Create a Google Doc

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Create a Google Doc
Create a Google Doc
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If you've heard about Google Docs, you might know its easy sharing features and convenient autosave. But if you've never used Google Docs, it can be confusing to get started with the various options, templates, and file sharing settings. By following these step-by-step instructions, you'll be navigating Google Docs in no time!

Steps

Method 1 of 6: Understanding Google Docs

Make a Google Doc Step 1

Step #1. Use Google Docs to create text documents

As the name suggests, Google Docs is a great place to create text documents, just like you would a Microsoft Word document. You can also use Google Docs to easily share your documents with other people, and if you go online, you'll always have access to your Google Docs because they're stored in the cloud, not on your computer.

Best of all, Google Docs is completely free – all you need is a Google account to sign in

Make a Google Doc Step 2

Step 2. Choose which template you want to use for your document

Google Docs doesn't just have blank pages -- you can also choose templates for letters, resumes, project proposals, etc. Each template has its own color scheme and layout, so you'll never be bored, whatever you choose.

You can try a few different templates until you see one you like

Make a Google Doc Step 3

Step 3. Let Google Docs save your document automatically

Another advantage of Google Docs is that there is no save button: your computer does it for you! Every time you make a change, your document saves itself to your Google Drive, so you don't have to worry about losing data if your computer crashes.

You can see the autosave feature in action by looking in the top left corner. It will tell you when the document is saved and when it is saved to your Drive

Method 2 of 6: Using a computer

Make a Google Doc Step 1

Step 1. Go to https://docs.google.com in a web browser

You can use any Windows or macOS web browser to open Google Docs, including Chrome, Safari, and Microsoft Edge.

If you don't have a Google or Gmail account, you'll need to create one before you can access Google Docs

Make a Google Doc Step 2

Step 2. Sign in with your Google account

Follow the onscreen instructions to sign in with your Google or Gmail account name and password. This will take you to a list of documents you've opened, edited, or otherwise worked on. You will also see some options for creating a new document at the top of the screen.

Make a Google Doc Step 3

Step 3. Click Blank + to create a blank document

This is located at the top left of the page. This creates a blank document that you can edit as desired.

  • To create a new document from a template, click Template Gallery in the top right corner of the page to expand the list, then click a template to create a new document.
  • Popular template options (such as Resume and Brochure) appear in the top center of the page.
Make a Google Doc Step 4

Step 4. Click on Untitled Document to rename the file

The document is named "Untitled Document" by default. To change the title to something else, press the Del key to delete the text, then type a new name for your document. Press ↵ Enter or ⏎ Return to save your changes.

  • You can also rename your document in the Google Docs file list. Click the three dots in a vertical line at the bottom right of the file, then click Rename or Rename.
  • You have now created your document! From here you can edit, share and close your document.
Make a Google Doc Step 5

Step 5. Edit your document

As long as you're connected to the Internet, Google Docs saves your work as you type.

  • Use the toolbar at the top of the document to adjust the font size, font, color, and style.
  • To adjust line spacing, click the Format menu, select Line Spacing, then choose Single, Double, or your preferred option.
  • The Format menu also contains tools for adding columns, headers and footers, headers, etc.
  • To insert an image, table, graph, or special characters, click the Insert menu, choose the item you want to insert, and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • To make your document landscape, open File, then click Page Setup. From there you can choose 'Landscape' or 'Portrait'.
  • Google Docs underlines possible spelling mistakes: Click an underlined word to see suggestions, then click the word you want to use. To check the spelling of your entire document, click the Tools menu, then select Spelling.
  • To download a copy of your document, click the File menu, select Download As, and choose a format.
Make a Google Doc Step 6

Step 6. Share your document

If you want the document to be editable by multiple people, you can share it with an individual or group. This goes like this:

  • Click the blue Share button in the top right corner of the page.
  • Enter the email addresses of the people you want to share with, separated by commas.
  • Click the pencil icon to the right of the People box to see a list of permissions (Can view, Can edit, Can comment), then choose an option.
  • click on Advanced in the lower right corner of the Share window to see more options, and make changes if necessary.
  • Click Submit to send a link to the document.
Make a Google Doc Step 7

Step 7. Close the document when you are done

Click the blue sheet of paper icon in the top left corner of the page to return to the document list. This will take you back to all your Google Docs so you can open an existing one or create a new one.

Make a Google Doc Step 8

Step 8. Edit the document in the future

To work on the document, return to https://docs.google.com and click the document's name in the file list.

Method 3 of 6: With a phone or tablet

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Step 1. Install Google Docs on your phone or tablet

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can download the app from the App Store. If you have an Android, you can download it from the Play Store.

If you don't have a Google or Gmail account, you'll need to create one before you can access Google Docs

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Step #2. Open Google Docs

It's a blue sheet of paper icon (labeled "Documents") and can usually be found on the home screen (iPhone/iPad) or in the app drawer (Android). Tap the app to open it.

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Step #3. Tap the +

It's in a circle in the lower right corner of the screen.

Make a Google Doc Step 12

Step #4. Tap New Document to create a blank document

If you're using an Android, this will create a new blank document. If you have an iPhone or iPad, enter a title for the document and tap To make.

