewing). The functionality of the suggesting feature is comparable to that of Track Changes in Microsoft Word. The tool will make suggested edits stand out in the document with a distinct hue. As they draft the final version, additional authors or editors will have the option to accept or reject these recommendations. Aside from the Suggesting feature, you can track a document’s revision history through File > Version History > See Version History.
How to Print From Google Docs
Similar to printing any other document on your computer, Google Docs printing is simple to do. To print a Google document, open the document, then either go to File > Print or press the Ctrl + P keyboard shortcut, or click the print icon in the tools menu.
Your print menu will be opened by each of these actions. You can now select your printer and print using the default settings.
How to Edit Google Docs Offline
You must comply with a few prerequisites in order to edit Google Docs offline. To set up offline access, you must first be connected to the internet. You also need to have enough free storage space to save your files, use Google Chrome outside of incognito mode, and install and enable the Google Docs Offline Chrome extension.
Once this is done, head to docs.google.com, click the hamburger menu in the top left, go to Settings, and make sure the slider next to Offline is in the On position (see screenshot below).
Now, every document you begin working on will also be accessible temporarily offline on your computer. Your document’s offline accessibility is indicated by the cloud icon next to its name.
The phrase “Working offline” and a crossed-out cloud will appear when your internet connection drops.” When you re-connect to the internet, any modifications you make will be synced.
You can review the list of your documents stored at docs.google.com even when offline if the Google Docs Offline extension is enabled. A checkmark icon will appear on all documents that are always accessible offline. Click the three-dot menu to control the Available offline option.
All of the documents you open will also be cached by the Google Docs Offline extension. You will still have access to documents that aren’t explicitly offline-accessible if your internet connection is lost.
If that is the case, you can permanently make the document offline even when you are not connected to the internet. Documents that aren’t cached or accessible offline will appear muted in the interim.
How to Use the Mobile Google Docs App?
You can continue working with the Google Docs apps whether or not you have access to a computer. Creating, editing, sharing, and collaborating on content while on the go are all pretty much possible with this app. When the feature is enabled, it also functions offline, just like the desktop app does.
Both the Android and iOS operating systems offer the Google Docs app for free.
With the addition of add-ons, you can use Google Docs to its full potential now that you’ve mastered all of the fundamentals. Similar to browser extensions, add-ons for Google Docs let you access extra features created by outside developers. Additional proofreaders, apps for document signing, a translator built right into the document, and even a tool to help teachers create rubrics can all be installed to boost productivity.