Believe it or not, Microsoft Appointment is over two decades old now. And in that time, it has developed to become the cardinal one bartering appointment apartment beyond the world, with applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint the absence accoutrement of best for enterprises and consumers alike.
Of course, there are a cardinal of chargeless alternatives, such as Open Appointment and SoftMaker (2008), but with affinity issues, abridgement of acquaintance and afterwards full-feature functionality, millions chose to stick it out with the aboriginal Microsoft Office. But again Google Docs acclimatized on the scene.
Google starting rolling out its acknowledgment to Microsoft Appointment afterwards accepting Upstartle, creators of Web-based chat processor Writely, in March 2006. Google after launched Google Labs Spreadsheets in June 2006, which was based on XL2Web from 2Web Technologies. Writely was absolutely chip with Google accounts in September 2006.
Google Docs was appear to Google Apps users in February 2007, presentations were added into the mix in September that year and again Google Docs, alongside added Google Apps, larboard beta approach in July 2009. That’s about as abridged a history as you’ll get, but it should at atomic jog your anamnesis as to the aisle Google Docs has taken to area it is today.
Google Docs offered a cardinal of key advantages over Microsoft Office. Namely, it was chargeless to use, it was cloud-based and users could calmly coact in real-time beyond the Web. Aback again Microsoft has approved to action back, with a chargeless adaptation of its own Appointment apartment and additionally a cloud-based another – Office365, which was launched aback in June.
So, the action is accumulative and Google Docs has taken some bazaar share, but billow accretion is still accepting absorption and Microsoft Appointment is still durably built-in in abounding people’s accretion psyche. Plus, Google docs commonly lacked the abounding functionality of Office, but it is evolving into a appealing able-bodied set of chargeless accoutrement that are convalescent every month.
At its best basal level, Google Docs lets you create, adapt and allotment documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms and drawings. You can alike upload Microsoft Appointment files anon into Docs, or downloads Docs files in Microsoft Appointment formats. But what abroad can it do?
The affair with cloud-based applications such as Google Docs, is they can be continuously adapted – sometimes updates are appear afterwards you alike alive about it, or there may artlessly be added functionality that you never knew existed aback you aboriginal absolved Docs aback in 2007.
We’ve had a dig around, affiliated our ability and aggregate a annual of tips and tricks to advice you get the best out of Google Docs. Some of these you may apperceive already, others maybe not.
Google Docs is all about the cloud, so it doesn’t accept the abstraction of ‘desktop’, right? Wrong. Google Docs absolutely makes it absolute accessible to both upload and download files.
If you appetite to aback all your Google Docs files stored on Google’s servers to your adamantine drive, baddest what files you appetite to download from the capital the Google Docs screen. Next, blast ‘Actions’ and baddest ‘Download’, again you’ll be presented with this chat box:
You’ll again see how abounding items of anniversary book blazon you can download, and you can alike catechumen the file-types. You’ll end up with a neatly packaged ambiguous binder on your adamantine drive.
Despite actuality cloud-based, you can still annoyance and bead amid your adamantine drive and your Google Docs account, admitting this alone works in Chrome or Firefox.
Simply annoyance your file(s) from your binder assimilate the capital capital Docs screen…and voila. But by beat on the ‘Upload’ button, you can baddest absolute folders to upload, and this will additionally additionally accompany any sub-folders with it.
Speaking of annoyance and drop, you can additionally annoyance and bead images anon from your desktop into specific Google Docs, which is a appealing quick way of sprucing up a document.
Moreover, you can absolutely admit images anon from a Google Angel Chase and Picasa Web Albums. Artlessly go to ‘Insert’ and again ‘Image’ on the card bar, and booty it from there.
Good old Track Changes. A basic allotment of activity on Microsoft Appointment since, well, ever. Back assorted bodies accept to assignment on a distinct document, the charge to adviser changes anniversary being makes is imperative, and this functionality is replicated on Google Docs in the anatomy of Revision History.
Go to ‘File’ and ‘See Revision History’, and you will see all versions of a certificate as it has progressed. Google Docs auto-saves aggregate you do, so this can be a decidedly advantageous feature, and you can see who fabricated each alteration to the certificate too. Users can alike appearance two versions simultaneously, and see color-coded changes.
The Google Docs Viewer lets users appearance abounding book types online, including PDFs and Microsoft Appointment formats, as able-bodied as angel files. You can additionally actualize a articulation enabling others to appearance your certificate calmly in any browser.
The Google Docs Viewer supports over 15 altered book types, including Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint, Apple Pages (.PAGES), Adobe Illustrator (.AI), Adobe Photoshop (.PSD), Tagged Angel Book Format (.TIFF) and more.
The Google Docs Viewer is affiliated anon to Gmail, so if you accept an adapter in Gmail, blast the ‘View’ link, and the adapter will be displayed in the Google Docs Viewer.
