The 10 Best Google Doc Hacks to Supercharge Your Writing
With these simple and easy shortcuts, you can say goodbye to inefficiency and begin creating content in a quick and productive way
As a freelancer, working remotely with a wide range of clients, Google Docs has become my weapon of choice. It is not revolutionary nor surprising that this free and basic tool is so widely used. Anyone who uses the platform will see that it is a free and online version of Microsoft Word, but the ability to access it anywhere without the hassle of downloading attachments adds a lot of value. However, few of us use the tool to its full capacity.
Here are a few of my favourite Google Docs shortcuts that allow me to work with ease and skyrocket my productivity levels. How many of these do you use?
- Create a new document via your search bar
To create a new Google doc without first going to the Google Docs dashboard, simply type in docs.new into your search bar and a fresh new page will open up in a new tab. Just be aware that this will not allow a folder structure and this needs to be added
- Say Adios to Distractions
Sometimes, when knee-deep in deadlines, it is important to put the blinkers on. To focus on your work, and only on your work, Google offers a distraction-free mode. Go to the menu > View > Full Screen to see only the page you are working on. To return to the standard view, just press ESC on your keyboard.
- Eye Spy… Revision History
Collaborative documents are a great way to work in remote teams but it is easy for things to get messy if no structure is in place. To find out what has been edited, when and by who Google offers ‘Version History’. To keep track of the changes made on your document, go to File > Version History > See Version History
- Translate Your Doc With One Click
If you are required to write in multiple languages and are pressed for time, Google has your back. By going to the menu, Tools > Translate Document you are able to translate your entire doc using Google Translate without even leaving Google Docs. Of course, Google Translate is not as accurate as a native speaker so it is always worth getting someone to proofread the translation.
- SEO Friendly Writing
If you are writing online content, I am sure that you are no stranger to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Luckily Google and SemRush have partnered together and there is an ‘add on’ which acts as an SEO assistant to ensure that your writing is always optimized for the web. To take advantage of this great tool, go to Add-ons > Get Add-ons and then search for SEMRush and follow the on-screen instructions.
- Search The Web Without Switching Tabs
If you prefer to keep focus and keep distractions to a minimum this tool may prove to be useful. Google allows you to surf the web without leaving your document. Simply go to Tools > Explore and use the side panel to do your research, all without clicking out of your doc.
- Add in a Table of Contents, Page Numbers and Footnotes
If you are writing a report or longer document such as an ebook, these tools will be a lifesaver. To add in a table of contents, pagination or footnotes, simply go to the Insert menu and find the different options available there.
- Mass Changes in One Click
So, you have finished a ten page article and then realise that you have written a brand name in the incorrect format. It would take ages to locate each time that word was used throughout, even using Ctrl F. Luckily Google has a handy ‘Find and Replace’ function available in the Edit menu. All changes for that word can then be made at the click on one button.
- Make Use of Shortcuts
Google encourages users to use their keyboard shortcuts when working on documents or spreadsheets. Brush up on all the different shortcuts available and save time with these quick and easy time-saving tips. To discover them, go to Help > Keyboard Shortcuts
- Sharing is Caring
This is a tip that I am sure many people are already using but I wanted to add it in just in case. There are many ways to share your work with others, but my favourite is using the big, fat, blue share button that sits at the top right of the page. When clicked, it presents you with all the sharing options available – via email or via a link. It also offers you options to change the permissions to allow people to only view the doc, to be able to comment or to be able to edit it. It is quick, simple and to the point – perfect for making things as easy as possible.