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Category Archives: Google Doc

Docs 101: Creating and formatting a list in a Google Doc

GoogleApps_Oct07_A

Creating a list in a Google Doc

Docs 101: Creating and formatting lists in a Google Doc

For those who use Google Apps, more specifically Google Docs, in their office, there is a good chance that many of your documents will need to contain bulleted lists or numbers. These are both included in Docs but did you know that you can format them and that Google has also recently updated their overall behavior?

Creating a bulleted/numbered list in a Google Doc

If you have text in a Doc that you would like to change into a bulleted or numbered list, you can do so by:

  1. Highlighting the content you would like to be turned into a list.
  2. Pressing More in the toolbar above the document.
  3. Clicking on either the button with 1,2,3, or bullets.

This will turn the highlighted content into a list. If you want to include sublists, click where you would like the sublist to start and hit Tab. This will move the list item over one indent and create a sublist. If you have sublists that are supposed to be major list items, then click at the left-side of the point and hit Shift + Tab.

Formatting your bullets or numbers

By default, any numbered lists will start with standard numbers (e.g., 1,2,3) and bulleted lists will start with a round bullet. You can change the type of number or bullet used by pressing on the little gray arrow beside the list type button on the menu bar above the text field. This will bring up a drop-down menu with different types of lists. For example, you can change 1,2,3 lists into A,B,C lists, or Roman Numerals.

You can change the color of the bullets or numbers by clicking on one of the bullets and pressing the text color button. This is located in the menu bar above the text field and looks like an A with a black bar below it. Select the color you want.

The new change to bulleted/numbered list in a Google Doc

In late September, Google introduced a small change to the way Docs handles lists. Now, when you are typing, you can enter a number of characters on a new line and Google will automatically create a list. For example, if you are typing and need to create a numbered list hit Enter to go to a new line and enter: 1. (with the period).

You will notice that this creates an automatic indent. Hitting Enter again will add another list item. The characters you can use to tell Docs to automatically create a list include: *, -, (a), a), a., (A), A), A., I., (1), 1), and 1.

If you don’t want to create a list like this, then simply hit Backspace after the list is indented to convert it into a normal line. You can also turn this function off by pressing Tools followed by Preferences… and unticking Automatically detect lists and then Ok.

Looking to learn more about the using a list in a Google Doc for a office environment? Contact us today.

Google Drive improves editing of Docs

GoogleApps_July14_AIn late June, Google announced a number of new products and features at their annual I/O conference. While many of the announcements at I/O centered around mobile products, new features for Google Drive were also talked about. Some of the most useful being new advanced editing features for productivity apps like Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Here is an overview of these new editing features.

A big leap forward in editing

Before the introduction of Google Drive’s new document editing features users simply edited on the same document. Changes they made were automatically made to the document regardless of whether the main author wanted them or not. For the majority of users, this works fine, but it did kind of feel like the apps were missing more advanced editing features like those found in other productivity programs.

Also, while the collaboration aspect of Google Drive’s apps is second to none, there are times when an editor or document owner would prefer to limit the power collaborators have in terms of editing and controlling the overall quality of the file. To make things easier, Google has introduced new editing features to the Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps.

Now, when you open a new file you should see a pencil icon in the toolbar at the top-right, this is the new editing function. Clicking on it will bring down a menu with three options:

  • Editing – Allows you to edit a document with changes being made directly in the document.
  • Suggesting – Allows you to make suggested edits that the document owner can approve or deny.
  • Viewing – Allows you to view the document as it will look when printed or finalized.

While Editing and Viewing are both useful, it’s the Suggesting – or Suggested Edits as the feature is also called – that could prove the most valuable to writers and teams who collaborate on the same file.

Utilizing Suggested Edits

If you are managing a Doc, Sheet, or Slide and want to ensure that all collaborators are working together towards the same idea, without stepping on each other’s toes, try using this feature. You can turn it on by:

  1. Pressing the pencil icon located above the document field, to the right of the page.
  2. Selecting Suggesting.
  3. Making edits.

You will know Suggested Edits is on when the pencil icon changes to lines with an eye, and a different color.

When you enable, this feature, you can make edits in the doc, which will show up on the screen as comments. The changes will appear to other users in different colors and as comments on the side. If you agree with the changes, you can press the checkmark to implement these on the final version of the file, or you can press X to delete the suggested changes.

You can also see the final version before you accept changes, by clicking the pencil or Suggested Edits icon at the top and select Final from the drop-down menu. This will show the document with all of the Suggested Edits implemented. Going back to the Suggested Edits will allow you to approve or reject them again.

Looking to learn more about using Google Drive and the included apps? Contact us today to see how we can help.

Google Drive adds Suggested Edits

Web_July07_C1With so many users switching to cloud-based productivity apps like Google Drive, the tech giant has been increasingly implementing and improving features that make apps like Docs, Sheets, and Slides not only more powerful but more useful. For business users who have switched over to Google Drive, a number of new editing features have just been implemented.

