Writing documents on laptops is a common practice we all do regularly. Typewriters are a thing of the past. Instead of changing papers and rewriting them when the mistake is made, we can simply press backspace and change anything we need.
Okay, employing such technologies is a no-brainer these days. But which software to choose? Numerous apps are available in the market. Every tool has its peculiarities and downsides. If you are still at a crossroads of which tool to use, you have come to the right place. This article sheds light on what Google Docs is and what tips and tricks it has, and how to use them to reveal all the tool’s potential.
What Is Google Docs?
Google Docs is a word processor available for everyone who uses Google services for different purposes. Created by Google, Docs tends to be one of the most used processors nowadays. Whether you are a student and want to write an essay in Google Docs or an employee and aim to draft a business report, this app is your go-to option. It works smoothly, which means you can complete any work real quick.
Top-Notch Tips and Tricks On Writing An Essay In Google Docs
The tool’s main benefit is that it is free and web-based. You can access your documents at any place and time. The only thing you must have is a Google account. But since it is the most used search engine offering a bunch of services, everyone has access to Google. Google Docs, like any other Google app, has plenty of features, such as automatic save (cast your mind back to the times when Word processor required manual saving and everyone used it because of no alternative) and simple and brisk sharing with other users. Most importantly, it provides offline access to documents. Let’s take a closer look at these and other elements to make your writing session fruitful and productive.
Select A Template
It comes as no surprise that every essay has to follow a particular structure. Whatever you write about, you have to adjust your paper to the requirements and primary instructions. Writing a document from scratch is common. However, most students complete this step literally, creating a blank document and then filling it with content. If you want to remain organized and effective, templates are the first step toward a successfully written paper.
Google Docs offers a comprehensive library of free templates you can employ. They are not limited to essays. You can find a model brochure, letter, or even resume there!
Before writing an essay, check the requirements. Academic institutions require following certain formatting styles. Failing to meet them results in an F. Luckily, Google Docs provides templates in APA, MLA, Chicago, and Harvard styles. Choose Files, press New, From Template, and you will see the list of available styles.
Make Use Of Shortcuts
Everyone wants to type as fast as possible. But let’s be honest. Do we put lots of effort into that? Rather not. Instead of learning useful commands, we tend to use mouses or trackpads to click the necessary button. Which obviously takes lots of time!
Now, what shortcuts do you know and use daily? If they are only Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V, then you are doomed to fail. Willing to write quickly and finish an essay promptly is one thing. Working on your typing speed and shortcut knowledge is an entirely different one. Hear us out: we don’t force you to learn any shortcut except for copy and paste. However, knowing more than them will make you type as a flash. By employing commands, you don’t change your hand position. It might not be apparent when writing a one-page paper. But believe it or not, the difference will be evident when working on an extensive task.
These are remarkable shortcuts to simplify and speed up your Google Docs writing:
- Ctrl + Alt + m: Add comment
- Ctrl + Shift + ,: Decrease Font
- Ctrl + Shift + .: Increase Font
- Ctrl + Shift + y: Run Dictionary
A word of caution: keyboard shortcuts may vary depending on your operating system. It is best to learn more about them beforehand.
Moreover, you can adjust the typing strategy to your preferences. Go to Tools, Preferences, Automatic Substitution to create personal commands.
Utilize Speech-To-Text Feature
Our childhood was oversaturated with movies where novel technologies were portrayed yet not implemented in real life. Electric cars seemed something impossible and out of the ordinary. And so did smartphones and their features. Now, we can benefit from our gadgets. So why not use voice instead of hands?
Voice recognition has developed tremendously in recent years. Take Alexa or Siri. Nine times out of then, these pieces of software will understand your input. We don’t want to delve deep into how it works. Simply try using this feature in case you are tired of writing or want to test this feature. We bet you will get enamored of it. Just one remark: punctuation marks and new paragraphs have to be pronounced, as well.
Don’t Waste Your Time Clearing Old Formatting
You have to rely on reliable sources when writing a paper, undoubtedly. Some material has to be represented as direct quotes. Copying and pasting them is the simplest way. But remember how painful it is to blend the quotation in the essay’s format. To be on the safe side, we tend to rewrite the quote manually. But why do that if you can simply reset the quotation’s format and adjust it to the text immediately? Just copy and paste the sentence, highlight the text, and press Ctrl + \.
Make The Doc Offline
Now you don’t have to rely on the Internet when working on your essay. Google Docs has analyzed our needs (and occasionally terrible Internet connection, of course) and allows us to work from anywhere we want. Whatever your reasons are, click File and then Make available offline.
Suppose you are a Windows or a Mac user. In that case, don’t forget to save the file when finishing it in the offline mode. The moment you restore the Internet connection, your document will be synchronized. In contrast, if you are a Chromebook user, you don’t have to worry about it. Google has taken utmost care of you; any files are saved automatically, regardless of the connection.
Writing an essay in Google Docs is effortless and straightforward, especially if you follow the mentioned tips. Indubitably, you can run a blank document and write your paper from the ground up. But do you want to do that knowing that Google Docs offers a list of free and easy-to-access templates?
Also, various shortcuts may well come in handy. Get familiar with the most used ones; you can even create your own commands. Using vocal cords instead of typing is not a dream or fantasy. Google Docs’ novel feature enables you to create your text without using a keyboard. Finally, the app has an offline mode to make sure no one wastes their time waiting for the Internet to reappear.
Lindsey George has been working as a freelance writer since 2017. Having graduated with honors, she decided to invest her time in traveling and learning. Lindsey is currently in Capetown, South Africa. She enjoys hiking and scuba diving.
Taylor is a freelance SEO copywriter and blogger. His areas of expertise include technology, pop culture, and marketing.