In Ask Our Gurus, Web Design

For so long we’ve all been told that Microsoft Word is the only way. We’re happy to tell you that isn’t true anymore.

At EnvisionUP, we are huge fans of Google Docs, which offers a more user-friendly, collaborative system that maximizes our time and creativity without sacrificing quality.

It’s Simple, State of the Art, and Free!

If you aren’t familiar with it yet, Google Docs is a replacement for MS Word. It is a cloud-based service that offers tons of great content editing and collaborating features at the best price ever: zero dollars. It works within your Web Browser on your computer or mobile device.

It has all the features of traditional Word Processor software programs, but with the added bonus of easy editing, whether by yourself or with multiple people.

We’ve put together a small how-to guide that walks through the basic features of editing Google Docs.

1. How to Edit Content

If you’ve worked with Word, you know that there are several editing tools available to you. Google Docs has the exact same ones, and, personally, I think they are actually easier to use.

Create Headings

On Google Docs, create headings by using the drop down menu in the toolbar and selecting which one you want.

Bonus: Google Docs will recognize which one you choose, and automatically divide your page so that your content looks clean and organized.

Your text format will be automatically set to ‘Normal Text’, but you can change any text to any heading any time you want.

Change Text Style and Size

When it comes to sizing and style choices, Google Docs gives you all the options you’re used to, in a user-friendly tool bar. It is organized, from left to right, by:

  • Font
  • Size
  • Bold
  • Italics
  • Underline
  • Text and Highlight Colour

Add Links

One of the best Google Doc features is linking to content. With the push of a button, you can add links to other parts of your document, or to external URLs.

Simply highlight the text you would like linked, and select the link button in the toolbar – it’s right next to your text colour/highlight button. Then copy and paste your link URL into the designated space.

You might be asking: what if I want to change the links later on? That is easy to do. Simply click on the linked text in your document, and a small text block will pop up that contains the link address, and the options to change or remove. You can not only change the link, but you can change the link text as well.

Add Images

Adding images can often be the frustrating part of any content document creation. You move it just one millimeter, and suddenly you have four extra pages and no idea where the picture actually went.

That doesn’t happen with Google Docs. All you have to do is go to the ‘Insert’ tab on your menu, and select ‘Image’ – it’s the first option.

2. Collaborate and Make Revisions With Ease

If you do any amount of editing, then chances are you’ll need to keep track of any changes that you, or other fellow editors, will make. There are a couple ways you can do this.

Editing Mode

Google Docs has two options when it comes to editing a document. The first is literally called ‘Editing’. This means that you can go into the document and make any changes you want, without having anything pop up. It will feel like a working doc.

Reverting Back

Worried about missing some changes that were made? Google Docs keeps track of every save, and with it all the changes that were made. Go to your menu in the upper left-hand corner and select ‘File’.

From there, select ‘See revision history’. This will take you to a screen where you will see all the time-stamped saves, complete with all the changes that were made. To see an earlier version, just click.

If you want to revert back to an earlier version, simply take your eyes to the top of the screen. You’ll see a big button that says ‘Restore This Revision’

Double-Check: Make sure the revision you’re restoring is the one you want. You don’t want to lose content you want to keep.

Suggestions Mode

You can find this option back in the upper right hand corner of your Google Docs screen. Where is says ‘Editing’ is actually a small drop down menu. Select the ‘Suggesting’ option. From then on, any changes you make to the content in the document will be tracked, and you will have to go through and manually approve each change to make it permanent.

This is a great option if you are collaborating on a document and want to draw attention to certain changes.

Add Comments

At any point, in any editing mode, you can leave comments on your Google Doc. Highlight the text you wish to draw attention to (or any text if you are looking to leave a more general comment), and on the right-hand side of the document, you will see what looks like a speech block. Click on it, and a comment window will pop up. Don’t forget to click ‘comment’ once you’re done.

You and other collaborators will be able to see these comments, and either reply to them, or resolve them, which is one more user-friendly editing tool at your disposal.

3. Share Documents In Google Docs

When you’re working on some great new content, how much time do you spend emailing it back and forth with new changes? It’s time consuming and frankly a pain in the backside trying to get the document to everyone who needs to see and work on it.

With Google Docs, all you have to do is click the blue ‘Share’ button in the top righthand corner. A window will open, prompting you to add an email address.

Once you share the document, all you’ll have to do is send them a message like this.

“Made some changes to Company History document. Ready for edits!”

Or don’t send a message at all – your fellow editor will be notified when you share the document.

Your collaborator(s) will be able to log on from wherever they are and quickly look at the document, saving the time it would have taken to download the edited document.

4. Use it On the Go With the Mobile App

There’s no denying it; phones are taking over the business world. And why not? They’re convenient for conducting projects on the go, and give you access to everything you need in a device the size of your pocket.

That’s why Google made sure that Google Docs was not just friendly, but mobile-friendly. You can work on your documents on the go. No more telling everyone they’ll just have to wait until you can get to a computer that has a document program loaded onto it.

Google Docs Is The Best Tool For Your Editing Needs

We love using Google Docs because they do all this and more. The best part is that if you are familiar with other word document programs, getting the hang of Google Docs will take no time at all.

With the world of online marketing ever changing, we use a system that can adapt to our needs. You should, too!

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