What is Google Docs? How to Use it Like a Pro

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Google Docs is capable of doing more than you may realize. This is everything you need to know about Google Docs.

 

Google Docs is Google’s online word processor. It is a free alternative for Microsoft Word. You might not realize how many features it offers.

We’ll be answering the most frequently asked questions about Google Docs in this article.

 

What is Google Docs?

Google Docs is Google’s browser-based word processor. Online document creation, editing, and sharing is possible. You can access these documents from any computer connected to the internet. You can even download the mobile app for iOS and Android.

Google Docs’ collaborative features are what sets it apart from Microsoft Word, its main desktop competitor. Google Docs was the first word processor to allow online sharing of documents.

Google makes it easy to share documents across platforms, and collaborate on them in real-time using a browser window. To view and edit Google documents shared with them, your collaborators don’t even require a Google account.

Google Docs addons allow you to expand functionality and add missing features.

Google Docs: How to Use It

Google Docs can be used in the same way as Word documents. You can create new documents and use Google Docs templates. You can also share documents with others and collaborate in real time. Here are the basics.

How to create a Google Doc

img alt=”Create new Google Docs from the landing page at docs.google.com.” data-img-url=”https://static1.makeuseofimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Google-Docs-Create-New-Doc.jpg”/>

First, go to Docs.google.com. Sign in with your Google account to create a new Google Doc. You can either create a new blank document or select a template once you are on the Google Docs homepage.

To do the same thing from an existing Google Doc, you can also click File > New > Doc or File > Next > From template

You can modify many aspects of your document from the File menu, including page orientation.

How to Save a Google Doc

Google’s online office suite will save your documents to your Google Drive automatically. This means you won’t have to remember to save them. You won’t see a Save button.

You can Make a Copy or Email from the menu. Download your Google Doc.

How to download Google Docs

Google keeps your documents in Google Drive. Instead, you can go to Filing > download to download your Google Doc.

 

How to email a Google Doc

You can download the document directly from the document if you wish to email it. You can access File > email > send this file / to collaborators. Choose the file format that you wish to attach and complete the standard email details.

How to share a Google Doc

We recommend that you share a document rather than sending it to yourself. Because everyone can see and work on the same document, sharing is better. You can avoid duplicate work or creating duplicate copies by sharing. The recipient does not require a Google account to view the document or edit it.

To share a Google Doc within the document click the Share button at the top right. There are many options now:

 

You can input the email addresses or names of the recipient/s you wish to send an email. This method has Editor as the default access level. To change this to Viewer, or Commenter, click the pen icon.

img alt=”Share your Google Docs file with selected people.” data-img-url=”https://static1.makeuseofimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Google-Docs-Share-File-With-People.jpg”/>

Instead of sharing the document with people, you can link it to groups via the Menu link. Your private Google Docs are shared by default with Anyone.

Your Google account will be shared with other organizations if it is part of an organization (here: MakeUseOf.com). To modify these settings, click Change, Share With…, and allow users to view, comment, or edit the link.

Once you are done, click Copy at the bottom right. You will copy the link to your clipboard.

 

To save time, you can share a Google Doc copy with multiple collaborators.

Google Docs: How to track changes

You will need to keep track of changes made to Google Docs once it has been shared with others.

Version History

Google Docs automatically tracks your document’s version history. To expand the menu, which lists all changes Google has recorded for your document, go to Version History > See Version History.

The document will show you when and who made the changes.

img alt=”Viewing a Google Doc’s version history.” data-img-url=”https://static1.makeuseofimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Google-Docs-Version-History.jpg”/>

To easily reverse any changes made afterward, can name the current version. You can either go to File>> Version History > Name the current version or enter a name and click Save.

To rename a version, you can also go to the version menu and click on its date or name. You can also enable only show named versions in the version history menu (see screenshot).

img alt=”Name the current version of a Google Doc.” data-img-url=”https://static1.makeuseofimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Google-Docs-Name-Current-Version.jpg”/>

Version history is the most basic method of tracking changes. Select a document and click the Restore this Version button. You can’t accept or reject individual changes in each version. You can’t use that functionality if you want it.

 

Suggestion Mode

Google Docs supports three modes of editing: Editing Suggesting and Viewing. Editing is the default mode. You can switch to another mode by going to View > Mod, or clicking the pen icon at the bottom of the tools menu. You can control individual changes by using the Suggesting.

You can make suggestions in the Suggesting mode. A comment will appear on the right-hand side of the document. The comment allows you to accept or reject the suggestion. To discuss any change, you can also send a reply.

Each change made in this mode is tracked under the relevant version of the version history. You have the ability to review and delete rejected changes. However, this would mean that you’d need to restore the original version of the document.

Tip – To make your collaborators use the Suggestion mode you can set their access to and allow them to comment on the document.

How to print from Google Docs

img alt=”Print Google Doc.” data-img-url=”https://static1.makeuseofimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Google-Docs-Print.jpg”/>

Google Docs printing works the same way as any other document. Open a Google document to print it. Next, go to Print, or use the Ctrl+ P keyboard shortcut, or click on the print icon in your tools menu.

 

Each action will open the print menu. Select your printer settings from this menu and print as usual.

How to edit Google Docs offline

You must meet some basic requirements to be able to edit your Google Docs offline. To set up offline access, you must first be online. Also, you will need to use Google Chrome in an alternative to incognito mode. You must also install and enable the Google Docs Offline Chrome extension and have sufficient storage space to save your files.

After you have done this, go to Docs.google.com and click the hamburger menu. Next, go to Options. Make sure that the slider next to Offline is at the On location (see screenshot).

img alt=”Setup Google Docs for Offline Use within Settings.” data-img-url=”https://static1.makeuseofimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Google-Docs-Settings-Use-Offline.jpg”/>

Every document you create will now be accessible offline, at least temporarily. If your document is offline, the cloud icon beside it will indicate.

img alt=”Google Doc available for offline use.” data-img-url=”https://static1.makeuseofimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Google-Docs-Ready-for-Offline-Use.jpg”/>

You’ll notice a cross-out cloud and the message “Working offline” when your internet connection is lost. All changes made will be synchronized once the internet is reconnected.

img alt=”Working offline with a Google Doc.” data-img-url=”https://static1.makeuseofimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Google-Docs-Working-Offline.jpg”/>

You can view the docs.google.com list of all your documents offline by activating the Google Docs Offline Extension. A checkmark icon will be displayed on all documents that are permanently unavailable offline. To access the Offline option, click the three-dot menu.

 

img alt=”Google Docs Selection While Offline.” data-img-url=”https://static1.makeuseofimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Google-Docs-Available-Offline.jpg”/>

Google Docs Offline will also save all opened documents. If your internet connection is lost, you will still have access to the documents that you opened offline.

You can make the document permanently available offline in this case even if you aren’t online. Those documents that are not saved and unavailable offline will still appear muted.

You can also use the Google Drive Backup & Sync tool to backup and sync Google Docs files on your computer or mobile.

Google Docs Now under Your Control

You now know how to use Google Docs. Next, you can discover creative ways to create stunning Google documents. Next, you can explore features that are relevant to business documents or voice typing using Google Docs.

 

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