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Google Docs: 10 best tips to improve the way how you use it

Google Docs is an online app designed to create and share word documents. It is cloud-based and you probably use it regularly or at least you’ve heard about it. Google Docs is now the main competition for Microsoft Word which, for decades,  was the most used word processor. 

Now, even though Google Docs seems somewhat plain on the outside, it contains many unseen options that will make your job a lot easier.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never used Google Docs before or if you use it on a regular basis. Google Docs is suitable for everyone, from students to professionals. Everyone can take advantage of this robust tool that contains many features and literally works with any OS.  

So if you want to master Google Docs like a pro check these ten tips we’ve prepared for you.

1. Save time finding functions easily

When using a word processor in a working environment, you need to make the time work for you. Every moment is important so you need to use the options that will get the work done more effortlessly. Looking for the right option through all the menus will be time-consuming.

Instead of searching helplessly, use the shortcuts to find what you need in no time. All you need to do is press Alt- plus the shortcut. Let’s say that you have a document you need to put capital letters on. You can either press alt and then / or click on the tab “help”. 

All the options are going to appear right below “help”, then just start typing the beginning of the words and the drop-down menu will show all possible options. Choose the one you want and save time. This works with almost every menu function.

google docs

2. Speak instead of writing

We all love to write, but sometimes, however, it is good to give your fingers some rest and Google Docs knows exactly how to do it. All you need is to have a laptop with a microphone. Click on tools and choose “Voice Typing” you can also go Ctrl + Shift + S.

Some writers find it easier to write this way as if they have an assistant doing all the writing for them. 

Sure, the system will try to figure out what you’re saying and it may be complicated at first. Once you gain control over the way it works, it’s an excellent tool. Just let your ideas flow and let the writing duties to Google Docs.

3. Organize documents automatically

Google Docs can organize your documents, that’s why it’s easier for you to move around them. All you need to do is click on the tab “view” after you click it a drop-down menu will appear.

You need to choose the option Show Document Outline, this will create extra space on the left side on the screen. This space will display your document divided into sections. 

Each header of the documents you have will be a section. Use these shortcuts to better visualize the texts. It will also help you get where you want without going page after page.

Note: This option is also available for the mobile version app. You can locate it in the main menu.

4. No more cut & paste

If you need to move text within a document, you usually cut/copy and then paste. Well, now you just need to highlight it and drag it using your cursor. This is a time saver and it’s very easy to implement.

google docs tips - copy paste

5. Voice control to fix punctuation and edit paragraphs

Yes, voice-to-text capabilities are awesome. However, being able to format paragraphs or adding punctuation to text, using your voice is truly amazing. You can say commands like “new paragraph”, “comma”, “exclamation mark” and Google Docs will obey.

The coolest part is that it recognizes commands like “stop listening” and “resume” when you need a break or to continue.

6. Search the web without leaving Google Docs

When writing sometimes we need to get our facts right or research different things. In the past you had to leave the word processor and search the web regularly, but not anymore. Click on tools and select explore. 

You can also go Ctrl + Alt + Shift + I or, if using a smartphone, choose to explore from the main menu. Google Docs will show related searches based on previous work you’ve done. It will also let you do new searches. 

Found something you like? You can add it and make your work look more complete.

7. A built-in thesaurus

google docs tips - dictionary


It happens sometimes that we’re not entirely sure of the meaning of a word at all or within a certain context. Sure, you can Google it, but you’ll save much more time if you just highlight the word and see its definition. Just hit Ctrl  + Shift + Y and you’ll get a definition on the screen. This is a really cool time-saver inside Google Docs, and very useful at any time you need.

8. Language barriers? Not anymore

Google Docs comes with a translator, which can be found on the tab “Tools”. It will translate complete documents into other languages. Don’t worry, it will save a copy of the translated document for you to use if necessary.

9. Tag people in comments

Not everyone knows about this feature. Usually, when working on a shared drive, you need to leave comments for other people. Then you wait for them to respond. 

Now you can tag them so they get a notification and see your message right away. Just start writing a comment, then add @ and you’ll see a list of contacts to choose from. Enter an email address if the person you want to tag is not in your contacts. 

If you like tagging team members, try using @mentions in emails right from Gmail for delegation of tasks. 

10. GooglePress?

Yes, you can convert your documents into a shareable webpage just like WordPress. Go to File then choose the option “Publish on Web”. Follow the steps to move forward with this option.


Now you know how to master Google Docs!

There you have it. Ten tips on Google Docs you might not know. We hope you found this guide useful, so you and your team can make the most of Google Docs. Some are really easy to find, some require a little digging. Explore this software to find more solutions and let us know your thoughts. Now, enjoy Google Docs.

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Samantha Anacleto

Author Samantha Anacleto

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