A big leap forward in editing

Before the introduction of Google Drive’s new document editing features users simply edited on the same document. Changes they made were automatically made to the document regardless of whether the main author wanted them or not. For the majority of users, this works fine, but it did kind of feel like the apps were missing more advanced editing features like those found in other productivity programs.

Also, while the collaboration aspect of Google Drive’s apps is second to none, there are times when an editor or document owner would prefer to limit the power collaborators have in terms of editing and controlling the overall quality of the file. To make things easier, Google has introduced new editing features to the Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps.

Now, when you open a new file you should see a pencil icon in the toolbar at the top-right, this is the new editing function. Clicking on it will bring down a menu with three options:

  • Editing – Allows you to edit a document with changes being made directly in the document.
  • Suggesting – Allows you to make suggested edits that the document owner can approve or deny.
  • Viewing – Allows you to view the document as it will look when printed or finalized.

While Editing and Viewing are both useful, it’s the Suggesting – or Suggested Edits as the feature is also called – that could prove the most valuable to writers and teams who collaborate on the same file.

Utilizing Suggested Edits

If you are managing a Doc, Sheet, or Slide and want to ensure that all collaborators are working together towards the same idea, without stepping on each other’s toes, try using this feature. You can turn it on by:

  1. Pressing the pencil icon located above the document field, to the right of the page.
  2. Selecting Suggesting.
  3. Making edits.

You will know Suggested Edits is on when the pencil icon changes to lines with an eye, and a different colour.

When you enable, this feature, you can make edits in the doc, which will show up on the screen as comments. The changes will appear to other users in different colours and as comments on the side. If you agree with the changes, you can press the checkmark to implement these on the final version of the file, or you can press X to delete the suggested changes.

You can also see the final version before you accept changes, by clicking the pencil or Suggested Edits icon at the top and select Final from the drop-down menu. This will show the document with all of the Suggested Edits implemented. Going back to the Suggested Edits will allow you to approve or reject them again.

Looking to learn more about using Google Drive and the included apps? Contact us today to see how we can help.

Google+ gets premium features

GoogleApps_June23_ASocial media has become such an integral part of so many organizations and their marketing initiatives. Many companies go so far as to use social media platforms like Google+ as an in-house solution for modern communication and team building. In order to make Google+ even more viable for businesses, Google has recently announced a number of key updates aimed at enabling this.

In mid June, Google announced that they had implemented a number of new premium features for Google Apps users who use Google+. These so-named ‘Google+ premium features’, could prove to be just what businesses are looking for, especially when it comes to establishing internal social networks that are for your employees only.

About Google+ premium features

If your business uses Google Apps and Google+, and you are the admin for your business, you may have noticed an extra option in the past half year or so labeled premium features. These features were tested by select Google Apps users, and proved to be successful. So much so in fact that Google has announced that premium features are now turned on for all new Apps users, with existing users getting them by mid July at the latest.

The goal of these features is to enable a more customizable social media platform for businesses who may want to create and maintain a secure internal social network with users who can also join an external network or work group.

In a broad sense, these features influence two key aspects of Google+:

  1. Control options – With these features admins have greater control options over employee accounts. For example, you can set it so that all posts are shared only with your domain and made inaccessible to outside users. You can also set it so that certain employee profiles will not show up in public search results. Essentially, these features give you better ability to tailor how your business uses Google+, and the overall security of the network.
  2. Hangouts – The biggest boon this set of features offers is the ability to host larger hangouts and video calls – up to 15 users on the same call (instead of the normal 10). Users can also initiate or join a Hangout right from Google Calendar, email invitation or a URL. You can also set the privacy level of Hangouts to ensure that they can’t be accidentally opened to the public, ideal if you need to discuss sensitive information or projects for example.

Activating premium features

If you are an administrator for your company’s Google Apps account, then you can enable these features by:

  1. Signing into your Google Admin panel. This can be accessed by typing ‘admin.google.com‘ into the URL bar in your browser.
  2. Clicking on Other Google Services followed by Google+.
  3. Scrolling down to the premium features section and clicking on Enable Google+ premium features.
  4. Clicking on Sharing Settings and modifying or enabling the different premium features.

If you are looking to learn more about using these features or Google+ get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

How to edit images in Google Docs

GoogleApps_Apr22_AGoogle Docs is a versatile browser-based office suite provided by for free by Google. With it you can easily create, view, edit and share documents, presentations and spreadsheets with other users by sharing links. All you need to do is specify if you wish to share it only with specific people or anyone with the link. You enjoy more control by deciding if the person with the link and view, edit or merely comment on the file. But Docs also allows you to place images into your shared documents. Best of all, if you need to edit images, there’s no need to use a third party application as you can do this directly in Google Docs.

