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21 power tips for Google Docs

Get more done in the productivity suite

We've taken an extended look under the hood of Google Docs and uncovered 21 tips for getting more done by exploring some of the less obvious features in its word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation software - with a few hints for Gmail, too.

12. Click and drag images into Docs from the Desktop

To insert a picture into a word processing document, click and drag the image from a folder on your hard drive or on your desktop into the browser window. This operation works only in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

13. Correct common typos

If you frequently mistype or misspell words, you can make Google Docs automatically correct them as you type within the word processor. Select Tools and then Preferences. In the dialog box that appears, enter the commonly mistyped text in the top-most empty Replace field, and enter the correct spelling in the neighbouring With field. For example, many people mistype 'the' as 'the', so you might want to enter teh in the Replace field and the in the With field.

14. Search more effectively

You can refine your searches on the home page by using operators, such as type:spreadsheet, which will return only matches from spreadsheets in the search results. Here are some examples of operators.

15. Use Bookmarks to navigate long documents

Google Docs can correct mistypes and misspellings as you type them. Within word processing documents, you can define bookmarks and then create links elsewhere that jump straight to that bookmark. This can be useful when you're creating table-of-contents pages, for example.

To insert a bookmark, choose Insert and then Bookmark. To create a link to a bookmark, highlight the word or phrase that you want people to click in order to jump to the bookmark, and then press Ctrl-K. Then select the Bookmark radio button in the resulting dialog box, and select the bookmark that you created earlier.

16. Share Docs with non-Google users

Google Docs is all about collaboration, and you can permit even people who don't have a Google account to view and edit your documents. To share a file, click the padlock icon alongside the document title at the top left of the window. In the dialogue box that appears, select Change alongside the Private entry in the list. In the new dialog box, select either Public on the Web or Anyone with the Link. If you want viewers to be able to edit the document as well as just to see it, put a check next to Allow Anyone to Edit. Then click the Save button, and copy and paste the link into one or more email messages.

17. Star multiple documents at once

Adding a star to a document is a useful way to make it stand out from other entries in a homepage list. On the Docs homepage, you can add stars to multiple files by selecting them in the usual way: Hold down Ctrl or Shift as you selecting the file name. Then drag the file name onto the top of the Starred entry in the filter list at the top left of the interface.

NEXT PAGE: Find a video's technical details

  1. Get more done in the productivity suite
  2. Create drawings within presentations
  3. Insert links in a snap
  4. Click and drag images into Docs from the Desktop
  5. Find a video's technical details

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