Working more effectively with Google Docs helps to unlock one’s productivity.
Google Docs has become a tool for creating and working on documents in all kinds of environments ranging from classrooms to boardrooms.
Its cloud-based functionality, ability to collaborate in time, and wide range of features make it a powerful tool for students, professionals, and anyone else who wants to manage their documents efficiently.
This detailed guide will take a look at Google Docs, and provide extra guidance and techniques to boost one’s productivity and skills.
1. Converting PDF to Text and Vice Versa
Google Docs provides a simple solution for processing PDF documents. When you submit a PDF to Google Docs, it converts it automatically into an editable text format.
Similarly, if you want to convert your text document into a PDF, Google Docs has a simple option for downloading your content as a PDF file.
This conversion capability simplifies the process of dealing with different document formats, making it a useful tool for a variety of applications.
2. Access to a Quick Dictionary
Accessing a dictionary without interfering with your work is critical for maintaining correctness in your writing. A dictionary tool is smoothly integrated into Google Docs.
Go to the “Tools” menu and choose “Dictionary” to use it. This tool allows you to rapidly check word definitions.
To use the dictionary, highlight a word in your work and use the keyboard shortcut “Command + Shift + Y” (on Mac). This function is especially useful for students and writers who want to be precise in their work.
3. Create Custom Shortcuts
Streamlining repetitious operations is frequently used to improve document generation efficiency.
Google Docs users can build unique keyboard shortcuts for phrases, text samples, and even complicated formatting.
Go to “Tools” > “Preferences,” make sure “Automatic Substitutions” is checked, and then enter the word or phrase you want to use as a shortcut.
This function greatly speeds up the document generation process, allowing you to concentrate on content rather than manual input.
4. Bookmarking for Easy Navigation
Long documents can be difficult to manage, especially if you need to return to certain portions regularly.
Google Docs makes this easier with its bookmarking feature. Similar to online links, you can insert bookmarks in your document and link them to certain sections.
Select the text you wish to bookmark, then click “Insert” > “Bookmark,” and then link it to another area by clicking “Insert” > “Link.”
Bookmarking allows you to quickly retrieve important portions, increasing your total productivity.
5. Assign Action Items via Comments
Collaboration is essential when creating documents, whether you’re working on a project with colleagues or editing content with several contributors, Google Docs makes collaboration easier by letting you assign action items directly from the Comments pane.
When you enter the Comments window, before you start typing, click the ‘+’ sign to see a list of persons to whom you can assign the action item.
This functionality improves document communication and task management, making it suitable for group projects and team collaborations.
6. Hands-Free Input through Voice Typing
Voice typing is an extremely useful function in Google Docs, especially when you need to transcribe audio, dictate text, or simply take a break from typing.
To use voice typing, go to the “Tools” menu and select “Voice typing.” Alternatively, use the “Ctrl+Shift+S” keyboard shortcut (on Windows/Linux). On-screen, a microphone icon will emerge.
Begin speaking, and Google Docs will automatically transcribe your remarks.
To make any necessary changes, you can effortlessly transition between voice typing and manual editing.
This capability is not restricted to traditional document writing; it can also be used to transcribe interviews, podcasts, or any other recorded audio information, making it a useful tool in a variety of situations.
7. Simple Text Editing
Text editing is a critical component of document development and refining. Google Docs’ intuitive features make this procedure easier.
To reposition text within a document, highlight the paragraph you want to reposition, click and drag it with your mouse, or you can use a more efficient method: place your cursor anywhere within the paragraph, press the keys “Alt” and “Shift” simultaneously, and then move it with your arrow keys.
This strategy gives you great control over word placement, which speeds up the editing process.
Furthermore, Google Docs provides keyboard shortcuts for changing the font size on the fly. You can increase the font size by one point when you press down “Ctrl” (or “Cmd”) and “Shift” while pressing the period key. In contrast, pressing down “Ctrl” (or “Cmd”) and “Shift” while pressing the comma key will reduce the font size.
These shortcuts are essential for fine-tuning the appearance of your work.
8. Copy and Paste Formatting with Ease
Maintaining a professional and polished product requires consistency in formatting.
Google Docs makes it easier to copy and paste formatting from one part to another. The paint roller icon on the toolbar is used for this procedure.
Click the paint roller symbol, then choose the text in your document that has the desired formatting.
