All you need to know about Google docs – How to use, Tips and analysis
Google docs is many things. It is an easy to use online word processor, spreadsheet and a presentation editor. It provides you alternatives for Microsoft word, excel and power point absolutely free over the internet. There’s no software to download, and all your work is stored safely online and can be accessed from any computer. It provides storage , secure sharing and collaboration features as well. You can create new documents or upload existing documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
Official definition from Google : “Google Docs is a free, Web-based word processing, presentations and spreadsheets program.”
If you already use google docs and just want to learn about few useful features or tips you can go the bottom of section of this article. There you will find more about privacy controls, sharing and tools like research pane, define and many more. You may also checkout the article on google drive
Google docs, Features at a glance
- Create Google documents, spreadsheets, other file types, and collections.
- Upload (from your computer, if you’d like), manage, and store files and folders.
- Share Google Docs, files, and collections.
- Preview your docs and files before you open or share them.
- View images and videos that you’ve uploaded to your Documents List.
- Search for items by name, type, and visibility setting.
Students can use google docs at school and can continue the work at home. It gives you 24 X 7, 365 days access. Students working on an assignment be it a thesis or project can collaborate and work on the same doc from different places. It’s powerful collaboration features makes it an ideal tool for team work. It enables you to control who get s access to what and how long. Google docs is smart enough to allow users to work at the same doc at the same time. It automatically merges and saves the changes. No need to worry about hard disk crashes or computer failures since the docs are stored securely in Google servers. Your docs are available 24 x 7.
Creating an Account
Creating an account is very simple. Just go to Google Accounts and create one using the sign up button. If you already have a Gmail account, then you can use that as your account. Once you have created the account, access google docs using the address docs.google.com.
You can import your existing word, open office, excel and power point presentations to google docs and it will automatically convert these to the docs format. Your google docs can also be downloaded in various formats like .xls, word, pdf, html etc. It also enables you to translate your doc to other languages. This is a remarkable feature.
Google docs is now integrated with google drive so when you login you will see the google drive home page. You can create docs using the create button.
Once you create the doc, you can adjust the sharing settings as per your needs. You can make the doc private or you can share it with a select list of your friends. You can also make the friends just viewers or collaborators (will be able to edit the doc). Google doc considers each “Save” of the document as a revision. So you can easily list all revisions of the document and can make any revision current if you want. It shows the revision time stamp, and the author who made the changes.
Notify by email : When ever you share a document with your friends make sure you tick the ”Notify people via email” box.
Quick share to a group: if you want to share the doc with a lot of people like all members of a google group, no need to enter each email address one by one, just enter the google group address.
Quickly share lots of docs: If you want to share a lot of files to collaborators, just move the files to a folder and share the folder.
Fine tune the access: By default anyone who has ”Can Edit” access to one of your files, folders, or Google Docs can grant access and adjust access levels for others. This is the default setting when you add someone as a collaborator with “Can Edit” privilege. If you want to prevent collaborators from giving others access privilege, click the Change link shown besides the ”Editors will be allowed to add people and change the permissions” text. Here you can select the option “Only the owner can change the permissions”.
Please refer the image below for reference.
Google docs, Reasearch pane
Google has introduced a “Research pane” within google docs that gives the authors the advantage of powerful google search. If you are writing an article using google doc and need quick information on a word, select the word and click CTRL+ALT+R and you will see the Research pane populated with information about the word. This is quite handy. You can also access the research pane from the Tools menu. Research pane gives you the option to insert the results as citations, link etc. Hovering your mouse over the results will show options for citations, link etc. You can drag the images to embed it in your docs.
While writing a content using google docs, you can easily find the definitions of words quickly using the ”Define” tool. This is accessible using the ‘Tools -> Define’ menu.
You can translate your docs in google docs to a number of languages. This can be done using the ‘ Tools->Translate’ menu.
Google docs and drive is available for android and iphone as well enabling you access from all kinds of devices. Now you have access to your content even on the go.
Videos on google docs, by Google