How to use Google Docs

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Collaborating is easy with Google Docs
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Cloud computing for all

There is nothing worse than having work to do when you are away from your desk top computer. That is why you need to know how to use Google Docs.


Part of an idea known as "cloud computing," Google Docs is one of those telecommuting tips that helps you stay connected to all types of documents you would normally only be able to access on whatever computer or thumb drive you copied it to. Now, all you have to do is upload your document to Google Docs or, better yet, create the document directly on Google Docs. It sounds complicated, but it is not.


Sign up

As soon as people see that they have to sign up for a program, they get nervous, but there is no need to get nervous with Google. Google offers a variety of tools only one of which is Google Docs. You do not have to have an account to work on a document to which you have invited to collaborate, but you do need an account in order to be the initiator of those collaborations. It is easiest to work on Google Docs with a gmail account (Google email). Follow the steps at Google to create your email account, which becomes your Google Docs account - and your account for everything else "Google."

You can also sign up for Google Docs with an account other than a gmail account. Follow the prompts, choose your password, wait for your confirmation email and then get started.

Trust me. Once you learn how to use Google Docs, you will never go back, so give it a try.



Create your document. Google Docs accepts a variety of formats with more being added every day. Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, forms, drawings and presentations are all acceptable formats to Google Doc. You can even create your own templates. When you are finished creating the original document on your computer, sign in to Google Docs and upload your file.

Remember, you can create the document on your desktop computer or you can even create the document directly in Google Docs. It is actually a pretty good document creation software and helpful if you are away from your primary workplace.




Sharing is easy between other Google users and even with those who do not have an account. All you have to do is choose those with whom you want to share your document by adding their email to the list. That is it.


If you then want those people to be able to make changes to the document or invite others, you can designate them as collaborators. It is a matter of checking a box when presented with the choices. This is not only helpful when you are away from your computer, but also when people from a variety of places need to work on the same document.



Editing is instantaneous. When you make a revision to the document, your collaborators receive that same change when they log on. Furthermore, when you log on to work on the document, your name is visible to the other people who are logged on, making it a good way to keep track of who has worked on the document and when. If you want to know who made which changes to the document, simply choose a color. Each time you work on the document, your changes will be designated with a color. Colors can then be changed back throughout the document when the revisions are complete.



When finished with the document, you can print it out to your computer, email it to someone directly, and file it in your document list. Anything you can do with your document creation software on your pc or laptop can be done using Google Docs. The difference is that everyone can see what you are doing if you are collaborating making it a great way to save printer ink. If the document is for your eyes only, simply designate it as private.


To find out more about how to use Google Docs, check out the Google Docs tour. It is a comprehensive guide to how to use Google Docs. Once you learn about cloud computing possibilities and how to use Google Docs in particular, you will no longer be tethered to your desktop pc. Work at the beach, from a vacation (only if absolutely necessary) or simply from your deck. The possibilities of where you can work are endless.

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