Month: April 2016

Google Docs (20) – Extra useful tools

To finish off my current set of posts on Google Docs, here’s a collection of small but useful tools in Docs, which I haven’t covered so far, but I think can make life that little bit easier. The majority are related to the document as a whole and allow you to do things without having to go back to Google Drive. We’ll look at: Opening files from within Docs Creating new files from within Docs Doc templates Make a copy of the current document Organise (moving from within Docs) Starring Full screen Find and replace Opening files from within Docs You can open other Docs by going to the “File” menu and selecting “Open”. This will take to the ‘Open a file’ dialogue box, where you can search for your Doc. The one advantage here is that it will only look for Docs. Creating new files from within Docs To create a new Doc, Sheet, Slide, Form, or Drawing, from within Docs, go to the “File” menu, select “New”, then select the type of file you want. Doc templates From the same menu, Docs also has a range of templates you can use. Select “From template” and you will be presented with templates for CVs, letters, educational documents (essays, reports, lesson plans, etc), work (meeting notes, project proposals, etc), brochures, newsletters. They look professional and can be useful as...

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Google Docs (19) – Research and Define

The “Research” tool is mainly aimed at those writing academic papers, essays, etc, but it can be useful for anyone. It allows you to search for things on Google without having to leave your document. Plus, it allows you to add that information directly into it. You can either do a general search or you can look for the following: Images Citations Quotes by famous people Dictionary terms Your personal documents Tables We’ll also look at the “Define” tool. To open up “research”, go to the “tools” menu and select “Research”. This opens the side toolbar where Research lives. There’s a search bar at the top. Click on it and you will see the various options you have. Let’s look at them one by one. First, the general search. This searches both on Google and also your My Drive. The My Drive results are under “Personal results” and the general search results are under “Web results”. If you hover over one of the results, you will see 3 options appear. “Preview” allows you to see what the content of the webpage. The preview page opens next to the side toolbar. If I select a word or phrase in the text I can add a link to it or a citation. Here I’ve clicked on “Insert link”. Here I’ve clicked on “Cite”. This adds a citation reference number. It also...

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Google Docs (18) – Copy & paste multiple texts & images with Web clipboard

We should all know copy and paste by now. When we copy something it goes into a virtual clipboard, ready for us to call on it by pasting it into a document. But what happens if we’ve got lots of things we want to copy and paste, and in particular, when we want to copy and paste between documents? We end up opening one document, copying, opening the other document, pasting, and back to the first document, and so on… A bit tedious to say the least. Well fortunately, Google Docs has an alternative clipboard called web clipboard. This allows you to copy various pieces of texts and images from one document and then go to the other document and paste them all separately. It can even allow you to copy on one computer and paste on another! Copying to the web clipboard As an example, I’m going to copy three separate chapter titles, which are in the same document but on different pages. First, I select the first title and go to the “Edit” menu, select “Web clipboard” then “Copy selection to web clipboard”.   Then I select the second title, and do the same as above. Notice, that the previous one appears in the final menu. I copy the third title in the same way, here you can see the previous two titles in the menu. Then...

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Google Docs (17) – Revision History (all is not lost!)

One of my favourite things about the Google Apps suite is that it remembers every change that you have ever done to a file. That’s one of the beauties of not having to manually save the file. You can go back to earlier revisions of a file, not just what you’ve made but that anyone has made, plus you can see who made a particular revision. To do this in Google Docs, first go to the revision link at the top of the screen, next to the menus. Here it will tell you when the last revision was made and who made it, if it wasn’t you. Clicking on the link, opens up the revision history window. On the right are the list of dates and times, when significant revisions were made. Different people will be in different colours. To look at a previous revision, click on an earlier date and you will see the parts that were changed highlighted in green. If you want to restore that revision, just click on “Restore this revision”. If there are more than one revisions at that point, you can click up and down the revision by clicking on the arrows in the top right-hand corner, next to where it says, for example, “Edit 1 of 2”. You also have the option of printing the previous revision of the document, without restoring it....

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Google Docs (16) – Voice typing & voice control

More and more we’re seeing devices controlled by your voice and Google Docs is no exception. It gives you the opportunity to input text via your voice instead of via the keyboard. It also allows you to control, what would normally be controlled by the mouse, by your voice. For example, you can change the format of your text, edit the document, select certain areas, all with your voice. It is of course a wonderful tool for those who can’t use a keyboard and mouse, and offers a free solution to what would normally require dedicated software. As an experiment, I’ve ‘voice typed’ the first half of this post. As you will see later on, it wasn’t perfect and does take a little while getting used to, plus you end up having to edit the document, but the question is, is this what we’ll all be doing in the future? Voice typing Note, before starting you will need to have some kind of microphone to do this. If you are using a laptop with a built-in webcam then probably you don’t need anything else, but if you’re using a desktop computer, then you might need a microphone or a headset to use this. Basically, you need something to record your voice. Secondly, at present this only works in the Google Chrome browser. To start, you will need to turn voice typing on....

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