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Get Started with Google Drive– The Beginner’s Guide

Do you remember the first time you used a word processor?

Back when the internet was first becoming a thing, word processors ruled the way we wrote. A copy of Microsoft Word, or a similar style processor, was essential.

These days writing doesn't get confined to sitting at a desktop. Mobile note-taking apps like Evernote and Google Keep make it easy to scribble down notes on the go.

But while note apps are great at increasing your productivity no matter where you are, sometimes you just want to use a good old-fashioned blank page.

In 2012, Google released Google Drive– their free and online answer to the Microsoft Suite. Google Docs, the equivalent of Microsoft Word is a pretty marvelous tool for content creators and anyone who writes on a regular basis. Let's take a look at how it works.

Using Google Docs

You can access your Google Drive by heading over to drive.google.com or by opening a new tab in Chrome, clicking on apps, and then selecting Drive.

Once you are inside Drive, you'll see all the different folders and docs you've created. Or, if this is your first time, you'll see some blank space.

To create a new Doc, click on new in the top left-hand menu.

Google will offer you a bunch of options. If you just want to open up a word-processing doc, click on Google Docs.

If you are looking for something a little fancier, like creating a custom form or a slideshow, Google Drive's got your back too.

When you start a new doc, you can create a blank document or work from a template. To select the option you want, just click on the arrow next to the doc type you want to make.

Google has a large template library to help you get started and save you some formatting time.

While G-Docs was designed as a digital application, the interface is similar to Word.

You'll find the familiar formatting tools as well as an array of online-specific tools. The headers, for example, are designed to help browsers understand the priority of the text on the page.

Google Docs plays well with others

Being a part of the G-Suite, Google Drive has strong integration features and works with other types of drive docs.

For example, when it comes to uploading images, Google Drive gives you plenty of options.

You can upload images from your computer, your drive, Google Photos, by url, through your camera, or by searching the web.

The integrations make putting everything together really easy. And it doesn't stop there.

You can use Google Add-Ons to add all sorts of other integrations to improve the functionality of your Google Docs.

Additional features you can explore

Google docs has a lot of features worth exploring. Other favorites include:

  • Google Equations. Want to work on a complex math problem in G-Docs? No problem. Found in the “Insert” menu, you can add mathematical equations to your doc.
  • Dictionary. Not sure what a word means or if you are using it in the right context? G-Docs has an integrated dictionary you can find under “Tools.”
  • Access your Google Keep notes. If you use Google Keep to take notes, you can access them under “Tools.”
  • Translate document. Use Google translate's capabilities without ever leaving G-Docs– you can find the feature under “Tools.”
  • Voice typing. Use your computer's mic and Google's voice software to convert voice to text.
  • Script editor. Want to edit some code without ever leaving Google Docs? No problem. You'll find the script editor under “Tools.”
  • Convert your doc into a different format. Need to print your document or share it with someone who doesn't use Google Docs? You can convert your document into a number of popular file types including a Word Doc and a PDF. You'll find thing function under “File.”

Working with others in real time

One of Google Docs' best feature has to be its collaboration capabilities.

You can share and work on documents with team members in real time. G-Docs really us an invaluable tool for content creation and collaboration.

Making the most of Google Docs

If you are creating content for online delivery, Google Docs can be an incredible tool– whether you work alone or with a team.

I know it's made a huge difference to the Dotto Tech content creation process.

Until next time,

Have fun storming the castle!

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