Google Docs is a great online word processor because of its familiarity to Microsoft Word, and you don’t have to worry about which device you’re editing from (it's always on the cloud). However, even though I use the editor on the daily, there are some features I cannot believe I only just recently started using.
Maybe you know them already… maybe you don’t. In this article, I’m going through some of my favorite understated features in Google Docs that I wish I knew earlier.
1. Format Painter
The format painter is an amazing tool that I feel like most people glance over. It’s right there in the toolbar and yet I never knew what it did. The format painter allows you to copy the formatting of text or cells and then paste it on other text or cells. It’s a great way to create consistency with regards to your formatting.
Now this might not sound like a huge deal, but think about all the times you’ve been merging documents or inputting text from different sources. Normally, you first have to change the font style, then change the font size, then correct the color of the text and the background… you get what I’m saying, it’s really tedious.
In fact, all you need to do is use the format painter and highlight the text you want to change.
Everything is done all at once for you.
We love this feature so much at Tiny, we created the format painter plugin to make sure anyone who uses TinyMCE has access to this time-saving tool!
2. Comments and @Mentions
Comments and @mentions have become a staple component during collaborative work (which is almost everything I do). The comment button is located just next to the share button on the top right-hand corner and allows you to add comments on the side of the documents. These comments are attached to a specific phrase of text in the documents, allowing you to easily correspond comments with text from the document. What makes these comments so useful is they don’t actually make any changes to the documents, and you can choose whether or not you want to make the suggested edits.
Furthermore, you’re able to tag people added to the document with @mentions. While its function is simple, notifying someone in a specific comment adds an extra level of productive efficiency.
Like Google Docs, we want to provide developers with the tools they need to create their own collaborative tools with TinyMCE. Our Comments and AtMention plugins are used to facilitate online conversations, which are incredibly valuable for those who are working from home.
Next time you’re working on something collaborative in Google Docs, make sure to use the comments and @mentions!
3. Cloud Integration with Google Drive
I briefly mentioned it in the beginning, but the cloud storage and automatic savings is the whole reason I use Google Docs in the first place. On its own, Google Docs doesn’t have much to offer in terms of file organization. However, the cloud storage system is leveled up when you use it in conjunction with Google Drive. I never used to use Google Drive to organize my Docs and things would get very messy. The UI is much more advanced with Google Drive and you can arrange all your Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Sheets any way you like.
Using the cloud as a way of managing your files opens up an amazing opportunity for portability. I’m not restricted to using one computer to edit my work, as my files can be accessed from anywhere with Internet access. This is also a huge peace of mind for me because I never have to stress about my laptop malfunctioning and losing all my work. As long as I have the Internet and access to some kind of device, I’m set.
Similarly, to provide a similar experience with TinyMCE, image upload is made easy with Tiny Drive.
There are so many more useful features, such as third party add-ons and keyboard shortcuts to explore. If you’re keen to learn more, Hubspot has created a great article about 21 Google Doc Features You Didn't Know Existed, which is sure to give some more insights into Google Docs.
If you're not yet familiar with our TinyMCE WYSIWYG HTML editor and how it provides users with a great content creation experience, you can start by checking out the demo on our home page. Contact us for more information about how to upgrade your existing content platforms to take advantage of the power and simplicity provided by TinyMCE.