Released in 2006, Google Docs is the free browser-based word processor component of Google’s online office suite, mainly used to create, edit, share, and save documents. The cloud-based productive platform also serves an inclusion of Google Slides, Google Sheets, Google Forms, and many more productive and free web applications in its suite. Moreover, the finest advantage of Google Docs is the accessibility through any device that is signed in with the same Google account on the drive on which the files are saved. In this article, we will learn about Google Docs tips and tricks to enhance your experience using this app to its best potential. Moreover, we will also discuss the best Google Docs tips and tricks and Google Docs hacks that would improve convenience to make your work easy and save time for you.
Top 30 Best Google Docs Tips and Tricks
You will get to know the best Google Docs tips and tricks further in this article. Keep reading to learn more about it in detail.
1. Quick Access to New Document
The usual process of creating a new Google document indeed takes a few steps. However, Google Docs has the shortcut right in a single step. If you are logged in to a Google account, type docs.new on your Google Chrome browser to create and redirect you to a new document.
2. Dictate Text
Google’s speech-to-text is one of their most reliable and accurate developments. It can convert voice from over 125 languages and variants into text using Google’s machine learning. This can easily help users in writing long paragraphs in just a short span of time. Though this feature may not absolutely be fruitful for everyone, giving it a try is no harm. All it takes is to dictate. To use Voice Typing:
1. Open your Google Doc and click on Tools.
2. Click on the Voice typing option.
3. Click on the mic and speak to convert it into text.
- Shortcut for Windows users: Ctrl + Shift + S
- Shortcut for macOS: Cmd + Shift + S
3. Set Substitutions
Substitutions are replacements, and character combinations that allow Google to automatically format and replace/substitute a character with another one. This is helpful for similar repeated mistakes made while documenting.
1. On your Google Doc, click on the Tools option.
2. Select Preferences.
3. From the pop-up window, switch to the Substitutions tab.
4. Choose/add your substitutions and click on OK.
4. Outline to Organize
It’s not only MS Word that simplifies navigation through the article easier, Google Docs also simplify it with their Show outline feature to navigate through headings created in a document.
1. Click on the View option from the toolbar.
2. Mark the Show outline option from the drop-down menu.
3. Click on the Outline icon from the left sidebar to navigate.
- Shortcut for Windows: Ctrl + Alt + A or Ctrl + Alt + H
- Shortcut for Mac users: Cmd + Option + A or Cmd + Option + H
5. Generate Automated Summary
If you are into writing long documents like stories, articles, etc., and hunting for a short-summarised version for your draft, the Google Docs summary feature uses AI and creates a quick summary. To use this Google Docs tips and tricks and view the summary
1. Ensure that View outline is enabled on your document.
2. Click on the Outline icon.
3. Click on the + icon from the SUMMARY section.
6. Google Docs Offline Feature
As we discussed above that to access Google Docs, one needs to be signed up with a Google account. However, the access does not need an internet connection. Even though it is a browser-based platform, it can be used in offline mode and any modifications made to the document sync automatically when the internet connects. To follow these Google Docs tips for Windows, make sure to make your document available offline.
1. Click on the File tab on a Google Document from the top, as shown.
2. Click on Make available offline.
7. Hyperlinking Text
Hyperlinking in Windows or any other platform is about having to do a manual search for a particular website and then link it to the concerned word or sentence whatsoever. Google Docs takes this to a furthermore notch and allows users to search for something from directly within the wall and link it to the same.
1. Select the desired word/phrase to be hyperlinked from your Google Doc.
2. Right-click on the selected text and select the Insert link option from the context menu.
3. In the URL box, enter the desired URL and click on Apply.
- Shortcut for Windows: Ctrl + K
8. Insert Images Directly from Web
When convenience is the regard, Google Docs seems no match on certain options like inserting an image without having to download or screenshot it initially either. How would we even miss it from the list of best Google Docs tips and tricks?
1. Click on the Insert tab.
2. Click on the Image > Search the web option.
3. In the search bar, type the desired keyword for what you are looking for.
4. Insert the image.
Note: Users can also insert images directly from the drive, click from a device’s camera, or use the URL directly on Google Docs.
9. Direct Video Calls via Google Meet
Google Docs has an integrated video call feature with Google Meet on the docs. This makes it easier for the user to directly join meetings or start a video call from the docs and share the documents with them in real-time. Moreover, it can also be used to live share a spreadsheet or blog and more.
10. Create Email from Google Docs
By the time you read this heading, don’t assume us to be out of sanity. Google Docs has a feature where a user can write a regular email directly from Google Docs. It allows one to take advantage of the spell checker and other tools. Moreover, after being written, it can be sent directly from there.
