5 fantastic Google Docs tips

Whether you use Docs as your primary word processor, as a place to keep your files in the cloud, or just as a notepad for your online finds, these tips will help you get the most out of Google Docs.

In word processing, there are three beasts: Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, and Google Docs. Most users are likely tied to Word, but its offline, collaboration-free nature makes it look a little boring next to Google Docs. 

Whether you use Docs as your primary word processor, as a place to keep your files in the cloud, or just as a notepad for your online finds, these tips will help you get the most out of Google Docs.

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1. Easy uploading. To quickly upload files of almost any format to Google Docs, drag and drop files from your hard drive to the Docs home page. To upload an entire folder (like My Documents), go to Upload > Folder. Subfolders will also be added. 

2. Better photo inserting. Easily insert a photo into your doc by dragging and dropping files from your hard drive into the doc. To wrap text around the photo (pictures are put in-line with text by default), click it and select "Fixed." If you plan to grab a photo from the Web, go to Insert > Image > Google Image Search. This tool is far better than searching, saving a photo to the desktop, and reuploading it to Google. 

3. Use comments. To insert a comment, highlight text, right-click it, and select "Comment." Your name and comment will appear in the sidebar, where fellow collaborators can reply. To address a specific person in a comment, type "@" followed by the name. If the highlighted text is moved around, comments will follow--smart!

4. Back up your files. Because the cloud isn't completely trustworthy, keep hard copies on your drive. In the Google Docs home, hover over a document title and select Actions > Download > All Items. Select the file types, and hit "Download."

5. Find more tips. Matt K., who works in Google Consumer Operations, put together this rap to help you navigate Google Docs Help. A geek rapping about tech? Not too shabby. 

 

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