How to use Google Docs? [Guia Completo 2020]

Google Docs is easily one of the most widely used Google services these days. It allows you to create text documents completely online and without having to pay anything, something quite different from what we were used to with Word from the office package, for example. But even though it is very simple to use, there are still many people who want to know more about using Google Docs.

This goes for both its most basic and even the most advanced functionalities. Of course, we cannot forget that many people do not even know all the benefits that the service offers its users. If you're curious about all this and want to know how to use Google Docs to its full potential, just check out our complete guide below!

What is Google Docs?

how to use google docs tutorial

We have already commented briefly on what Google Docs is, but it is worth giving a more in-depth explanation. Overall, you can tell that it is a word processor that is part of the Google Drive package.

In addition to it, there are services like Google Sheets and Google Slides, just to name a few examples. Everything is very similar to the famous Microsoft Office suite, with the difference that it is completely free.

Basically, Google Docs ends up being one of the best alternatives not only for those who write texts, but for those who need to have everything stored online. After all, everything is saved in the cloud in your Google Drive account.

Google Drive benefits

Since we mentioned Google Drive, it’s also worth talking about more. For basic users, no less than 15 GB of storage is offered. In addition to Google Docs, spreadsheets and presentations, you also have other services integrated with it.

These include Google Photos and Google Keep, with which you can store your photos, notes and reminders. Fortunately, Google Drive can be used on a variety of platforms.

Currently, you can use it in your browser, on the PC desktop or in your mobile apps. For those who need even more benefits and storage, there are paid options:

  • 100 GB: R $ 6.99 per month or R $ 69.99 for the annual plan
  • 200 GB: R $ 9.99 per month or R $ 99.99 for the annual plan
  • 2 TB: R $ 34.99 per month or R $ 349.99 for the annual plan

Using Google Docs

Well, now that we’re talking about Google Docs and the platform to which it belongs, it’s time to say everything it has to offer. After all, if you want to know how to use Google Docs, we imagine that you want more information than just knowing that it is a word processor.

1. Versions

To start, it’s good to know that where you can access Google Docs. As we mentioned before, this is possible through the web version in your browser, within Google Drive, on the download page for the Desktop version, on the Google Play Store for Android mobile version or on the App Store for the iPhone mobile version.

Each version has its advantages and disadvantages, but in general we can say that it will have fewer limitations in the same web version. It is very complete and easy to move, just being logged into your Google account to use it.

2. Basic features

When accessing Google Docs, you will find yourself on the service's main screen. There, you will notice that there are some basic features that you can access very quickly. Some of them are:

  • Search: the first thing on the screen is a search bar. You can use it to search for any file that is in your Google document library, whether you’re the creator of the file or not
  • Start new document: just below the search bar, we have the option to create a new document. It can be a blank or with a defined template, it depends more on what you prefer in this case
  • Recent documents: underneath that, we have your recent Google Docs. These are not only documents that you have created, but also those created by others, but that you have opened or edited
  • Menu: if you click on the three vertical strokes on the left side of the screen, you will see a small menu. There, you can access Google Docs settings or use other file services, such as spreadsheets and presentations.

You can also organize this home screen in a few different ways. You can change the display style, what should appear first, etc.

Still, the home screen is very practical and facilitates quick use when you only need to create new documents or access an older one.

Creating a new document

With all that said, we couldn't help teaching the most important part: creating a new document. This is basically most of what you’re going to do in Google Docs and, fortunately, it’s pretty easy to learn.

As we mentioned in the tip above, you have two options when creating a new document. It is possible to create a completely blank or one based on a template.

That depends entirely on you and what you want from your new document. We can say that the blank document is the best option for those who just want to make a text or for those who have a specific layout in mind and know how to use word processors very well.

how to use google docs guide

If you only have a sense of what you need, such as a resume, a letter, or a project proposal, you may want to use the ready-made template. Google Docs offers many different templates, so it shouldn't be difficult to find one that fits your needs.

With the document open, you essentially do what you want. In the blank, everything is done from scratch as you can imagine, but the finished model only requires you to put your data or necessary information.

It is worth saying that any edits or changes you make will be saved immediately, so there is no need to worry about that. There is also a history of edits, something we will talk more about in the next topic.

Other than that, you really need to know how to save the file on your PC if you want to have a copy that is not online. You can do this with a variety of formats, including docx, pdf, txt, epub and more.

Just click on "File", select "Download" and choose the file format you want to save the text.

using google docs

Pretty simple, isn't it? This makes it much easier for those who need to work with these formats and do not want to pay a specialized PC program just for that.

Advantages of Google Docs

Knowing how to use Google Docs, it is also good to get a sense of the benefits it offers its users. After all, there are other online text editors you can find, like Office online itself. So that there is no doubt which one to use, we detail the benefits of Docs below:

1. Offline mode

use the desktop app

With so much talk about how to use Google Docs, you may have noticed how important it is to be online using it. After all, everything is saved in the cloud and you can only access documents if you are connected to the internet.

Fortunately, there is also an offline mode so you can also use the service even when you don't have internet around. Just activate offline mode on the devices you want to use.

We teach you how to do this step by step, so just access the tutorial link if you want to learn. This can help you a lot to work on your texts no matter where you are.

2. Collaborative Editions

You can't talk about Google Docs without mentioning one of its biggest advantages: the possibilities of collaborations in editing your text. Basically, you can share your documents with anyone and they help you edit it.

All changes are made in real time, so it’s easy to see what’s going on without having to access just the history. Other than that, there are countless ways to share your files, as you can see below:

  • Sharing a link that can be accessed by anyone who has it
  • Sharing a link that can be accessed for a limited time
  • Compartment of a link that can only be accessed by members of a company
  • Sharing a link that can only be accessed by the owner of a specific email address

3. Different permissions

Of course, just because you shared your text with someone, it doesn't mean you want them to edit everything. To deal with this, Google Docs offers different types of permissions for those who have a link to your document.

In this way, some people can have complete freedom, while others can only view the text. It is also possible to let people suggest edits that you need to approve or comment on only parts of the text.

4. Edit history

We already mentioned that Google Docs has a history of editing above, but now it's time to talk more about it. As it is possible to share your text with several people so that they can edit it, it is easy to lose track of what each one did or what has been changed.

This is especially true if you were not looking at the document at the time of these changes. Fortunately, the edit history shows you everything that has changed with dates and times.

In addition, you can click on the edits to see them in the document and decide if you want to revert any of them. Something very practical to keep track of your document even with the sharing function.

5. Easy shortcut

As you might expect, Google Docs still has some very useful shortcuts to make your life easier during use. The main of these shortcuts can be seen below:

  • Ctrl + C: the shortcut allows you to copy the selected section
  • Ctrl + V: the shortcut allows you to paste what is copied in the place you want
  • Ctrl + Shift + C: the shortcut allows you to count the number of words and characters
  • Ctrl + Alt + C: the shortcut allows you to copy the formatting of the selected section
  • Ctrl + Alt + V: the shortcut allows you to paste the formatting
  • Ctrl + Enter: the shortcut allows you to insert a page break

This turns out to be one of the best alternatives, as we don't have a quick access menu like the Office suite.

Did you like the tips?

Leave in the comments if you already knew about the platform and if you have used it in the past or if you intend to start using it now. Also, check out how to use Google Drive for business and get to know Google Scholar and Google Translate!

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