Getting started with Google Docs

Content
  1. Learn the basics and get started with this popular online word processor
  2. Working with templates in Google Docs
  3. Upload Word documents to Google Docs
  4. Share text documents via Google Docs
  5. Share Google Docs via private message
  6. Change the default document formatting options in Google Docs
  7. Download files from Google Docs

Learn the basics and get started with this popular online word processor

Google Docs, included with the Google Drive app suite, is one of the most popular word processing software on the web. Although its features cannot compete with Microsoft Word, it is a simple and effective program. Word documents are easy to upload from your computer to work with in Google Docs. You can also download documents from the service or share them with others. These tips will get you started with Google Docs.

Working with templates in Google Docs

Templates are a great way to save time creating new documents in Google Docs. The templates are professionally designed and include formatting and boilerplate text. All you need to do is add the contents of the document. You get beautiful documents every time. Templates appear at the top of the Google Docs screen. Choose one, make changes and save. A blank template is also available.

Upload Word documents to Google Docs

You can create documents directly in Google Docs, or you can upload documents from your computer. Download Microsoft Word files to share with others or edit documents on the go. Google Docs will automatically convert them for you.

Download Word documents:

  1. In Google Drive, click + New .

  2. Select File upload to upload a single document, or Upload folder to download the full documents folder.

  3. Navigate to the location where the document is saved, select it and click Open .

  4. File downloaded. You’ll see an indicator in the lower-right corner of the Google Docs window that lets you know the upload status.

Alternatively, you can upload documents for access through Google Docs using drag and drop:

  1. Go to Google Drive and press My drive .

  2. Open the location of the file you want to upload in the file navigation bar. Do not open the document.

  3. Click and drag a document onto the screen My drive .

  4. File downloaded. You’ll see an indicator in the lower-right corner of the Google Docs window that lets you know the upload status.

Once the file has been downloaded, you can open it by double clicking on its thumbnail. This opens a preview where you can see the contents of the document.

At the top of the preview window, click to open with Google docs. Once you open the document in Google Docs, which effectively converts it to Google Docs format, you can edit or print it as needed. Any changes you make to the document are saved automatically.

Share text documents via Google Docs

One of the best features of Google Docs is the ability to share your documents with others. You can give them editing rights or limit them to viewing only your documents. Sharing your documents is a breeze.

  1. Open the Google Docs document you want to share.

  2. Click on icon Part in the top right corner of the screen.

  3. Enter the email addresses of the people you want to share the document with in the text box provided.

  4. Click the pencil icon next to each name to open the permissions menu, where you can assign permissions to each person you share the document with. The following options are available: Can be edited , Can be seen and you can comment .

  5. Enter an additional comment in the text box add note to add a link to the people you share the document with.

  6. Click send and an email is sent to the person or people you want to share with with a link to the document.

Share Google Docs via private message

An alternative to sharing via Google Docs is to receive the link via email or send it via direct message:

  1. Open the Google Docs document you want to share.

  2. Click on icon Part in the top right corner of the screen.

  3. In the dialog box Share with others select Get public link in the top right corner of the window.

  4. A link will appear with a menu above it. Click the down arrow next to the button . Any user with the link can view , after which you can change the access rights for everyone who has the link. Your options include:

    • Anyone with the link can edit

    • Anyone with a link can comment.

    • Anyone with a link can watch.

  5. Select the desired resolution and click Copy link .

  6. Once you have the link, you can paste it into an email, message, or chat, and anyone who has access to that message can access your document.

Change the default document formatting options in Google Docs

Like other word processing programs, Google Docs applies certain standard formatting to new documents you create. You may not like this format. You can change the formatting for entire documents or for individual elements using the formatting menu at the top of the screen.

You can also enter edit mode for your document by clicking the pencil icon on the right side of the format menu. When editing, you have three options:

  • To process . Edit the document directly. This is the default mode you will use most often when you first write a document.
  • Sentence . Suggestions become edits. If you’re familiar with Microsoft Word, it’s the equivalent of change tracking. Changes made by you or someone else are suggestions and color-coded. They are not permanent until the proposed changes are accepted or rejected.
  • Vision : Read or print the final document. This is the equivalent of the Reading View in Microsoft Word.

Download files from Google Docs

After you create a document in Google Docs, you can download it to your computer. It is not a problem. Google Docs exports your documents for use in word processing programs such as Microsoft Word and other formats. From the open document screen:

  1. Select File in the menu at the top of the document you want to download.

  2. Select Download as .

  3. From the menu that appears, select format . Formats include:

    • Microsoft Word (.docx)

    • OpenDocument Format (.odt)

    • Rich Text Format (.rtf)

    • PDF document (.pdf)

    • Plain text (.txt)

    • Web page (.html, archived)

    • EPUB Publication (.epub)

  4. The document will be downloaded to your browser’s default download folder, so you may need to move it after the download is complete.

If you download a document from Google Docs in Microsoft Word format with: sentence comments (similar to change tracking in Word), these comments and suggestions appear in Microsoft Word as format . , You may need to change the settings in the tab Overview to display them All formatting .

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