Google Docs is one of the best word-processing tools available today, and it’s completely free.
If you sign up with a free Gmail account, you get full access to the entire suite of tools on Docs. There’s no catch, no hidden fees, no obligations, and no need to ever supply banking or confidential details.
Whether you’re a business, using Google Workspace or you’re a solo entrepreneur, there are so many advantages to this free word-processing software on your desktop or mobile device.
So, considering just how powerful this word processor is, let’s take a look at how you can get the most out of it:
When you can have up to 100 people working on one Doc at the same time, it’s great to know that you can go back and view what’s happened to the information therein. Version history tracks every change and update and you can restore to previous versions if you need to cycle back.
Suggest Edits = Track Changes
Speaking of tracking changes, you can do this with ease in Google Docs using the Suggest Edits feature. This will show any edits in a different color, cross out any deleted sections rather than removing them completely, and highlight changes to formatting.
Publish to the Web
If you need to share your Doc for viewing with a large number of people, then you can use the Publish feature. This will make the Doc available for reading online and all you have to do is share the link with those who need it. You can even embed this file into a website.
When you no longer need the Doc, you can transfer it to another Google Drive.
This is a great feature for professionals who are handing work over to clients and don’t want to keep it stored in their Drive. It’s also useful because the new owner will keep the full history of the Doc, which wouldn’t happen if you download it and reupload it to the other person’s Drive.
Chat with Collaborators
One of the best features of Docs is that you can collaborate seamlessly with others all in one space. You can all work simultaneously on the same Doc. What’s more, is that you can also chat with one another while working.
There’s a great chat feature built into Docs that works much the same as any online chat program. You just don’t have to leave that window or tab to navigate to another chat platform. It’s all in one.
Tag People in Comments
Perhaps your collaborators aren’t online at the same time as you. Or maybe you need to make changes before they can go in and edit the document. With the comments feature, you can tag specific people in the comment and they’ll get notified via email. All you need to do is start your comment with an @ or a +, and then start typing their email address or name.
If they already have access to the Doc, their name will start to appear and you can select them from a menu. If the person doesn’t have access, then you’ll be prompted to give them access and choose a permission level before sending out the notification to them.
Convert to a Doc
If you’ve been given content in other file formats, you can easily convert it into a Google Doc. All you need to do is upload the file to Drive and click to open it as a Doc. This means you can convert everything from a free printable invoice template to a contract into a Google Doc in just a few seconds.
All you need to do is upload a Microsoft Word, OpenOffice document or PDF, and open it as a Google Doc. Thereafter, you can edit the document as usual.
Get Your Keyboard Shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts are great for timesaving, and Docs has plenty for you to use.
To get to know them, you can pull up a list of shortcuts by pressing Control or Command and the / key together. You can’t change the shortcuts to suit your needs, but you can learn the most convenient ones for how you work.
Make Use of Templates
The library of templates available on Google Docs is vast. You can find everything from resume templates to designs for posters for an array of different events. You can even find the proper format for business letters, taking notes for meetings, and putting together project proposals or strategies.
The templates can be found on the Google Docs Homepage. Instead of opening up a blank document, select an option from the template gallery.
Table of Contents in a Sidebar
When working on a large document, a table of contents is extremely useful.
With Docs, you can insert a table of contents that will auto-update as you add new chapters or sections.
Plus, you can have this table of contents come up in a sidebar next to your working window. With this sidebar, you can easily navigate to different sections of your document by clicking on the heading or subheading you want to work on.
The Research Tool
Possibly the best part of working within the Google network is that you have access to the entirety of the extremely powerful search engine. You can do your online research from the built-in tool within Docs, so you don’t have to open another tab or window to do the work. It’s all done in the same place.
You can use the research tool in two ways.
Firstly, you can simply highlight a word in your Doc, right-click on it and select research from the menu. Alternatively, you can go to the Tools menu and select Research from there.
Google Docs is All About Online Collaboration and Tracking
Google Docs is not only a great tool for creating and editing documents. It’s also ideal for collaborating and sharing content with a range of users all over the world. Powered by the world’s most powerful search engine, it’s hardly surprising that Docs and the other tools within the Google suite are so popular and so well-used.
Incorporating Google Docs into your workflow is easy, and the benefits you’ll enjoy are numerous—and all for free.
About the Author
Nina Sharpe is a freelance writer who loves to explore the latest trends and strategies in the business and marketing industry. With a passion for writing and a keen eye for detail, Nina’s articles offer valuable insights and practical advice for entrepreneurs and marketers alike. When she’s not busy researching and writing, you can find Nina enjoying a cup of coffee with her cat by her side.