Best special features and useful tricks that make Google Docs an important application to use when writing documents

Google Docs is for years the main alternative to Microsoft Office, which compared the suite with Word, Excel, and Powerpoint can be used for free without downloading anything, directly via the internet.

In addition to being a complete application for writing documents and creating presentations and spreadsheets, the Google Docs suite includes special tools and very powerful functions, sometimes absent in Office, which make it much more than just an alternative, but of an option that is important to remember if necessary.

These functions are born thanks to the integration that Google does with its many online products, including the search and Google Drive, to which Google Docs is closely linked.

Although we have already talked a lot about these web applications, even with a guide to using Google Docs and Google Drive, it is worth returning to the subject with the 10 best features and special tricks found in Google Docs, to do some operations otherwise difficult or not possible with Office and similar programs.

1) Writing dictated by voice

This is one of the best features available in Google Docs, which thanks to the highly advanced and precise speech recognition technology of Google, allows everyone to write a text or a document simply dictating it by voice.

Voice typing is found in the Tools menu, requires you to use Google Chrome and it works great in Italian.

We have already talked about this in the article on how to dictate to write documents verbally on each speech-to-text computer.

2) Remove and standardize text formatting

If you copy and paste text from another Word file or from an Internet site, this also includes formatting, ie the font, the size and all the various adjustments such as bold, italics and more.

To remove the formatting of a text from Google Docs just select the text and then go to the Format menu to find the option to erase the formatting.

Moreover, Google Docs has a very useful option to standardize text formatting so that it is the same for the whole document.

Without selecting anything, simply go to Format > Paragraph Styles > Normal Text > Update Plain Text .


3)Adding more writing fonts

Google Docs provides hundreds of fonts (writing fonts) for writing a document.

From the font selection menu, on the top toolbar, you can scroll through the list and press on More Fonts to find all the Google Fonts with preview.

4) Create a shared document in a super fast way

If we have to work on a piece of ideas with someone, if we need an entry sheet to be shared with many people, if we want a blackboard to write and comment, then you can easily create a shared document, in which all participants can write.

To do this, just create a new document in Google Docs and then use the Share button giving edit permission to the viewer.

You can then let anyone with the link share it (by simply clicking Get link, then changing from can see to can edit ) or specify which people can access it using their email addresses.

On a shared document, you can press the top right button of the pencil to change the Edit mode in the Suggestions mode.

In this way, everything that is written does not modify the document but becomes a suggestion or comment that the other person can accept or reject.

On a shared document it is also possible to call someone’s attention by tagging it in the comment, via the @ or the + simbbolo followed by the email address.

That person will receive an email alert to check the change or comment.

5) Insert links to other parts of the article as bookmarks

For long documents, adding bookmarks helps you to move from one point to another very quickly.

Going to Insert> Bookmark you can add an internal link to the document.

A small blue icon will be added to the left edge of the document.

By clicking on the blue icon you can then press the right mouse button on the word Link to copy the link in case you want to share it, so you can open the document at that point.

It is also possible to recall that link in the document itself by creating a link from the menu Insert> Link.

6) Google Docs offline mode

This is a feature that has been operating for several years now, making Google Docs almost a program installed on your PC, even without an internet connection.

Yes, this mode we wrote a guide to open Google Docs files and documents without internet, only possible on Chrome.

With offline mode enabled, you will be able to view and edit documents, sheets, slides, and drawings even on PCs without internet and the files will be synchronized the next time you go online.

7) Create automatic replacements of words and characters

Go to Tools> Preferences you can see a list of substitutions already set up, such as numbers with fractions, arrows or the wording TM to say, Trade Marks.

This is a quicker way to save and write those special characters that are not found on the standard keyboard.

In addition to those already present you can add some custom substitutions so that, if I write a certain code, the characters are automatically displayed in another style.

8) Finding the meaning and definition of each word

Google Docs is integrated into Google Docs.

By right-clicking on a word, you can then press on “Define” to open the side dictionary and know the meaning, definition, synonyms of that word, without leaving the Google Docs page.

9) Search for words, phrases, and images on the internet from Google Docs

You can also choose the Explore option, to do a Google search for that word.

All open links will open in a new tab and can be inserted into the document using the key with quotes ( Quote ).

Note then that if you search for a word, you can also search Google Images .

The beauty of this function is that every image found can be dragged on the document using the mouse, in an ultra-fast and simple way.

10) Revision history to review the changes made

If you work on a document for a long time, making many changes, you can review all the changes and additions made by going to the menu File > View revision history.

Any changes made that are listed in chronological order can then be quickly restored to cancel the change.

If you then think again, you can still return to the most recent modification, without any problem, because the choice of a previous version simply becomes a new change in the list of revision history.

In addition to these 10 important functions, it is also worth remembering, from other articles, that:

You can use extensions in Google Docs like the one to quickly create the document summary or index, to translate a document into other languages, create bulleted lists, use highlighter, add a map, add a bibliography and more.

Integrate Google Keep into Google Docs to import notes and notes taken with the phone into documents.

You can use applications to open files with Google Docs on your PC as the default Office program, using applications to create documents, sheets, and slides.

You can use the Google Drive Backup program and Photos for PC and Mac to synchronize uploaded documents.