Google Docs is easily one of the most used Google services these days. It allows you to create text documents completely online and without having to pay anything, something quite different from what we were used to with Word from the office package, for example. But even though it is very simple to use, there are still many people who want to know more about using Google Docs.
This goes for both its most basic features and even the most advanced ones. Of course, we must also not forget that many people do not even know all the benefits that the service offers to its users. If you're curious about all this and want to know how to use Google Docs to its full potential, just check out our complete guide below!
What does Google Docs?
We have already commented briefly on what Google Docs is, but it is worth giving a further explanation. Overall, I can say that it is a word processor that is part of the Google Drive package.
In addition, there are services like Google Sheets and Google Slides, just to name a few examples. Everything is very similar to the famous Microsoft Office suite, with the difference that it is completely free.
Basically, Google Docs ends up being one of the best alternatives in the world for those who write texts, for those who need to have everything stored online. After all, everything is saved in the cloud in your Google Drive account.
Google Drive benefits
Since we mentioned Google Drive, it’s worth talking about it too. For basic users, no less than 15 GB of storage is offered. In addition to Google Docs, spreadsheets and presentations, you also have other services integrated with it.
These include Google Photos and Google Keep, with which you can store your photos, notes and reminders. Fortunately, Google Drive can be used on a variety of platforms.
Currently, you can use it in your browser, on the PC desktop or in your mobile apps. For those who need even more benefits and storage, there are paid options:
- 100 GB: R $ 6.99 per month or R $ 69.99 for the annual plan
- 200 GB: R $ 9.99 per month or R $ 99.99 for the annual plan
- 2 TB: R $ 34.99 per month or R $ 349.99 for the annual plan
Using Google Docs
Well, now that we talk about Google Docs and the platform to which it belongs, the time to say everything it has to offer. After all, if you want to know how to use Google Docs, we imagine that you want more information than just knowing that it is a word processor.
To start, it is good to know that where you can access Google Docs. As mentioned before, this is possible through the web version in your browser, within Google Drive, on the Desktop version download page, on the Google Play Store for Android mobile version or on the App Store for the iPhone mobile version.
Each version has its advantages and disadvantages, but in general we can say that there are fewer limitations in the web version. It is very complete and easy to use, just being logged into your Google account to use it.
2. Basic features
When accessing Google Docs, you will find yourself on the main screen of the service. There, you will notice that there are some basic features that you can access very quickly. Here are just a few:
- Search: the first thing on the screen is a search bar. You can use it to search for any file that is in your Google document library, whether you’re the creator of the file or on
- Start new document: just below the search bar, we have the option to create a new document. It can be a blank or already with a defined template, it depends more on what you prefer in this case
- Recent documents: underneath that, we have your recent Google Docs. Not only documents that you created, but also those created by other people, but that you opened or edited
- Menu: if you click on the three vertical lines on the left side of the screen, you will see a small menu. There, you can access Google Docs settings or use other file services, such as spreadsheets and presentations.
It is also possible to organize this home screen in a few different ways. You can change the display style, what should appear first, etc.
Still, the home screen is very practical and facilitates quick use when you only need to create new documents or access an older one.
Creating a new document
With all that said, we can't help teaching the most important part: creating a new document. This is basically the bulk of what you’re going to do in Google Docs and, fortunately, pretty easy to learn.
As we mentioned in the tip above, you have two options when creating a new document. It is possible to create a totally blank or one based on a template.
This is totally up to you and what you want from your new document. We can say that the blank document is the best option for those who just want to make a text or for those who have a specific layout in mind and know how to use word processors very well.
If you only have the notion of what you need, like a resume, a letter or a project proposal, it may be better to use the ready-made template. Google Docs offers many different templates, so it shouldn't be difficult to find one that fits your needs.
With the document open, you essentially do what you want. Not blank, everything is made from scratch as you can imagine, but the ready-made model only requires you to enter your data or information.
It is worth saying that any edits or changes you make will be saved immediately, so there is no need to worry about it. There is also a history of editions, something we will talk about more in the next topic.
Other than that, you really need to know how to save the file on your PC if you want to have a copy that is not online. You can do this with several formats, including docx, pdf, txt, epub and more.
Just click on "File", select "Download" and choose the file format you want to save the text.
Pretty simple, isn't it? This makes it much easier for those who need to work with these formats and do not want to pay for a specialized PC program just for that.
Advantages of Google Docs
Knowing how to use Google Docs, it is also good to have a notion of the benefits that it provides to its users. After all, there are other online text editors you can find, such as Office online itself. In order to avoid doubts as to which one to use, we detail the benefits of the Docs below:
1. Offline mode
With so much talk about how to use Google Docs, you may have noticed how important being online is to use it. After all, everything is saved in the cloud and you can only access documents if you are connected to the internet.
Fortunately, there is also an offline mode so that you can also use the service even when you don't have internet around. s activate offline mode on the devices you want to use.
We teach you how to do this step by step, so just access the tutorial link if you want to learn. This can help you a lot to work on your texts no matter where you are.
2. Collaborative issues
There is no way to talk about Google Docs without mentioning one of its biggest advantages: the possibility of collaborations in editing your text. Basically, you can share your documents with anyone and they help you edit it.
All changes are made in real time, so it’s easy to see what’s going on without having to access just the history. Other than that, there are numerous ways to share your files, as you can see below:
- Sharing a link that can be accessed by anyone who has it
- Sharing a link that can be accessed for a limited time
- Compartment of a link that can only be accessed by members of a company
- Sharing a link that can only be accessed by the owner of a specific email address
3. Different permits
Of course, just because you shared your text with someone, it doesn't mean you want them to edit everything. To deal with this, Google Docs offers different types of permissions for those who have a link to your document.
In this way, some people can have complete freedom, while others can only see the text. It is also possible to let people suggest editions that you need to approve or comment on only in the text.
4. Editing history
We already mentioned that Google Docs has an above editing history, but now it's time to talk more about it. As it is possible to share your text with several people so that they can edit it, it is easy to lose track of what each one has done or has been changed.
This is especially true if you were not looking at the document at the time of these changes. Fortunately, the edition history shows you everything that has changed with dates and times.
In addition, you can click on the edits to see them in the document and decide if you want to revert any of them. Something very practical to keep track of your document even with the sharing function.
5. Easy shortcut
As expected, Google Docs still has some very useful shortcuts to make your life easier during use. The main of these shortcuts can be seen below:
- Ctrl + C: the shortcut allows you to copy the selected section
- Ctrl + V: the shortcut allows you to paste what is copied in the place you want
- Ctrl + Shift + C: the shortcut allows you to count the number of words and characters
- Ctrl + Alt + C: the shortcut allows you to copy the formatting of the selected section
- Ctrl + Alt + V: the shortcut allows you to paste the formatting
- Ctrl + Enter: the shortcut allows you to insert a page break
This ends up being one of the best alternatives, since we do not have a quick access menu equal to the Office package.
Did you like the tips?
Leave in the comments if you already knew about the platform and if you have used it in the past or if you intend to start using it now. Also, check out how to use Google Drive for business and get to know Google Scholar and Google Translate!