Wednesday, October 19, 2011

10 Tips & Tricks for Google Docs

This is a guest post by David Lazar from

More and more people are flocking to Google Docs for all of their office suite needs, and it’s really no surprise with the way the service continues to evolve.

Now is a better time than ever to hop aboard the Google Docs bandwagon and check out all of the great new features that are being offered completely free of charge.

Google Docs does not have the restraints that desktop office suites have, in the sense that they need to wait a couple of years to introduce new changes once a new version of the suite is fully created. Google Docs continues to be a work in progress that is constantly changing and adding new features that are turning heads and making a lot of people switch completely from their desktop office programs to Google Docs.

Here are some of the latest and most significant features that Google Docs has added in its quest to offer the ultimate evolving office suite for all your needs.

1. Use Three Accounts At Once

Multiple Sign-in

A great new feature that Gmail offers is allowing you to switch between the several Gmail accounts that you might have, without having to sign out and sign in all the time.

In order to get this feature activated, go to My Account, which is located in the top right corner of your Gmail page. Now click the Edit button located next to the Multiple Sign-On feature, and switch it to On and click Save.

Now that you have done this, you will be able to switch accounts by clicking the dropdown arrow that is located next to your e-mail address at the top right of Gmail page. Click Sign in to Another Account to add a new account, to sign in a maximum of two additional accounts.


2. Make Things Easier With Templates


Just like Microsoft Office offers you many templates to get started on your documents, Google Docs Does the same. Whether you want to create a resume or a new financial spread sheet for your taxes, Google Docs has hundreds of different templates that you can choose from if you are looking for something that will give your document a nice kick-start and make everything easier for you.

Just go to the main Google Docs homepage, click on Create New, and then From Template. You can browse through the templates by looking through the most popular ones when clicking on Most Users or Highest Rating, and you can also browse them according to what you want, whether it is a document, spread sheet or presentation that you are creating.


3. Correct Your Most Common Mistakes Automatically

Mistake Correction

If you are one of those people who frequently misspell the same words all the time, you can make Google Docs automatically correct these mistakes for you as you go along.

All you have to do is select Tools and then Preferences, after which a dialog box will appear. This is where you will enter all of the words that you most commonly mistype – up top in the Replace field. You will then enter the correct spelling in the With field located right next to it.


4. Make Navigating Long Documents Easier With Bookmarks


When working with large documents, Google Docs makes it easy for you to define bookmarks and then create links that will allow you to jump straight to them.

First choose Insert and then Bookmark. In order to create a link to this bookmark, you need to highlight the word or phrase that you want to click in order to get there, and then go to Insert and then Link… Now all you have to do is to select the Bookmark radio button in the dialog box that appears and then select the bookmark that you created before.


5. Create Web Pages With Ease


If you are someone who has no idea about HTML or web design, you can use the Google Docs word processor to create really simple web pages very easily.

Once you have created the page that you want to put online, click File, then Download As, and then HTML (Zipped) in order to download the data. You will then get a folder that will contain a single HTML file along and another accompanying folder of support files. Now all you have to do is rename the HTML file as index.html, and upload the file and the folder of supporting files to your server or designated website.


6. Back Up Your Files on Your Hard Drive


Convert and Download

Some people prefer traditional Office apps because they can use it offline. It is really easy to back up all of your Google Doc files on your personal computer. All you have to do check the boxes of your files in the Google Docs homepage file listing and then just choose Download from the actions menu that will appear on the right.

This will take all the files and download them all together into one single .zip file. You can further copy them to Dropbox which will enable you to access it anywhere you go.


7. Insert Images With Ease


If you want to perk up your documents with images, it has really never been easier. All you have to do is drag and drop images directly from your desktop.

You do not even have to save images to your desktop; you can also insert images directly from the Google Image Search window. All you have to do is click on Insert and then Image on the menu bar, and then follow the simple directions from there.


8. Collaborate With Non-Google Users As Well


Google Docs does not restrict who you are able to collaborate with, which is what makes it such a useful tool. You can even allow people who are not Google account owners to not only view, but also edit your documents.

In order to share a file, you need to simply click the padlock icon alongside the document title, which is located at the top left of the window. When the dialog box appears, select Change alongside the Private entry in the list. Once the new dialog box sows up, select either Public on the Web or Anyone with the Link in order to denote who you want to give access to. If you want viewers to be able to edit the document as well, all you need to do is check Allow Anyone to Edit. Once you have done that, just click the Save button, and then copy and paste the link into the email you are sending out to people who you want to collaborate with on the document.


9. Increase and Clear Out Your Workspace


If you want to give yourself a larger workspace on the screen, all you have to do is click on View and then Full Screen. If you want even more room and take everything off the screen but your document, all you have to do is pressing F11 on your keyboard. This should work in all modern browsers.


10. Work With Multiple Currencies in a Spread sheet

Spread sheet


When you are working with currencies, you will have to set a base currency format for your spread sheet. This can be done by clicking File and then Spread sheet Settings. Now all you have to do is change the Locale setting to the relevant country that corresponds with the currency that you are working with.

However, you can still mark cells to be formatted in a different currency by highlighting those cells and clicking the More Formats button, which is located on the toolbar. Now all you have to do is scroll down to the More Currencies pop-up menu and select the one you need.

Know a tip that’ll be a great addition to this list? Leave a comment below.