I still use Google Docs, but not as much lately as I did the past few years.  I recently started to work with Google Docs again, and found some really cool new features that have been added.  Here are a few you might find worthwhile:

Improved File Upload – it’s a lot easier to move files or even entire folders into Google Docs.  You no longer have to click the Upload button to move a single file into Google Docs – just drag the file and drop it in your Documents list.  Click the Upload button to upload entire folders of documents to Google Docs.

Inserting Images – when you click Insert –> Image in a Google Doc, you now get a number of options.  You can drag an image onto the screen and it will be automatically uploaded, or just navigate to the file on your computer.  But if you want to use an image from the Web or an online service, you now have options for that, too.  If the image is associated with a URL, there’s a place to enter the address.  You can also search in Picasa Web Albums or stock photography.  Finally, there’s an option to use Google Image Search – however, the search tool has been configured to only return images that have no copyright restrictions – so you won’t get the same results that you get when using the regular Google Image search page.  You can also add images to any spreadsheet, as well.

Mobile Improvements – I have long been a critic of using Google Docs from a mobile device, and although Google still hasn’t made it easy to work with edit and create documents, there have been a number of enhancements that are interesting, mostly for Android users.  You can now insert images into documents on Android devices, and the Android version of Google Docs supports documents in 46 different languages.  You can also print documents directly from your mobile device – after you enable Google Cloud Print, just select the document you want to print and click on Actions –> Print.

Comment-Only Access – if you don’t want someone to change your document, but have the ability to comment on it, then just enable the Comment-Only option in Sharing Features.  They can view and add their comments, but they won’t be able to directly edit the document.

These are just a few of the great new features of Google Docs – check out the What’s New in Google Docs? page for even more great tips.


4 Responses to Cool Tips for Using Google Docs

  1. Haki_sara says:

    Nice article, I have been using Google docs for a while now n have faced some serious sharing concerns, like while sharing parts of my spreadsheet document with my team, for which I have to copy n paste the sheet in to a new spreadsheet n share. Can u pls suggest some tips for this kinda problem??
    In the interim I came across some tool called CollateBox http://www.collatebox.com/ for sharing parts of spreadsheet data.
    Do you think this can be an ideal tool??

  2. TomMighell says:

    I don’t think I have a good answer for this – as far as I know, Google Docs does not have a way to only share a portion of a spreadsheet – for example, sharing only one sheet or multiple sheets. I’m interested to see what Collatebox does – it looks like it serves a niche that Google Docs misses.

  3. TechnoLawyer says:

    Google Docs is cool in concept but as Haki intimates it has some serious usability issues that make it challenging to use in a document-intensive environment. Andy Ihnatko said it best:

    “Google Docs’ web-based user interface is about as much fun as spending your last minutes of life in a disabled submarine that’s slowly sinking closer and closer to its crush depth… (I’m being kind; I count three independent menu bars.)”

  4. TomMighell says:

    I’ve always said that Google Docs is much like using WordPad; the functionality is just not up to the standards of tools like MS Word. However, as a collaboration tool Google Docs is really nice – it gives you the ability to throw up a document and let many people work on/view it at the same time. I am currently working on fundraising for a charity here in Dallas, and I put the fundraising spreadsheet in a Google Doc for everyone to access. All team members have access to the same document, and it can be updated in real time. I don’t have to email the new document out to others every time I revise it.

    So I guess it depends on the use you make of it. Used correctly, it can be a good productivity tool. A document-intensive environment is not one of those uses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blog Categories

Inter Alia Archives

Cool Tips for Using Google Docs

by Tom Mighell time to read: 2 min