If your work requires you to write and edit content, Google Docs is a great way to share what you're doing and collaborate with others easily online. But despite so many people using Google Docs on a regular basis, there are some truly brilliant hacks and excellent features within the software that a lot of users aren't aware of - and once you discover them, you'll REALLY begin to understand that Google Docs is capable of doing so much more than you first imagined!
We've searched high and low for some of the best tips and tricks for Google Docs and we're pleased to share them with you today - enjoy!
YOU CAN USE YOUR VOICE TO DICTATE DOCUMENTS
For anyone who thinks better on their feet or just has challenges when it comes to typing, you can actually dictate your words straight into Google Docs. Just go to the “Tools” bar and select “Voice Typing.” The feature also responds to commands like “period,” “comma,” and “new line.”
ALERT SOMEONE TO A CHANGE IN A DOCUMENT
If you want a specific person in a shared document to see a comment you’ve made, you can personally alert them by typing a “+” followed by their email address beside the comment in question. They’ll get an email alert notifying them of what you’ve done.
Do you find you get lost in all the changes you’ve made to a document? Hit “File” in the menu, and choose “See Revision History” to take a look at what you’ve done and move backwards if need be. Very handy for school papers.
DIG DEEPER INTO A SUBJECT WITH “EXPLORE”
If you’re editing something complicated and you need more information on a particular subject within a doc, highlight the term you’re curious about, go into the “Tools” dropdown menu and hit “Explore.” To the document’s right a window will appear offering web topics, images and related research from around the web. The instant access to images is especially cool; if you see something you’d like to use, all you have to do is click it and it will be added to your document.
ADD AN E-SIGNATURE
This is a nice option if you’re trying to sign a document and you don’t have access to a printer and a scanner. Hit the “Insert” tab, select “Drawing”, choose the “Scribble” option, and draw away. Your signature can then be placed anywhere within a document.
Chances are you’ve completely ignored the “Add-ons” menu at the top of the page, even if you’ve used Google Docs hundreds of times. This menu leads users to a variety of tools to expedite creating, analyzing and fine-tuning. There’s a screenplay formatter, a rhyme finder, a bibliography maker and more. There’s even an add-on that generates revision history analytics, so you can see the proportion of collaborative efforts each user has contributed to a Google Doc.
If you use Google Docs already, you’ve probably seen the Google Docs home screen that features previews of your recently opened documents, along with a variety of templates that you can use instead of starting out with a blank page and doing all of your own formatting. Click “template gallery” to see the options of document styles, from meeting notes to independent contractor agreements to newsletters to resumes.
SET UP TEXT SHORTCUTS
If there’s a certain phrase or character string you find yourself having to type over and over, make your own shorthand. Go to the “Tools” menu and click “Preferences.” You can type in a shorthand in a new “replace” field and then add the full-length text to the adjacent field. You can also disable the “automatically capitalize words” setting and any existing shortcuts (such as the auto-formatting of 1/2 to a fraction with smaller text.)
Big thanks to the sites below for their inspiration, go check them out to find out more!