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”.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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They look professional and can be useful as a quick way to start writing. I’ve got to admit I’ve never used templates, as I always find I end up changing most things on them anyway, which defeats the point a bit!

Make a copy of the current document

To duplicate the current document, go to the “File” menu and select “Make a copy”.

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The ‘Copy document’ dialogue box will appear. You can rename the new file, plus you can decide if the new document will be shared with the same people as the existing one or not. Click OK and the new document will open in a new tab. The new file itself will be in your My Drive root folder, so you may have to move it to a different folder afterwards.

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Organise (moving from within Docs)

You can move the current document to a new folder, by clicking on the folder icon next to the file name.

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This will show you where the document is and give you the option of moving it to a different folder. Click on “Move this item” then navigate to the folder you want.

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“Starring” a file, puts it in your “Starred” filter to allow you to find the file quickly. See my Drive post on starring files and folders. To “star” the current document, click on the star next to the filename.

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Full screen

Sometimes you want some more space on your screen, for example, if you’re using a laptop, or you may just want to present your document and get rid of the toolbar. Go to the “View” menu and select “Full screen”.

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Find and replace

This tool is great especially if you have a longer document and you want to find a specific word or phrase almost immediately. Go to the “Edit” menu and select “Find and replace”.

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Here you can either just look for a word or phrase and Docs will take you right to it, or you can replace it with another word or phrase. This is useful for making corrections on mass in your document. You also have the option of finding a word with the exact same case or ignoring whether it starts with a capital letter, and finding all examples of that word or phrase.

When you find something, Docs will tell you how many examples there are and which number you are currently on, in the Find box. To move to the next one, click on the Next arrow, or to go back click on the Prev arrow.

Finally, you have the option of replacing a word one by one (in case you want to check before replacing it) or replacing all of them in one hit.

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eBooks available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Sheet Functions:

Baz Roberts (Google+Flipboard / Twitter)