And although it has made great strides, it is also infuriating, incomplete, and limited. To make your overall editing experience a bit better, we offer some tips on how to get the most from Google Docs. Here are 12 Google Docs tips everyone should know...
Tip 1: Use Search (it is Google after all)
It is so easy to create, receive and share a document that I lose track. But this Google and you don't need file and folder discipline to keep a tidy house. Head to Docs, sign in and search for what you are looking for. Google Docs will find it, whether the search term is in the document or the file itself, regardless of what type of Google Doc you are looking for.
Tip 2: Search for additional menu options
In Google Docs there are more contextual menu options than meets the eye. When in a document, hold down Alt and hit the / key, and you will see a 'Search the menus' option. Look for pretty much any feature you have used in another word-processing app, and you will likely find it here.
Tip 3: Manage repeated text
Let's say you're a teacher who constantly writes "needs more explanation" in your students' books. To save time, go to Tools, Preferences from inside a text document in Google Docs. In the pop-up window that appears, under 'automatic substitution', type nme below the 'replace' heading and needs more explanation below the 'with' heading. Next, click OK.
Back in your document, type nme and press the spacebar: You should see "needs more explanation" appear automatically.
If it doesn't work, go back to Tools, Preferences to make sure that 'Automatic substitution' is checked. Try to choose substitutions that are short and use unique letter combinations, so that Google Docs won't mistakenly overwrite a desired word with a substitution.
Tip 4: View plain text files
If you prefer to use plain desktop text editors such as Emacs, Gedit, Notepad, or Vim, you may find that files created in those apps won't display in Google Docs. Before you upload a plain text file to Google Docs, right-click the file and select rename, and then add the .txt filename extension to the end. Now you'll have no problem reading your document in Google Docs.