Google Docs are a great way to stay organized. Here you will find 10 tips you might not known. Feel free to share additional “Google Docs hacks” in the comments. Enjoy!
1. Hyperlink Your Google Docs
Even the most organized people sometimes misplace a file and not all files readily appear from the abyss, no matter how many search terms you try. Did you know that you can hyperlink documents, spreadsheet tabls, folders and more in your Google Docs? No? You’re welcome. This is what you’ll need to enter into the cell:
=hyperlink(“LINK”, “LINK TEXT”)
e.g. replace “LINK” with the address (but keep the “”), and replace the “LINK TEXT” with whatever you want your link to say, e.g. let’s assume you want to create a link for your October blog ideas to a particular tab in the same spreadsheet or a folder with resources. Then the link could look something like this:
2. Voice Typing
Not everone’s a fast typer. If you’re among those who prefer using your voice rather than your fingers to create content for your document, Google Docs has the option to voice type. And no need to worry about punctuations, as Google Docs recognizes punctuation commands, such as “comma” or “period.”
Go to “Tools” and enable “Voice Typing.”
3. Offline Editing
Editing Google documents is awesome if you have internet access but what if your don’t have access to the internet for a while? Edit the documents offline. Before you can do this, however, you need to enable offline synching so that your edits will indeed be implemented once you have internet again. This synching only works if you’re using Chrome as browser. To do this, open your Google Drive, click on the gear icon and then check the box next to “Offline” to enable syncing of your Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings for offline editing. If you wish to do this on non-desktop devices, such as mobile phones and tablests, you the set-up is little different:
iPhones, iPads: Download the iOS Google Docs App and head to the file you would like to edit offline. Then click on the three dots next to the file to open the menu. Click “Download & keep in sync.”
Android (smartphones or tablets): Open the Docs app and tap and hold the document you wish to access for 2 seconds. You will now see a pop-up. Touch the white pin icon until it turns black. The file is now ready for editing.
4. Zoom In / Out
Sometimes you just need to have a closer look at something (e.g. a chart or diagram). The easiest way to zoom in and out within a document (or the internet as a whole) is to use the keyword command “Control +” (“Command +” on a Mac) for zooming in and “Control -” (“Command -” on a Mac) for zooming out.
5. Notify Someone via the Document
Sometimes you need to inform someone to take a look at a document quickly. Instead of emailing them the document link in a separate email, you can now do this easily through your Google Docs document. All you have to do is type “+firstname.lastname@example.org” into your document (replace “email@example.com” with their email address). You will then have the option to inform them via email. It doesn’t even have to be a Google email address.
6. Send Attachments Without Attachments
Huh? Yes, in Gmail you have the option to send a Google Drive document as attachment, which will be sent as a link, not an attached file. Gone are the days where your email bounces because your attachment is too big. Even better, you can share the document itself with someone without even sending an email. You can even limit their access and allow them to only edit, comment, or view.
Attach a Google document to an email (in Gmail)
Share a Google document directly in the document
7. Restore an Earlier Version of a Document
Everyone who has ever collaborated with team members or class mates on a Google document knows that sometimes you wish you could go back in time and restore an earlier version. You can, via a great tool called “Revision History.” Simply click on “File => See revision history.” On the right hand side you can now see a colour-coded listing of all changes that have been made by the individual editors. When you have found the change(s) you would like to undo, simply click on “Restore this revision.” Even this revision change can be changed back again in the future, so you will never “lose” a change.
8. Embed a Google Doc
Did you know that you can embed a Google Doc to your blog or website? This embedding feature allows you to share templates, checklists, and more easily with your readers. Even better, when you display a chart and make edits to the source file, those changes will be reflected in the chart on your website. Wave good-bye to oudated information!
Go to File => Publish to the web
This will populate an embed code, which will be the code you have to place on your website wherever you want the document to appear. If you wish to allow others to edit the file, make sure you change your edit setting to “anyone on the web can edit.” To do so, click on “Share” in the right upper corner. In the pop-up click “Advanced” in the lower right corner and next, click on “Change.”
9. Use Templates
Google offers thousands of templates for text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. Whether you’re looking for sample invoices, cover letters, proposals, recipes, for financial calculations, the list of templates is endless.
In early 2017 these templates will disappear, so now is the time to download those that you would want to keep for the future.
10. Auto-Update Referenced Google
When you embed a Google Sheets chart directly into your Google Docs file. The Google Docs file will automatically update whenever you make a change to your Google Sheets file that affects the chart.
Do you have any favourite Google Docs hacks that were not mentioned above, that you wish to share with the world? Feel free to share them in the comments.