1. Click on Insert from the top toolbar.
2. From the list of options, click on Building blocks.
3. Click on the Email draft option.
4. On the page, fill up the email structure.
5. Click on the Gmail icon from the left to preview and Send it.
11. Add Citations or Bibliographies
To avoid copyright issues, it is necessary to give proper credit to the source of information when writing a research paper or working on a project. Adding citations on Google Docs while citing a book, newspaper article, website or any other source is easy and available in different styles like MLA, APA, or Chicago. Moreover, one can reference sources in any language. However, the tool’s field elements always appear in English. To add citations in Google Docs:
1. Click on the Tools tab.
2. Click on Citations from the list.
3. Choose the desired citation style from the drop-down menu.
4. Click on Add a citation source.
Note: It can be a book or a newspaper, a journal article or a TV episode, a website, or anything mentioned in the list.
5. Select the desired Source type and Accessed by fields.
After adding, Google Docs will generate citations for you.
While citing print media or websites, the user can enter the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) or Uniform Resource Locator (URL) into the tool, and Docs would automatically show the citation from the internet.
12. Check Definitions and Find Synonyms
Google docs make it the easiest to avoid Google actually. If you want to search for the definition, i.e., the meaning of any particular word or phrase, you can do it directly from the docs.
1. Select the desired word/phrase and right-click on it.
2. Click on Define ‘selected word/phrase’.
- Shortcut for Windows: Ctrl + Shift + Y
- Shortcut for macOS: Cmd + Shift + Y
Alternatively, the user can also search for it from the Dictionary available in the Tools tab.
13. Access Quick Search Menu with @
There are many times we forget how to navigate an option or find a file that we saved somewhere on our device or we forget the shortcut to access a feature. This comes in handy in Google Docs in which typing anything with an ‘@’ in the article would display results like the tool or the file or an email-id or calendar events. The versatile drop-down search menu has it all simplified.
14. Pageless View
The pageless view was added to Google docs by the developers to enhance the experience and functionality of users while working on files with large images or just in general, for users who want to avoid the page break because they don’t need any. The page appears in an endless strip with the background color chosen by the user. So, with a pageless view, the entire page is yours. These Google Docs tips for Windows can be followed by the steps given below.
1. On a Google document, click on the File tab from the toolbar.
2. Click on Page setup.
3. Switch to the Pageless tab.
4. Select the desired background color and click on OK.
15. Preset Dropdowns
A dropdown is like an instant brief about the document. A user can place a pre-added dropdown or create one’s own and add or remove any options. The dropdowns make it easy to track projects or review status and much more.
1. Click on the Insert tab from the Google document.
2. Click on Dropdown.
3. From the pop-up window, create or add your status through the dropdown.
16. Create Checklists for Tasks
The checklist serves the user when he or she looks to create a list of tasks that needs to be done. The items on the list can be ticked and un-ticked on the basis of completion. To create a checklist for tasks on Google Docs:
1. Click on the Format tab.
2. Click on Bullets and numbering.
3. Click on Checklist to add one.
Note: You can also simply add a checklist by clicking on the Checklist icon on the document under the toolbar, as shown.
17. Watermark Document
Sometimes it is the writer who wants to introduce a work published as its own, or maybe by putting a watermark to claim the document and prevent it from being used without consent or copyright. A watermark leads to a higher-role in owning any substance, especially for creators or businesses. Adding a watermark on a Google Doc is easy.
Note: Make sure the document in which the bookmark is to be inserted is not set to pageless.
1. Click on the Insert tab.
2. Scroll down and click on Watermark.
Note: A watermark can be added in the form of an image or text.
3. Customize your watermark as per your choice and need from the customizations available.
4. Click on Done to save.
Also Read: How to Remove Watermarks From Word Documents
18. Add Emoji Reactions
Adding reactions to texts in the form of Emojis is not just limited to WhatsApp. Even on a Google Doc, the reader can add reactions/emojis to the text and even on any particular line.
Option I: Using Smiley Icon
To react to a text:
1. Select and highlight the desired text on which you want to react.
2. Click on the smiley icon from the right side of the page, between the comment and suggestions icons, as shown.
3. From the pop-up of Emojis, click on the desired reaction.
Option II: Using Text Command
Moreover, one of the popular ones chosen from the best Google Docs tips and tricks is the ability to add an emoji to the document itself:
1. Bring up the menu by typing @ icon.
2. Type a colon (:) followed by the name of the emoji to filter the list.
3. Use the arrow keys to select your choice to place it.
19. Collaborate and See Version History
Google Docs just like Google Sheets do have a collaboration feature in it. Up to 100 people are allowed to work collaboratively on a Google Doc at the same time, even though they are on different devices with different operating systems running in it.
1. Click on the File tab and scroll down to select the Share option.
2. Click on Share with others and allow people to collaborate, just like Google Sheets.
B. See Version History
Users who have editing privileges can edit the file. To keep a tab and check on the collaboration partners, it is important to learn about the details of any change made to the document.
1. Click on the File tab.
2. Click on the Version history option.
3. Click on See version history to see the list of changes shown as to who did and when a change was made.
Note: Clicking on the name would also show the exact change made.
- Shortcut for Windows: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + H
20. Manage Share Access
If you do not want everybody to have the access to edit your file, Google Docs allows you to share the documents individually managing the preferences and distributing the power to people who get access to the document. Let us show you how.
