How To Use Google Docs

Google Documents makes collaborating on and sharing files for editing before important meetings, executing spreadsheets, creating client presentations or having a friend edit the Great American Novel much easier than ever before.  If you've ever been in the last-minute crunch of having to edit documents in record time before that important meeting starts, this could be the solution.  No more frantic emailing for last minute alterations or dropping files onto a flash drive to run to the office next door to get your changes made.  With Google Docs, all files are edited in real time, from any computer with internet access.

While somewhat limited when compared to software packages such as Microsoft Office, this online software allows you to access your important files from anywhere, imports most software platforms such as Excel and Word, and eliminates the hassle of shuffling critical files back and forth which can often cause important changes to disappear.  Google Docs allows you to invite those people who need access, and you can also restrict type of access based on who is allowed to edit the document and who is just able to view it.  Google Docs tracks what changes have been made to a document, by whom and when; invitees can also insert comments into the document.

Simple to use, but powerful in effect, Google Docs is just a click away.  Sign into Google and, on the Google homepage, choose "Documents" and up comes the main interface.  You will have the option to open a new document, upload an existing file, share your files and create and maintain individual folders.  Most of the standard shortcuts apply, such as Ctrl-S for saving your document, Ctrl-X and Ctrl-V for cut and paste, and so on.  You can create spreadsheets; generate slide presentations, word documents and more.  Like Gmail, Google Docs can be organized by tags, which means that you can hide the family budget or favorite recipes while at work, and keep work information from being viewed at home as well.

The very smart folks over at Google are continuously refining and redesigning the Google Docs suite to make it better, faster, stronger and able to deliver a sharp, well designed presentation in record time.  Eventually, while using the new Translation feature to translate the Great American Novel into French and Google Calendar to plan your publicity tour, Google Docs just may be able to also serve you that croissant and latte you've been dreaming about.


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