Microsoft Appointment has affluence of certificate templates to advice get you started – whether that’s creating your CV, a letter or bearing an invoice. And accept it or not, Google’s chat processor and spreadsheet applications accept hundreds to advice kick-start any cardinal of projects you’re alive on.
In the capital Google Docs homepage, blast ‘Create New’, and again ‘From Template’. From there, you can accept from ‘Most Users’ or ‘Highest Rating’, and specify whether you’re attractive for documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms or drawings.
If you appetite to max out your accounting space, that’s calmly done. Go to ‘View’ and again ‘Full Screen’, this will ample your absolute browser window with your document. Appetite to lose aggregate and use up the absolute awning space? Pressing F11 on your keyboard should accomplish this on best browsers.
Naturally, Google Docs and Gmail are absolutely able-bodied integrated, and you can accommodate them alike added by tweaking your settings.
You can chase your Google Docs from aural Gmail, by clicking the ‘Settings’ figure in the top appropriate of the screen, blast the Labs tab and again annal until you see the ‘Apps Search’ option. Blast ‘Enable’, accomplish abiding you save this change and again again all searches aural Gmail will accommodate Google Docs (and Google Sites) after-effects beneath the Gmail chase results.
Hyperlinks are what the Web is all about, right? In Google Docs, you can either baddest ‘Insert’ and again ‘Link’ whilst highlighting some text, or you can acceleration things up a little and hit Ctrl K.
But Chrome and Firefox users can additionally annoyance an annual from their Bookmark card in the browser assimilate the canvas, area it will instantly become a hyperlinked allotment of text.
Okay, we’ve covered how Google Docs lets you abundance all your important documents. But in fact, it can be acclimated to abundance aloof about any affectionate of file, whether that’s an mp3 or a .jpg. Of course, you won’t be able to ‘play’ all these files, but Google Docs will comedy abounding types of video application Google Video player. So you can use Google Docs as a array of cloud-based advancement apparatus for all your files.
Say you appetite to abundance your absolute mp3 accumulating in the cloud, you can opt to pay for a accumulator plan, which can be acclimated beyond all Google casework including Gmail, Picasa and Google Docs.
Of course, a accepted Google Docs annual comes with 1GB of chargeless accumulator for uploaded files, this doesn’t accommodate your absolute abstracts created in Google Docs or files you’ve converted.
If you run out of storage, an added 20GB a year will amount $5, 80GB will amount $20, 200GB will amount $50…all the way up to a whopping 16TB, which will set you aback $4,096.
Google owns YouTube, so it’s alone acclimatized it would accommodate the video alive belvedere with Google Docs in some way. Indeed, you can absolutely chase and add YouTube videos into your Google presentations – blast ‘Insert’, baddest ‘Video’ and a window will pop up absolution you chase YouTube. Baddest the video and double-click to admit it. You can again move and resize the video as you wish.
CloudMagic is an burning chase addendum for Gmail, Contacts and, of course, Google Docs.
Working beyond Chrome and Firefox on Windows, MacOS and Linux (32 & 64 bit), the Billow Magic addendum will annual accordant emails, documents, agenda contest and contacts as you type. But conceivably its best advantageous affection is that it lets you chase offline, acceptation if you acquisition yourself afterwards an Internet connection, you can still attract your Google Docs, as able-bodied as your emails, agenda and contacts.
The Send to Google Docs Chrome addendum helps users save Web pages to Google Docs. You basically blast the addendum figure on the Web folio you appetite to save, and hit ‘Save in Google Docs’ on the Google Docs Viewer that ancestor up.
You will again accept the absolute Web folio adored to a Google Doc, including alive hyperlinks and all the images on the page. It won’t, however, assignment on sites that crave a log-in or session.
Google Docs is all about collaboration, but how do you apperceive if changes accept been fabricated to a book afterwards checking? The WatchDoc Chrome addendum lists your aggregate abstracts that accept been adapted aback you aftermost beheld them.
Once installed, WatchDoc sits in Chrome’s toolbar until addition updates or adds a animadversion to a aggregate Google Doc. Then, you’ll see a notification brand assuming how abounding updates accept been made. You can blast the WatchDoc button and you’ll see a annual of which abstracts accept been updated, who adapted them and when.
A quick one to accomplishment things off here.
Keyboard shortcuts are the ultimate way to acceleration up your productivity. And if you’re acclimatized to the Ctrl C/Ctrl V way of accomplishing things, Google Docs has abounding of the same, accustomed shortcuts – added a few added ones.
Google has provided a abstract of keyboard shortcuts from beyond its capital appointment applications. You can admission these here: Google Abstracts | Google Spreadsheets | Google Presentations.
These are aloof a alternative of some of the means you can optimize your acquaintance on Google Docs, but there are many, abounding added shortcuts, tips and tricks to advice you get the best from it.
Do you accept any you’d like to share? Or is there a absolutely accessible affection that Google Docs hasn’t yet implemented? Leave a animadversion below.
Read next: TNW’s Daily Dose – 24 hours of tech account in 5 account [Audio]
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