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10 tips for mastering Google Docs like a pro

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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 choose to upgrade to Office Online for free access to a simplified version of Word and other tools in Microsoft’s office suite.

However, if you’re a loyal user of Google tools, it’s probably best for you to use the office tools built into the Google Workspace suite. For word processing, Google Docs will do the trick as a replacement for Word. You can also use Google Sheets or Google Slides, two credible alternatives to Excel and PowerPoint.

In addition, the adoption of Google’s office tools will allow you to keep a copy of your documents constantly updated. They are, in fact, automatically saved on Google Drive. You can therefore access it from any computer, but also from your smartphone. Note, however, that it is recommended that you use Google Chromeyour home web browser, to make sure you take advantage of all the features offered by Google Docs.

Either way, don’t be fooled by the seeming simplicity of Google Docs. Google’s word processor is full of resources and includes a number of widely underrated features. You will discover in the following lines a dozen tips that will allow you to master Google Docs like a pro.

1. Enable offline use

You may not know this, but Google Docs includes an offline mode. Google offers an option that, once activated, allows you to use its tools without an Internet connection. Documents created or edited offline are saved locally on the machine and automatically synchronized whenever a web connection is available.

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

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Then go to Google Drivethen click the cogwheel icon at the top right and go to Settings.

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In the card Generallocate the section offline modeand check the associated box. You can like this Create, open and edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets and Slides files on this device while you’re offline.

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Finally click on OK to save the changes.

2. Dictate your text

If you are more of a rush type and feel comfortable enough, you can dictate your text directly instead of trudging on the keyboard.

For this, in Google documentsclick on the menu Instrumentsthen choose Voice input.

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A new button with a microphone should then appear to the left of the document. Click on microphone and start dictating your text. Click again to stop dictation. On first use, it may be necessary To allow Google Docs a 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 ” to the line Google Docs will automatically understand these commands and run immediately.

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3. Insert images from the web

With Google Docs it is no longer necessary to save images locally and then insert them into documents. It is in fact possible to search an image online directly from the document being edited.

To do this, click on the menu Insertionthen inside Imagechoose Search on the net.

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A section Google Images it should then open to the right of the document. Simply enter your keywords in the search field, select the image of your choice and click the button To insert.

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4. Add a watermark to your documents

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

To insert a watermark in the document Google documentsclick on the menu To insert then choose the option Watermark.

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In the box Watermark that opens on the right of the screen, choose from Image Where is it Textand enter the content you want to appear in the background of the document.

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Then click Finish to confirm the changes.

5. Embed a document in the drawing area

If you happen to publish articles on the web, know that it is entirely possible to integrate a Google Docs document into your publications. This way, people viewing its content won’t have to directly access the document in Google Docs.

To get the “embed” code, click on the menu Filethen inside split outTo select Publish to the web.

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Then go to the tab To integrate and click To publish. You will then get the integration code for your document which you just need to enter into your online publishing tool.

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6. Install the extensions

One of the great advantages of Google Docs is that you can improve it by installing extensions, like on Chrome. To do this, click on the menu Extensionsthen in the menu Additional modulesTo select Download add-ons.

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You should then get to the Google Workspace Marketplace, the extension store dedicated to Google Docs. After searching for and choosing an extension, click the button To install to add it to Google Docs.

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A good way, for example, to integrate Google Docs native spell checker with excellent spelling and grammar checking Language tool.

7. Download a local copy of your documents

Docs you create in Google Docs aren’t just meant to be stored in 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 document you are editing, click the menu Filethen inside Downloadselect the file format in which you want to get a copy of the document.

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You can thus very easily generate the document you just created in a .doc file (compatible with Office), or in PDF format, which is practical if you have to send it to third parties.

8. Compare two documents

Have you just created two quite similar documents and can’t find the differences? Don’t panic, Google Docs includes a dedicated tool for this.

From one of the documents to compare, click the menu Instruments then choose Compare documents.

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

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Once Google Docs has done its job, a popup appears Comparison completed should open. Click the button To open to view the differences found.

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The comparison page between the two documents is displayed. All elements other than the initial document are displayed in color. In addition, the boxes displayed on the right of the screen indicate any changes that have been found.

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9. Configure the automatic replacement options

Do you need to use certain special characters frequently? Rather than having to constantly search the menu for them Insert> Special characters, you can create replacement shortcuts to make typing easier. First start by copying the special character you want to be able to type easily to the clipboard.

Then click on the menu Instruments and meet in the Preferences.

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In the window that appears, select the tab Substitutions. You just have to fill in the shortcut to use in the field Substitutethen paste the mark that needs to replace it into the control Of. In our case, we want Google Docs to automatically show the exponent 2 when we type ^ 2 on the keyboard.

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Now, whenever you enter the configured link, Google Docs will automatically replace it with the text you provided.

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10. Master keyboard shortcuts

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

If you find it difficult to remember them all, select the shortcuts that seem most useful for your daily activities and write them down somewhere to remember them. Regardless of the tool used, a good understanding of supported keyboard shortcuts is essential. By learning them, you will work much faster, reduce repetitive tasks and save valuable time.

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