Getting started with Google docs

It’s been a while since I got back to the basics, so here goes:

Starting with google docs takes about 3 minutes, less if you have a gmail account:

1. Register for, or sign in to Gmail (Google search for Gmail takes you right to it)

2. Once you are logged in to your Google account, go to gmail. From there, you click on the link for “Documents” on the top left set of commands.

3. Once you do that, you are taken to your Google Docs Page. Others call it their Docs menu, or Docs account.

4. From your Docs page, you get a bar list of different functions: CREATE NEW, UPLOAD, and a bunch of file-management tools which work similarly to most email inboxes.

5. Pull down the CREATE NEW tab to find options for document, spreadsheet, presentation, forms and folder.

Now, folder just adds folders to keep your different drafts in, but the other four are you choices. They correlate closely (and mostly cross-platform) with the following programs:

Document –> Word

Spreadsheet –> Excel

Presentation –> Powerpoint

Forms –> Survey Monkey

PRINTING: Cannot be done in typical fashion, by edit–> print from main toolbar. Instead, see the Google Docs toolbar within the docs window. Click print from here, as it must be first converted to .pdf (since it is a web-based page, I think).

SHARING: Any of the documents may be shared (to view or edit) with anyone else. If you want to invite someone else to work on your document, you have two choices:

If they have a Google account, you can simply click Share/ Invite (top right)

If you are unsure, you can publish the page as a web page, and then copy/past the address into your email to the collaborator. This works best with multiple users. Go to Share/Publish as Web Page, and then copy the address.

AUTOSAVING: All Google Docs Programs autosave every few seconds once you save it the first time! It will even save as “untitled” if you don’t! Cool, huh?

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: Just play around with it. See what it can do. The next time you need to type something up, use it. Remember, it will be available anywhere you have a computer and an internet connection!


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