1. On a Google Document, click on the Share option from the top-right corner.
2. Share it with desired users you want to.
3. After the access is provided, click on Share again to view the list of profiles you shared the document with.
4. Manage your sharing preferences as:
You can also change the preferences at any time and transfer ownership as well.
21. See Word Count
Unlike Microsoft Word, Google Documents on screen does not show the real-time word count of a document. However, this is an important feature for people who have limitations to their writing, for students, and for anyone who works on a specific document. This can be enabled on Google Docs as well.
1. Click on the Tools tab.
2. Click on Word count. In the pop-up, you would see the word count, character count, and etc..
- Shortcut for Windows: Ctrl + Shift + C
- Shortcut for macOS: Cmd + Shift + C
3. Mark the checkbox for the Display word count while typing option to enable real time tracking of the count.
22. Publish File to Web
Mass sharing a document might not be the easiest thing to do, but with Google Docs, this gets better. The simplest way is to publish a document so it gets a URL that you can easily share.
1. Click on the File tab > Share option.
2. Click on Publish to web.
Google creates a copy of the document and makes it available online which can be accessed by using the URL.
23. Use Add-Ons
Google Docs functionality is not constrained and limited in any terms. However, the availability of Add-ons does make sure, the demand and needs of every user are fulfilled and there goes nothing unavailable. Extensions improve the functionality of the app. To check and add a slew of add-ons to Google Docs:
1. Click on the Extensions tab from the tool bar.
2. Click on Add-ons.
3. Select the Get add-ons option.
4. From the add-ons available, choose the desired add-on and install it.
A verification email may contribute while adding the add-ons that would confirm that the add-on was granted access to your account.
Also Read: 4 Ways to Rotate an Image in Google Docs
24. Add or Draw Signature
Google Docs is a widely used application software used in organizations for official purposes. Needless to say, signatures are inevitable in any business. With the recent Chrome update, Google added an electronic signature feature to the list of Google Docs tips and tricks It saves the hustle of procuring hard copies of files, signing them, and turning them into soft files once again.
1. Place the cursor at the place where you want to insert your signature.
2. Click on the Insert tab from the toolbar.
3. Click on Drawing.
4. Select New from the options. Now a new drawing software will open in a pop-up window.
5. Click on the Expand icon beside the line tool as shown in the image.
6. Select Scribble.
7. Draw your signature using a mouse, a trackpad, or on the touchscreen.
8. Click on Save and close from the upper-right corner to save it.
If you do not find the option to draw a signature, update Google Chrome on your device.
25. Compare Documents
This Google docs hack enables a user to compare two documents that he or she renders to be similar but not exactly identical. Compare Documents option compares both of them and displays the differences via suggested edits.
1. Open one of the documents that are to be compared.
2. Click on the Tools tab.
3. Click on Compare documents.
4. In the dialog box that appears, select the second document.
5. As a new document gets added, the comparison would show up.
26. Translate Documents
One of the best tips and tricks is that a document on Google Docs can be translated into any language. Any foreign language document can be uploaded to Google Drive and opened as a Google Doc.
1. Click on the Tools tab.
2. Click on the Translate document option.
A duplicate document in the preferred language will be shown.
27. Mail Your Comments
A high-priority and faster response seeking comment on the document can be paid attention to without sharing the source file.
1. Select the desired text part that needs to be commented on over the email.
2. Click on the Comment icon from the right-hand side of the page.
3. On the comment box type the @ icon.
4. A dropdown menu with a list of email ids of the collaborators or contacts would appear. Select or type the desired email address of the user you want to send the comment and the part.
5. Click on Comment.
28. Utilize Several Fonts
Google Docs in its initial view may seem like it lacks the collection of fonts, unlike Microsoft Word. However, that’s not the case. Other than 25 default fonts in the menu, there are hundreds of other fonts available as well.
1. On a Google Document, click on the Font drop-down option.
2. From the drop-down list, click on More fonts.
29. Paint Formatting
Copying and pasting on Google Docs applies to even formatting, so one would not have to use go through the process of the same formatting again and again for different sections in the document. The paint formatting roller makes it easy.
1. Highlight the desired text that has been formatted.
2. Click on the Paint format icon, as shown.
3. Select and click on the desired section to which this formatting is to be applied.
Using these Google Docs tips for Windows, all the formatting like font, font size, type, and so on will be applied to the new section as well.
30. Insert Table of Contents
Creating a Table of contents is just a couple of clicks. A content table is important for anyone who writes a book or any official or similar documents etc. To insert a table of contents in Google Docs:
1. Click on the Insert tab on your Google Document.
2. Scroll down and click on Table of contents.
3. Select the desired appearance in which you want your content table to be.
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One of the most effective documentation software developed and designed by Google is Google Docs. If you follow these tips and tricks, your experience of working with Google Docs will be enhanced, and your work will be easier. We hope that this doc could guide you on the best Google Docs tips and tricks. Feel free to reach out to us with your queries and suggestions via the comments section below. Also, let us know what you want to learn about next.