If you’ve stumbled across Google Docs and you’re now trying to investigate its capabilities, you’ve come to the right place.

Brought to you by Google, Docs is an online-based word processor that is in many ways similar to Microsoft’s Word. If you’re familiar with Word, transitioning to Google Docs will be a walk in the park.

However, Google Docs’ collaborative capabilities certainly differentiate it from its major desktop-associated counterpart. One of the earliest word processors to provide shared online document creation was our good friend Google Docs.

What Can Google Docs Be Used For?Pin

From your browser window, Google has made it exceedingly simple to share documents among devices and collaborate on them instantaneously. To read or modify Google documents that you distribute with people, they don’t even need a Google account.

There’s a lot more to discuss in regards to this really valuable collection of workstation tools, though, which we’ll go over today.

What Can Google Docs Do?

At its core, Google Docs is a word processor that can be run directly from your favourite browser. It can be used to create, edit and share documents for a multitude of purposes.

As you create your document, it automatically saves your work to your Google Drive, which is a cloud-based storage platform that comes with 15GB of free storage just for having a Google account.

Google Docs can so many things. For most, such as myself, it is used for work purposes. I can easily access everything I’ve ever professionally written on Google Docs from my Google Drive.

Google Docs is also now commonly used in place of Microsoft Word by students, within corporations, and even for personal and creative use.

As mentioned, though, Google Docs has many more features than one might expect considering that it’s free to use and accessible straight from a browser window. Features include direct emailing, downloading your documents in a choice of formats, seamless file sharing and modification tracking for shared documents.

Let’s take a look at the finer details of each of these features.

Direct Google Docs Emailing

When you need to email your document to your boss, colleague, client, mother, or whoever else, there’s a very simple process for getting your file from the .doc screen to their inbox.

Select File > Email from the drop-down menu. Choose the file type you wish to send and populate the usual email details to send the file to whoever you need.

If you just want to email it to the collaborators of the document, there’s a separate option for that from the drop-down menu, too.

Google Docs Document Downloading

Downloading your Google Doc is a very simple process, too, and it allows for download in a variety of formats to suit any and all requirements.

  1. Sign in to your Google account and open your Google Drive and drive.google.com
  2. Locate the file you’d like to download and open it up
  3. In the top left of your screen, click ‘File’, then hover over ‘Download’ for a choice of download format options
  4. Select the file type you’d like to download and the download will begin.

The formats you can download your Google Docs in are as follows:

  • Microsoft Word (.docx)
  • OpenDocument Format (.odt)
  • Rich Text Format (.rtf)
  • PDF Document (.pdf)
  • Plain Text (.txt)
  • Web Page (.html, zipped)
  • EPUB Publication (.epub)

Google Doc Sharing

While other platforms have since adopted such features, the sharing capabilities of Google Docs is certainly its unique selling point.

Google has mastered and perfected online file sharing to guarantee that it is as efficient as possible. To guarantee flawless collaboration, here’s how to share a Google document and establish your preferences:

Method One

  1. Open the document you’d like to share from your Google Drive folder
  2. Click the blue ‘Share’ button that can be found in the top right-hand corner of the screen
  3. Add names or email addresses into the ‘Add People And Groups’ field
  4. Choose your sharing permissions – whether it’s to be ‘View’, ‘Comment’ or ‘Edit’
  5. If you’re sharing by email, make sure you click the box to ‘Notify People’ to get their attention sooner
  6. Click ‘Send’

Method Two

  1. Open the document you’d like to share from your Google Drive folder
  2. Click the blue ‘Share’ button that can be found in the top right-hand corner of the screen
  3. Click ‘Get Link’
  4. Choose who can access the document, whether that’s ‘Anyone With The Link’ or ‘Restricted’
  5. If you choose ‘Anyone With The Link’, choose your sharing permissions – whether it’s to be ‘View’, ‘Comment’ or ‘Edit’
  6. Click ‘Copy Link’
  7. Paste the link wherever you like so send it to those that can access the link

Google Docs Modification Tracking

You may find yourself wanting to track particular changes to your Google Docs if you make regular modifications to your documents or if you share them with others.

Google Docs offers a fantastic history tracking feature that allows you to see exactly when certain changes were made and revert to an older version of your file if need be.

Google Docs keeps track of document changes automatically by taking note of the document’s version history. Display a menu that reveals all the modifications Google has logged for your document by going to File > Version History > See version history.

When alterations were made, who made those changes, and when the changes were made are all indicated within the records of each and every Google Doc you create.