  • If you prefer to use a template, tap Choose template to open the template browser -- then tap a template to create a document with that layout.
  • Now you've made your Doc! From here you can edit, rename and share your document.
Make a Google Doc Step 13

Step 5. Edit your document

As long as you're connected to the Internet, Google Docs saves your work as you type.

  • To adjust paragraph alignment and/or line spacing, double-click where you want the change to begin, tap the format icon (the A with multiple lines), select Paragraph, then choose your options.
  • To switch to landscape mode, click the three dots in the top right corner, then click 'Page Layout'. From this point you can choose between 'Landscape' or 'Portrait'.
  • To change the look of your text, double click on text to bring up the blue markers, then drag them to select the text you want to edit. Tap the Format icon (the A with multiple lines), select Text, and then choose the options you want.
  • You can insert images, headers and footers, tables, page numbers and more when in print mode. To enable print mode, tap the three dots in the top right corner and slide the "Print Format" option to On. Then tap the pencil in the lower right corner to return to the editor, tap the + to open the insert menu, then select the item you want to insert.
Make a Google Doc Step 14

Step 6. Share your document

If you want the document to be a collaborative effort of several people, you can share it with an individual or a group. This goes like this:

  • Tap the Share button (a person's profile with a '+') at the top to open the 'Share' screen.
  • Type the email address of someone you want to share with in the "People" field.
  • Tap the pencil icon to the right of the 'People' field to see a list of permissions (View, To process, Comment), and then choose an option.
  • Tap the Send icon (a paper airplane) in the top right corner to email the link to the document.
Make a Google Doc Step 18

Step 7. Click the arrow button to close the document

When you're done with your document, go to the top left corner and click the back arrow. This will take you to your list of past Google Docs so you can create new ones or edit old ones.

You can also press your phone's home button to close the entire app

Make a Google Doc Step 15

Step 8. Edit the document in the future

When you want to work on the document, launch the Google Docs app and tap the document's title in the file list. To make changes, tap the pencil icon in the lower right corner to enter edit mode.

Method 4 of 6: Creating a Google Doc from a Word file

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Step 1. Open your Google Drive

The icon looks like a triangle made of three different colors. You can access your Drive through your Google account by going to

If you don't already have a Google account, you'll need to create one before uploading your Word document

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Step #2. Click New

In the left corner, click the button that says New with a plus sign next to it. This will open a drop-down menu.

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Step 3. Select Upload File

This will open a dialog box on your computer where you can select a file to upload.

You can also upload entire folders to save them to your Google Drive from your computer

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Step 4. Open the Word Document saved on your computer

Select the Word Document you want to open by double clicking on it.

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Step 5. Double click on the file to open it

Your computer may take a few seconds to upload the file, so please wait. Once it's done, you can click on the file in your Google Drive to open it and start editing.

You can now edit, share, and rename your Google Doc just like you normally would

Method 5 of 6: Require users to make a copy of a Google Doc

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Step 1. Use this trick to let recipients make a copy of your document

When you send a document to someone through Google Docs, you may want them to make their own copy, edit it, and then send it back to you. Since the Google Docs settings aren't quite set up to do this, you can change the URL and force users to make a copy instead of editing the original document.

You could use this when sending a worksheet to your students, or paperwork to multiple employees

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Step 2. Open the document

Go to Google Docs and open the document you want to share.

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Step #3. Click on the Share button

It's in the top right corner and is bright blue.

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Step #4. Click Change to anyone with the link

At the bottom of the context menu, click on the last line of the dialog. This will open a new box.

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Step 5. Copy the link and paste it somewhere else

You can highlight the link, right click and then copy, or you can press Copy Link. Paste it into an empty Google Doc so you can edit it.

You can also paste it into a URL field at the top of a web browser

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Step 6. Replace 'edit' with 'copy' at the end of the link

Scroll to the end of the link where you see the word 'edit'. Remove this word and then type 'copy', but be careful not to change any other part of the URL.

Make a Google Doc Step 31

Step 7. Send the modified link to your recipient

This link will now automatically open a dialog box asking the recipient if he/she would like to make a copy. You can send this to as many people as you need so that they all have a copy of your document.

Method 6 of 6: Create a PDF from a Google Doc

Make a Google Doc Step 32

Step #1. Open the Google Doc

From your Google Drive, select the document you want to save as a PDF.

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Step 2. Click File, Then on Print.

Go to the top left corner, then click File. Scroll down and click Print.

This is also how you can print a Google Doc directly from your computer

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Step 3. Select 'Save as PDF' as the destination

Next to 'Destination', click the drop-down to view your options. Click on 'Save as PDF'.

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Step #4. Click on Save

This will save the document to your computer as a PDF, with the same name it has in Google Docs.

Tips

  • Don't worry about saving your Google Docs! It is automatically saved for you every time you make a change.
  • If you're using Google Docs offline (without Wi-Fi or an Internet connection), it won't be saved automatically until you connect to the Internet again.
  • You can crop or edit images in Google Docs yourself by double-clicking the image.

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