Then, click the paragraph where you want the same formatting to be applied. Google Docs instantaneously copy the font, size, style, and colour, ensuring that your project has a consistent look throughout.
Simply double-click the paint roller at the start of the procedure if you need to apply the same formatting to many regions of text.
9. Translation of Documents for a Global Audience
The ability to translate papers is a vital skill in an increasingly interconnected society.
Google Docs includes a native translation capability that allows you to translate complete texts into many languages.
To use this feature, go to the “Tools” menu and choose “Translate document.” You can then select the desired language for translation and give your translated file a new name.
This feature makes it simple to share your material with a global audience, removing the language barrier.
10. Utilise Google Docs as a Generative AI Tool
The Wordtune browser plugin, which interacts smoothly with Google Docs, can help you improve your writing and content development.
The “Spices” tool of Wordtune, which offers a variety of features such as phrase rewriting, producing examples or analogies, and more, is now available in the browser extension.
Wordtune is a useful tool whether you’re a seasoned writer trying to improve your prose or a student looking to improve your writing and language skills.
Once you’ve added the Wordtune extension to Google Docs, the purple Wordtune icon will appear in the upper right-hand corner of your document, alongside the “Spices” icon.
Keyboard Shortcuts Keys for Efficiency
Keyboard shortcuts are the secret sauce of efficient document creation and editing in Google Docs.
Several shortcuts allow you to perform a wide range of functions quickly and with minimal effort. Here’s a list of some keyboard shortcuts for Google Docs:
Copy: Ctrl + C
Cut: Ctrl + X
Paste: Ctrl + V
Paste without formatting: Ctrl + Shift + V
Undo: Ctrl + Z
Redo: Ctrl + Shift + Z
Insert or edit the link: Ctrl + K
Open link: Alt + Enter
Show common keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl + /
Save: Ctrl + S
Print: Ctrl + P
Open: Ctrl + O
Find: Ctrl + F
Find and replace: Ctrl + H
Find again: Ctrl + G
Find previous: Ctrl + Shift + G
Hide the menus (compact mode): Ctrl + Shift + F
Insert page break: Ctrl + Enter
Repeat the last action: Ctrl + Y
Switch to editing: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Z
Switch to suggesting: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + X
Switch to viewing: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + C
Zoom in: Ctrl + +
Zoom out: Ctrl + –
Zoom 100%: Ctrl + 0
Bold: Ctrl + B
Italicise: Ctrl + I
Underline: Ctrl + U
Strikethrough: Alt + Shift + 5
Superscript: Ctrl +.
Subscript: Ctrl +,
Copy text formatting: Ctrl + Alt + C
Paste text formatting: Ctrl + Alt + V
Clear text formatting: Ctrl + Ctrl + Space
Increase font size: Ctrl + Shift +.
Decrease font size: Ctrl + Shift +,
Increase paragraph indentation: Ctrl + ]
Decrease paragraph indentation: Ctrl + [
Apply heading style [1-6]: Ctrl + Alt + [1-6]
Left align: Ctrl + Shift + l
Centre align: Ctrl + Shift + e
Right align: Ctrl + Shift + R
Justify: Ctrl + Shift + J
Numbered list: Ctrl + Shift + 7
Bulleted list: Ctrl + Shift + 8
Checklist: Ctrl + Shift + 9
Move paragraph up/down: Ctrl + Shift + Up/down arrow
Alt text: Ctrl + Alt + Y
Resize larger: Ctrl + Alt + K
Resize larger horizontally: Ctrl + Alt + B
Resize larger vertically: Ctrl + Alt + I
Resize smaller: Ctrl + Alt + J
Resize smaller horizontally: Ctrl + Alt + W
Resize smaller vertically: Ctrl + Alt + Q
Select all: Ctrl + A
Select none: Holding Ctrl + Alt, press U then A
These keyboard shortcuts empower you to perform a wide range of functions in Google Docs with speed and precision.
Whether you’re a frequent Google Docs user or new to the platform, mastering these shortcuts can significantly enhance your workflow and efficiency.
Google Docs is a versatile and feature-rich platform that caters to various document creation and collaboration needs.
By exploring these tips, features, and keyboard shortcuts, you can unlock the full potential of Google Docs and work more effectively either as a student striving for academic excellence or a professional aiming for seamless document management and collaboration.
Researched By Olukotun Joan