Whether you are an employee, a business owner, or a student, Google Docs has become almost second nature. But, regardless of how familiar we are with this online application, it hides many tips and tricks that will make our lives easier. Here are some of the most useful ones we found:
Open a Fresh Google Doc through the Address Bar
Bet you haven’t heard of that before, and we bet you are going to try doing it right now. Go open a new tab and go to your address bar, then type “docs.new” or “doc.new.” This command opens a new Google Docs – fresh and ready to be filled with your content.
Insert a Handwritten Signature or Edit an Image
Ever wondered how you’re going to send a signed Leave Form to your HR using Google Docs? Look no further.
Simply go to the “Insert” Tab on the Menu bar, select “Drawing,” then “New.” A drawing tool box will pop up. Then, hover over the Line drop-down menu and select, “Scribble.” For best results, use a stylus.
You can also use the drawing tool to edit an image you want to include in your document. Instead of hovering over the Line drop-down menu, you click the Insert Picture icon. This lets you choose the image you want to draw over. Then, edit as you please.
Use Keyboard Shortcuts To See Your Word Count
Yes, there is a keyboard shortcut to seeing the word count of your document. You no longer need to go to Tools just to open the word count dialog box. Simply click Ctrl + Shift + C. Then just click Esc when you’re done seeing your word count.
To Paste and Match Text
Another yes. There is a keyboard shortcut for this. No more highlighting copied texts and setting them to your document’s font size, style, and spacing. Just hit the keys Ctrl + Shift + V.
Have Seamless Collaborations Using the Insert Comment Command
If you and your classmates are collaborating on a paper together, these tools will come in handy, because it makes revisions much easier. You can comment on each other’s work and respond to each comment.
To do this, highlight or select the text you want to comment on. And, then, in the formatting menu, look for the “Insert Comment” icon which looks like this . Use @ to tag the people you are referring the comment to. Write your feedback, then click “Comment.” The person you tag on your comments can respond to your comments as well.
Viewing your Editing History
It’s like Google Docs just knows we hate hitting the Ctrl + Z shortcut until our fingers bleed just to revert to a version of our document that we needed. This hack is so cool and useful, because the log that you will see is very detailed from the person who made the edit to the date and time the edit was made.
Plus! You can save different versions of the same file without needing to save a completely different Google Docs for each version.
So, how do you find this log? Above your document, you will always see the line “Last edit was seconds ago.” Click this link, and it will show you this timeline of edits, starting from the latest edits.
Google Docs Doubling as Google Search
Did you know that you can search for an article or a study about what you are writing about without opening a new tab. Yes, it’s called the “Explore” feature. Just look for the Explore icon at the bottom right corner of your document. It looks like this:
Then, in the search bar, type the topic that you want to research, and it will generate sources for you. How cool is that?
Customize your Autocorrect Features
Autocorrect is useful most times and annoying sometimes because in instances where you meant to use slang words or ungrammatical sentences for humor, autocorrect kills the humor with one swish. Avoid these annoying instances by customizing your autocorrect features.
Have Google Transcribe Text into your Document
This is Google Docs best feature for hearing impaired individuals or people with arthritis. Or, if you are just too tired to type. You can enable “Voice Typing” so Google Docs can type for you. The quickest way to do this is to hit Ctrl + Shift + S. For best results, use a high quality mic, and speak slowly and clearly.
If you want to add free stock images in your draft or sources cited instantly in your research, use add-ons. The list of Google Docs add-ons is an untapped resource. Go to your Menu bar and click “Add-ons,” then select “Get Add-ons.” You will find plenty of useful tools in there that will help you make writing much easier to do.
And that completes our list of coolest Google Docs hacks to try. Do you know any more Google Docs hacks that we missed? Let us know in the comment section.