10 tips to master Google Docs like a pro

No, it’s not just Microsoft Office in life. If you are looking for free word processing software, there are free solutions online. For example, you can opt for Office Online to get free access to a simplified version of Word and other tools from Microsoft’s Office suite.

However, if you’re a loyal user of Google tools, you’re probably better off using the Office tools built into the Google Workspace suite. For word processing, Google Docs is sufficient as a Word replacement. You can also use Google Sheets or Google Slide, two credible alternatives to Excel and PowerPoint.

Additionally, adopting Google’s Office tools allows you to always have an up-to-date copy of your documents. They are actually automatically saved to Google Drive. You can therefore access it from any computer, but also from your smartphone. However, note that its use is advisable Google Chromethe web browser for your home, to be able to use all the functions of Google Docs.

In any case, don’t let the apparent simplicity of Google Docs fool you. Google’s word processor is packed with resources and includes a number of largely underrated features. You’ll discover a dozen tips in the following lines to master Google Docs like a pro.

1. Activate offline use

You may not know it, but Google Docs includes an offline mode. Google actually offers an option that allows you to use their tools without an internet connection if enabled. Documents created or edited offline are stored locally on your computer and automatically synchronized as soon as an internet connection is available.

First, start by downloading and installing the extension Offline Google Drive for Google Chrome.

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Then go Google Drivethen click the gear icon in the top right and access the settings.

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On the tab generalsfind the section Offline mode, and select its check box. So you can Create, open and edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets and Slides on this device while offline.

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Finally click on OK to save your changes.

2. Dictate your text

If you’re more of a hurry type and feel comfortable enough, you can dictate your text directly instead of stomping around on the keyboard.

For this in Google documentsclick on the menu Toolthen choose voice input.

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A new button with a microphone should appear to the left of your document. Click on that microphone and dictate your text. Click it again to stop dictating. You may need to do this the first time you use it To allow Google Docs at Use your microphone by clicking on the appropriate button.

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You can add punctuation directly to your text by saying ” comma », « Point “, or ” at the line “. Google Docs automatically understands these commands and executes them immediately.

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3. Insert pictures from the internet

With Google Docs, you no longer have to save your images locally and then insert them into your documents. In fact, it is possible to search for an image online right from the edited document.

To do this, click on the menu Insertthen in pictureSelect Search the web.

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A section Google Pictures should then open to the right of the document. Just enter your search terms in the search box, select the image you want and click the button insertion.

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4. Add a watermark to your documents

Are you about to distribute a long document you wrote? To prevent your work from being stolen, you can mark all pages of your document by inserting a watermark. Also called watermark In English, it is text or an image that appears transparently in the background of your pages.

How to add a watermark to your document Google documentsclick on the menu insertion Then select the option watermark.

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In the disc watermark that opens on the right side of the screen, choose between picture Where textand paste the content you want to appear in the background of your document.

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Then click End to confirm your changes.

5. Embed a document on the canvas

If you publish articles on the web, you know that it’s entirely possible to include a Google Docs document in your publications. That way, people viewing the content don’t have to navigate directly to the document in Google Docs.

To get the embed code, click on the menu filethen in Splitchoose Publish to the web.

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Then go to the tab Integrate and click Publish. You will then receive the integration code for your document, which you only have to paste into your online publishing tool.

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6. Install extensions

One of the great advantages of Google Docs is that it’s possible to improve it by installing extensions like in Chrome. To do this, click on the menu extensionsthen in the menu Additional Moduleschoose Download Addons.

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You should arrive then Google Workspace Marketplace, the extended store for Google Docs. After locating and selecting an extension, click the button To install to add it to Google Docs.

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A great way to add the excellent spelling and grammar checker to Google Docs’ native spell checker, for example language tool.

7. Download a local copy of your documents

The documents you create in Google Docs are not meant to be stored only on Google Drive. As with any other office suite, you can save a local copy of your documents in various formats.

To download a local copy of the edited document, click the menu filethen in Downloadselect the file format in which you would like to receive a copy of your document.

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So you can easily generate the document you just created in a file in .doc format (Office compatible) or in PDF format, which is handy if you need to send it to a third party.

8. Compare two documents

Just created two fairly similar documents and can’t find the differences? Don’t panic, Google Docs includes a dedicated tool for that.

In one of the documents to compare, click the menu Tool then choose Compare documents.

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In the pop-up window that appears, click in the box Select the document to use for the comparison and select the document to compare with the edited document. Then click the button Compare.

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Once Google Docs has done its job, a popup will appear Comparison complete should open. Click the button Open to view the differences found.

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The comparison page between the two documents is displayed. All elements that deviate from the source document are displayed in color. Also, boxes on the right side of the screen indicate any changes found.

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9. Configure the auto-replace options

Do you need to use certain special characters frequently? Instead of having to constantly look for them on the menu Insert > Special Characters, you can create substitute shortcuts to make typing easier. First, copy the special character that you want to type conveniently to the clipboard.

Then click on the menu Tool and meet in settings.

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In the window that appears, select the tab substitutions. You just have to enter the shortcut to use in the field Substituteand then paste the character you want it to replace into the box Through. In our case, we want Google Docs to show the exponent automatically 2 when we type ^2 on the keyboard.

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Every time you type the configured shortcut, Google Docs will now automatically replace it with the text you gave it.

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10. Master the keyboard shortcuts

You will not escape keyboard shortcuts. Like any good self-respecting tool, Google Docs supports many keyboard shortcuts. Google published the very long list on its support pages for Windows, macOS and ChromeOS.

If remembering them all seems difficult, sort the abbreviations that seem most useful for your daily tasks and write them down somewhere so you can remember them better. Regardless of the tool used, a good knowledge of the supported keyboard shortcuts is essential. By learning them, you’ll work much faster, reduce repetitive tasks, and save valuable time.

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