Can you believe that Google Docs has existed since 2006? That’s around 15 years of upgrades and improvements on what originally seemed like an online, bare-bones imitation of Microsoft Word.
But despite Google’s progress with its writing program, many users don’t know how to draw a line in Google Docs, use voice typing, or even edit offline. Many users might not even be aware that these things are possible with Google Docs.
If you’re looking to make the most of Google’s word tool, this is a list of the best Google Docs tips and tricks so you can use the program to its full potential.
How to Draw a Line in Google Docs
Let’s start with how to draw a line in Google Docs.
If you want to insert a line break, this is relatively straight forward:
- Select ‘insert’ on the main top menu
- Select ‘horizontal line’ on the drop-down menu
A horizontal line will appear across the page wherever your cursor was selected.
However, if you would like to draw a different line, this requires another instruction. Google Doc has a drawing tool that allows users to create and modify lines, text, colors, and more.
This is how to draw a line using the drawing tool:
- Select ‘insert’ on the main top menu
- Select ‘drawing’ and then ‘new’ on the drop-down menu
An image box will appear allowing you to draw whatever you want. There is a ‘line’ icon and an arrow button next to it so you can choose the type of line you would like to draw (arrow, curved line, etc.). Your cursor acts as a ‘pen’ in this tool.
Once you have drawn your line, click ‘save and close’ and the drawing will appear where your cursor was selected on the page. And that’s just one of the many Google Docs functions available.
How to Use Voice Typing in Google Docs
Voice typing is a fantastic new Google Docs function. This is how you can utilize it:
- Select ‘tools’ on the main top menu
- Select ‘voice typing’ on the drop-down menu
Alternatively, you can use the shortcut ‘Ctrl+Shift+S’ to activate the voice typing function.
A microphone button will appear and Google Docs will type what you speak once you press that button. The button will turn red to indicate it is recording. To switch off voice typing, click the microphone button again.
How to Flip an Image in Google Docs
You can do a lot more than simply insert an image into a Google Doc. You can turn, flip, duplicate, and rotate images as well as change their positioning.
Click here if you want to learn how to rotate images and how to flip an image in Google Docs. It’s a simple and easy-to-understand task but there are a few steps involved.
How to Use Find and Replace in Google Docs
Find and replace is a fantastic Google Docs help tool because it allows you to replace repeated words (or phrases) with an alternate easily. For example, this tool would be useful if you want to change someone’s name in a document for security or creative reasons.
This is how to use find and replace:
- Select ‘edit’ from the main top menu
- Select ‘find and replace’ on the drop-down menu
Alternatively, you can use the shortcut ‘Ctrl+H’ to open this function. Next, a pop-up box will appear. Enter the word/phrase you want to replace in the ‘find’ box and the word/phrase you would like to use instead in the ‘replace’ box.
If you only want to use the ‘find and replace’ function once, click ‘replace’ or ‘replace all.’ Click ‘next’ if you have multiple words/phrases you want to use this tool for.
How to Open and Use the Dictionary Tool in Google Docs
This is how to use Google Docs’ dictionary tool:
- Highlight a word in your doc
- Select ‘tools’ from the main top menu
- Select ‘dictionary’ on the drop-down menu
Alternatively, you can use the shortcut ‘Ctrl+Shift+Y’ to activate this function. A dictionary box will pop up on the right side of your screen. It will list the definition of this word and several synonyms.
You can close the box at any time or manually type a word into the box, it doesn’t need to be a highlighted word from your doc.
How to Turn on Offline Editing in Google Docs
Google Docs might seem like an online-only writing program but you can write and edit offline, too. To do this, you’ll need to have Google Drive open. Here’s what you need to do:
- Click the ‘settings’ icon in the top right-hand corner (it looks like a cog)
- In ‘general’ there should be a section titled ‘offline’
- Check the tick box next to the ‘offline’ section
This will enable you to use Google Files even if you aren’t connected to the internet.
How to Track Version History (and Restore) in Google Docs
One of the best things about using Google Docs is its automatic save feature. This means you can review and restore older versions of your doc:
- Select ‘file’ from the main top menu
- Select ‘version history’ and then ‘see version history’ on the drop-down menu
Alternatively, you can use the shortcut ‘Ctrl+Alt+Shift+H’ to generate the doc’s version history. All of the different versions will appear as a list on the right side of your screen. You can review each one by selecting it.
If you would like to use an earlier version, a button with ‘restore this version’ will appear on the top left of your screen.
How to Use Suggesting Mode in Google Docs
If you are editing a doc for someone else, ‘suggesting mode’ is a great tool. It allows you to leave comments and suggestions on a doc but they can also be turned off and deleted, too.
To make suggestions, follow this Google Doc tutorial:
- Highlight a word, phrase, or sentence within the doc
- Two boxes will appear to the right side of your cursor
- The blue box is a ‘comment’ option and the green box is the ‘suggest’ option
- Click the green box
- Change the doc however you like when in suggesting mode
Whenever you are finished, click the arrow in the green suggesting box on the right side of your screen and change to ‘editing’. Your suggestions are saved but they have not affected the original doc.
Now You Know Google Docs Inside Out
Google Docs has plenty of useful features and now you know all of the best ones, like how to draw a line in Google Docs. If you use the program regularly, learning all the Google Docs tricks will help you save time and frustration when carrying out writing tasks.
Check out our other tech articles for more advice and tutorials!