Whether you're a student or a professional, you'll probably need to use a document authoring program at some point. Depending on your area of expertise, you may need to know a really or at least be able to use some of its lesser known features. Fortunately, unlike Microsoft's well-known counterpart and some other alternatives, Google Drive offers a wide range of free apps and productivity features. However, learning the details of Google's answer to Word can take some time, provided you have no idea how to navigate the suite.
There is no need to worry! This guide walks you through the many facets of Google Docs so you can create a document, collaborate with others, and work on your work in the shortest amount of time. For more information, see our guide on using Google Drive if you'd like to leverage the entire arsenal of Google.
: Setting up your Google Account
Using Google Docs requires you to sign up for a Google Account. However, this is free and your account also gives you access to Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, and the entire Drive Suite.
Step 2: Start Google Docs
There are several ways to access Google Docs device. You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play, or click the Apps icon in the upper-right corner of Google's homepage (represented by nine squares). You will need to click the Docs button – you may need to click More in the pop-up menu to display it.
Alternatively, you can navigate to Google Drive and select Docs in the My Drive menu above, or select Docs after selecting New the right side of the page. The last option is to navigate directly to Google Docs. Once you start the web app, you can create a document.
Step 3: Create a document
To create a new document, click the blank page with a blue extra sign located in the upper-left corner of the Google Docs main page. If you can not find this menu, scroll up or click the red arrow in the lower left corner of the screen.
When you create a document using Google Drive, select Google Docs after clicking New automatically creates an empty document , If you click on the small right-pointing arrow next to Google Docs you can even create a new document based on a template provided. There are a variety to choose from, including resumes, business letters and a selection of third-party templates. You can even upload an existing .doc or .docx file to your drive by clicking New followed by Upload File .
Step 4: Start working
Once you have created a document, you can start working. Click Untitled Document in the upper left corner to add a title to your document. You can customize the font, text size, and more using the toolbar at the top of the page. Clicking on the three horizontal dots to the right of the page displays some additional formatting options. If you can not see your title or the menu bar at the top of the page, these options may be hidden. If so, click the down arrow in the top right corner to display it.
Because you work in your browser, any changes made to your document are automatically saved. If you look at the Help option on the right side of the screen, you should see either Saving … or all changes saved in Drive . Wait for the second message to appear before you exit to make sure that all your work has been saved. To view the version history of this document, click Saving … or All changes saved in Drive that you can use to review the changes.
How to Share Your Items
To share your documents with other people, click the blue Share button in the upper-right corner of the document you want to share. The button will appear between your image and the comment icon if you've added a link to your Google Account. Then load other users by entering their e-mail address in the window that appears.
people with whom you share content may allow them to edit, view, or comment on a document, depending on their permissions. This can be changed by tapping the menu directly to the right of the blank address field. If you want to share the document with people who use a non-e-mail address, click Get Shareable Link at the top of the Share window. A link will be displayed directly below it (it will also be copied to your clipboard).
If you click the Advanced button in the lower-right corner of this window, you can also share the file through Gmail, Google+, Facebook, or Twitter. To do this, however, you must publish your document. Google Docs sets privacy preferences to Private by default, but you can always click the blue Change button in the middle of the Advanced window (under "Who Can Access It?) To customize your privacy settings.
Using the commenting and chat features
Google Docs & Spreadsheets lets you see in real-time how others are making changes to a document. If you click the Comments button in the upper-right corner of your screen, you or others in the document can start a discussion about your project. You can also see which users are viewing the document by using the series of circles to the left of the Comment button. If no one else looks at a specific page, nothing is displayed here.
You can also choose to receive notifications when people make changes to the document, or when someone mentions your name or interacts with one of your contacts. This can be a very useful tool for working with large groups of people or a group that is not in the same physical space. If, for some reason, you do not want users to be able to add comments to a specific document, you can also change the edit mode (see the next section for details)
Learn the different editing modes  Just below the Split button are options for viewing, suggesting edits, and editing documents. Editing allows you to make changes, Propose and Ads allow you to suggest edits and to view or print your document. The Suggesting option is similar to the Track Changes feature in Word and marks changes to the document in green. This allows other users to approve or delete these changes before they become part of the final document. Even if you do not use the Suggesting mode, you can view the revision history of a document at any time by using File> Version History> See Revision History .
Try Another Document Type
Google Drive offers more than just text documents. Slides, for example, is Google's version of Microsoft PowerPoint, while Sheets puts the company on Microsoft Excel. Although G Suite is not always as extensive as Office 365 in terms of functionality, it is a useful and convenient way to create content online, and it can be used free of charge after using a Google Account.