As a writer who's written thousands of articles and worked with thousands of clients, here are the the top features I personally use in Google Docs that you might not know about:
#1.) Google Drawings:
Often times images are better at explaining than text, and Google lets you make awesome images from right inside Google Docs.
How To Use: Insert ⇨ Drawing ⇨ New ⇨ Start Drawing!
I will frequently use the Google Drawing feature to make images and insert them into Google Docs without having to use any fancy imaging programs like Photoshop. You can even save your images in the drawing editor by clicking Actions ⇨ Download.
#2.) Make Easy PDF Downloads:
Making a PDF is stupidly hard. But Google Docs makes it really easy.
Simply write whatever you want in a Google Doc, then you can instantly download it as a PDF.
How To Use: File ⇨ Download As PDF
This is great for sending a PDF around the office, without having to fiddle around with Adobe Acrobat. Here's a more in depth guide on making PDF's from Google Docs if you're interested.
#3.) Use "Google Keep" to insert common snippets:
There's a little-known (but awesome function on Google Docs called Google Keep.
How To Use: Click the "Google Keep" yellow icon on the right ⇨ Drag & Drop your snippet into doc.
The Google Keep icon on a Google Doc:
Click the icon, and the “drawer” appears with your saved “snippets”:
Simply “click-n-drag” snippets into your document:
#4.) Scrape text out of images:
Google will do some fancy text recognition for you.
How To Use: Upload image to Google Drive ⇨ Open As Doc ⇨ It will pull the text for you below the image.
#5.) Type with your voice:
As writers we love anything that helps us type faster, and typing with your voice is a great feature in Google Docs that most people don't know about!
How To Use: Tools ⇨ Voice Typing ⇨ Click To Speak
#6.) Outline function automatically organizes big documents:
Google Docs recently added an automatic "Outline" function
How To Use: On a big document with lots of headers and text, you'll find on the left-hand side a little "Outline" tray icon you can click.
#7.) Make your doc look pretty (using margins and colors)
A standard Google Doc is pretty ugly. I like to spruce it up with a few changes:
- Make all margins 1" (not 2.54" like default)
- Make text size 14pt
- Make a different background color
- Make your title big, bold, and centered.
P.S. Watch this post being made from scratch: