Google productivity apps are a convenient way to create, share and manage your documents. Unlike popular Microsoft document creation applications, Google offers a suite of applications designed for users who work online. Integration with Google Drive’s cloud storage features allows you to access and work on your documents from anywhere.
Adapting to a new productivity application may take some time, but we are here to help and guide you through everything you need to know to get started with Google Docs.
Step 1: Setting up your Google account
Using Google Docs requires that you sign up for a Google account. However, it is free and your account also provides access to Gmail, Google Maps and YouTube, in addition to the entire Drive package.
Step 2: Starting Google Docs
There are several ways to access Google Docs, depending on your device. You can download the application at App Store or Google Playor click the Apps icon in the top right corner of the Google homepage (represented by nine squares). You must then click on the Documents button – you may need to click More in the pop-up menu to see it.
Alternatively, you can navigate to Google Drive and select Google Documents inside My Drive menu at the top or select Google documents after clicking New on the left side of the page. The last option is to navigate directly to Google documents. After starting the web application, you are ready to create a document.
Step 3: Creating a document
To create a new document, click on the blank page with the multicolored plus sign inside it, located in the upper left corner of the main Google Docs page. If you don’t see this menu, scroll up or click on the colorful plus icon in the lower right corner of the screen.d
If you’re creating a document from Drive, select Google documents after hitting New will automatically create a blank document. If you click on the small arrow pointing to the right next to Google documents, you can choose to create a new document based on a template provided. There are a variety of options, including resumes, business letters and a selection of third-party templates. You can even upload an existing .doc or .docx file to your Drive by clicking New, Followed by File upload.
Step 4: start working
After creating a document, you can work. Click Untitled document in the upper left corner to add a title to your document. You can also adjust the font type, text size and more via the toolbar at the top of the page. If you can’t see your title or the menu bar at the top of the page, these options may be hidden. If so, click on the downward arrow in the upper right corner to display them.
As you work in the browser, changes made to the document will be saved automatically. If you look to the right of Help option at the top of the screen, you should see Saving … or All changes saved to Drive. Wait for the second message to appear before leaving, just to ensure that all of your work has been saved. To show the version history of the available document, click Saving … or All changes saved to Drive, which will allow you to review your changes.
How to share your stuff
To share your documents with others, click on the blue To share in the upper right corner of the document you want to share. The button will be between your photo (assuming you’ve added one to your Google Account) and the comments icon. Then, invite other users by entering the appropriate email address in the resulting window.
People you share with can edit, view, or comment on a document, depending on what permissions you grant. This can be changed by tapping the menu directly to the right of the empty address field. If you want to share the document with people who use something other than email, click Get shareable link at the top of the Share window. A link will be displayed directly below (it will also be copied to the clipboard).
If you click on Advanced In the lower right corner of this window, you can also share the file via Gmail, Google+, Facebook or Twitter, but this will require you to make your document public. Google Docs sets privacy settings to Private by default, but you can always click the blue change in the middle of the Advanced window (in Who can access) to adjust your privacy settings.
Use the comment and chat functions
With Google Docs, you can watch in real time while others make changes to a document. By clicking on comments In the upper right corner of the screen, you or anyone else in the document can start a discussion about your project. You can also see which users are currently viewing the document using the series of circles located to the left of the Comment button. If no one but you is looking at a particular page, nothing will appear here.
You can also set it up to receive notifications when people make changes to the document or when someone mentions your name or interacts with one of your comments. This can be a very useful tool for collaborating with large groups of people or a group that is not in the same physical space. If, for some reason, you don’t want users to have the option to add comments to a particular document, you can also change the editing mode (more on that in the next section).
Discover the various editing modes
Located directly below the To share button are options for viewing, suggesting edits and editing documents. While the Edition The option allows you to make edits, Suggesting and Viewing allow you to suggest edits and display or print your document, respectively. The Suggesting The option is similar to the Track Changes function in Word and indicates the changes made to the document in green. This gives other users the option to approve or delete these edits before they become part of the final document. Even if you are not using the Suggesting In mode, you can always view a document’s revision history by going to File> Version history> View version history.
Try another type of document
Google Drive has more to offer than just text documents. Slides, for example, is Microsoft’s version of Google power point, while Sheets is the company’s version in Microsoft Excel. Although not always as extensive as Office 365 in terms of functionality, G Suite is a useful and convenient way to create content online and is free to use when you have a Google account.