For hundreds Millions of users use Google Docs regularly, if not constantly. Behind the seeming simplicity – just open it and start typing – there are a number of features and research tools, many of which help you tailor the app to your needs and can improve your productivity and workflow.
We’ve selected some of our favorites – and at least some of them should help you do more in less time within Google Docs.
Dictate your text
Document dictation doesn’t work for everyone, but you can at least try it in Google Docs: Open the Tools menu and select Voice Typing to get started. If it’s easier for you, use the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl + Shift + S in Windows or Cmd + Shift + S in macOS.
Click the microphone that appears on the screen and start speaking. You will see your words printed as you say them, and you can continue typing if you need to make changes and clarifications. Click the microphone button again to turn off dictation mode.
You can do more with your voice than you think: for example, commands such as “select paragraph” and “go to end of line” are supported. Try experimenting with different formatting commands and see the full list of expressions here.
Create new documents quickly
If you want to quickly create a new Google Docs document, just type “docs.new” into your browser’s address bar and press input. To speed up the process, you can create a desktop shortcut or browser tag that points to the same hyperlink shortcut.
Set up your own replacements
Open up Tools menu in Google Docs, select Preferencesand then move on to Replacements: You’ll see a list of character combinations that Google Docs will automatically replace with something else when you type them (for example, correct fractional formatting).
To create your own replacements, just use To replace and WITH boxes at the top of the list. You can also edit existing subscriptions, remove replacements using the cross on the right, or disable and enable replacements using the checkboxes on the left.
How you use substitutions is up to you: replace “-” with a straight dash em (-), correct spelling mistakes you normally make, type short abbreviations that are then replaced with standard long phrases; there are all sorts of uses.
Collaborate on emails
Google Docs is closely linked to Google’s email client, as you’d expect, and you can use Docs to work on Gmail emails until they’re ready to go. In Google Docs, select Insertthen Building blocksand then select Email the draft start.
You are able @-mention people to fill in email addresses, and the email can be written in the main text box – when you’re ready to send it to Gmail, click on the blue email icon on the left in Google Docs and a new Gmail sketch will appear on the screen .
Change fonts and layout
You don’t have to settle for the default look that Gmail gives you: set text layout and formatting options to suit you best. Fonts can be a part of that, and you can choose at the top of the drop-down list of fonts Add fonts to import new ones.
There are several options besides fonts, such as a toolbar zoom drop-down menu. In the meantime, if you open File menu and choose Page settings you have the option of switching to a No pages display, which looks like one long document, without page breaks.