Google Docs resembles most common word processors.

Document Template

Your first screen offers choices for a New Document.

There are template options for commonly used documents: resumes, letters, brochures, and proposals. You may start with a template, which will be set up with layout and font selections. You may also start with a blank document and build your document ‘from scratch’ – choosing all layout options yourself.

Google Docs

Below the stream of document choices is the Recent Documents section. Created documents will appear here, beginning with the newest one. Look in this section to retrieve documents already under way.

Google Docs

Privacy Setting

To the right of Recent Documents is a small drop-down menu with three options:

  • Owned by anyone
  • Owned by me
  • Not owned by me

Google Docs

Here you can set the privacy of your document.

If you are working on a document but are not yet ready to show anyone, you can set the menu to ‘Owned by me and only you can see it.

If the document is one you want to share, then set the menu to ‘Owned by anyone.’ This enables others to view and edit your document.

Any file you create is automatically owned by you. If you wish to transfer ownership to someone else, click ‘Not owned by me.’ You will still have access to the file, but will be unable to transfer ownership back or delete the file.


While writing or building your document, you can find and insert links directly into your document from the Google search engine.

To insert a link:

Click on a document.

Google Docs


Go to Insert on the menu bar, or right click on the document.

Google Docs

Select ‘Link.’

Type in your question or keywords. A list of choices will appear under the Link box.

Google Docs

Choose the link you want.

Google Docs


Click ‘Apply.’ Your selected text will be highlighted and the link will appear beneath the text, with the option to change or remove the link.

Google Docs

Offline Access

If your internet connection is interrupted, you can keep working in Google Docs and Google Docs will save the work you are doing. When your internet connection is re-established, Google Docs will upload the work you did offline to your account and update your online files.

You must be online to set up the Work Offline feature. Be sure to set it up while you have internet access. Once it is set up, you can be online or offline to work in Google Docs.

To set up the work offline feature:

Use Google Chrome as your browser.

Google Docs

Go to

Google Docs

Ensure the Offline option is checked.

(If the Offline option is not available, you may need to install the Google Docs Offline extension.)

Go to the home screen of Google Docs.

Click the Main Menu icon (three horizontal lines) in the far left corner.

Google Docs

Choose ‘Settings.’

Google Docs


Follow the instructions under ‘Offline.’

Once set up, you can turn the feature on and off.

Google Docs

If you are prompted ‘to learn more’ – click ‘to learn more’ which will give instructions for your computer, Android or iPhone/iPad devices.


Google Docs includes a research sidebar with a built-in Google search function. You can search the web for images, articles, quotes, statistics, pronunciation and meaning of words — anything you might want to include in your document. Items found can be added to your document with a click.

To use Research:

Highlight a word or phrase in your document:

Google Docs

Click on ‘Tools’ in the menu bar:

Google Docs

Choose ‘Explore’ for links to more information. Options will appear in a bar to the right:

Google Docs

Or, from the Tools menu choose ‘Dictionary’ to define a highlighted word:

Google Docs


You can also translate your document into other languages.

In the Tools menu, choose ‘Translate document:’

Google Docs


Name your new document and choose the language into which you want it translated:

Google Docs

Click ‘Translate.’ Your new document will appear in the language of your choice.

Google Docs

This is an excerpt from Velsoft’s latest computer course release: Online Tools for Small Business.