Inserting an image in the document

Before we look at the steps you need to take to use the editing tools, let’s first learn how to insert an image in your document. If you open a document, click insert, select image and choose the image you wish to use, you might be wondering why you don’t see any of the editing tools. That is because using this means at first you are only putting the image into the document to see how it is best placed. So you can move it around but not edit it. To insert and edit an image, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the document that you’ll be working on.
  2. Click “Insert” on the menu bar below the document title.
  3. Click “Drawing” and the drawing window will open.
  4. Select the “Image” icon, which is the last icon on top of the window.
  5. Click “choose an image to upload”, select the image you wish to insert and edit, and click open.
  6. Instead of being opened in the main body of the document, the image will be opened in the drawing window.

Use the tools in the drawing window to edit the image as you prefer. Once done, click on the “save and close” button on the upper right side to insert the edited image in the main body of the document. If feel that more editing is required click on the image and you’ll see an edit link. Click on this link and you’ll be taken back to the drawing window to make further revisions.

Edit the image

The icons on the top portion of the drawing window are the tools that you can use in editing your image. Let’s go through all the options starting from the left to the right.

  • Actions – clicking this option gives you the option to cut, copy and paste the image, though you can also do this using the usual keyboard shortcuts. Duplicate, as the term suggests will make another copy of the image. Other options include word art, rotate and order.
  • Undo – this will undo the previous action made.
  • Redo – it will redo the last action performed.
  • Zoom – zoom in and out the image for better viewing and editing.
  • Select – use this to select a specific image or object in the drawing window.
  • Line – use this to create a line anywhere in the window.
  • Shape – add shapes, arrows, callouts or expressions in the image or document.
  • Text Box – use this to enter a text within the image or window.
  • Image – as you may already know, it’s used to insert an image in the drawing window.
  • Line Color – when an image is selected, you will get this option, including line weight, line dash, crop image and mask image. Select the color of your image’s border using this option.
  • Line Weight – choose how thick the border or line will be with this tool.
  • Line Dash – select your preferred line style with this option.
  • Crop Image – select only a specific part of the image and remove the remaining parts by cropping.
  • Mask Image – click the drop down arrow next to the crop image icon and you’ll get several shapes to choose from. The image will follow the outline of the figure you’ve chosen.

The editing and drawing tools that come with Google Docs offers huge convenience as basic image editing can be done within the application itself, without the need for a third party editing program.

Customize your Google Bar

Starting out as a research project by Sergey Brin and Larry Page in 1996, the Google search engine was officially created in 1998. Since then, more Google products have been introduced such as Calendar, Alerts, YouTube, and Gmail. When accessing these products, you would see a black Google bar with links to other Google products. This navigation bar has been updated and now lets you arrange and choose which products to place in the app launcher.

Google Bar revamped

When you access Google products like Google.com or Gmail, the Google bar can be seen on top of the page and shows you links to other Google products. For instance, while using Gmail, you can click the link for Google Drive to quickly access this. What’s great about this is that it’s really convenient as there’s no need to go to a particular page and log in to your account.

The old Google Bar, as you may have remembered, was a black bar with white text links. The ‘more’ option listed more products that did not appear on the bar. With the recent update, Google has eliminated the black bar and replaced it with a cleaner and more organized Google Bar. The search bar is still viewable on the top, and to the right of it you will see your Google+ profile link, notification icon, share button and the app launcher. You still have access to your favorite Google products, but the interface is less cluttered as these are only shown when you click the app launcher – the nine squares.

As you may already be aware of, clicking your name with the ‘+’ icon next to it will bring you to your Google+ profile; that is if you are signed in to your Google account. If you aren’t, you will see a ‘You’ next to the + sign. You will also see a sign-in icon on the upper right side, or your picture (if you are already signed in). You can click to sign out, add accounts, change your photo or view your profile. When you sign out via the Google Bar, you will be signed out from all Google products.

Customizing your Google Bar

Another new feature of the updated Google Bar is that it lets you customize the apps that you see when you click on the app launcher. Here’s how to customize your Google Bar:
Click the app launcher.
Arrange the product icons by dragging and dropping them to your preferred location.
If you don’t see the product you often use then click More and drag the product icon on top to get instant access.
If you still can’t find the product you are looking for, click Even More from Google.
Launch the application and click the app launcher. You will see a message asking you to add your chosen product as one of the apps.

The revamped Google Bar is welcome news to those using Google products for business as switching from one application to another is now much more convenient. This saves time and effort, giving you instant access to information and apps that are most useful.

If you have questions about how Google products can benefit your business, give us a call. We are here to help.

Using Google’s Advanced Search queries

While the majority of Internet users look to Google Search to find answers, not many know that there are Advanced Search queries can help you to get more targeted results and to find what you are looking for faster. If you’re looking to learn more about how you can increase your efficiency in searching, then this guide will help you.

Searching for all mentions of a word in a site – keyword site: sitename.com

If you are looking for a specific word or phrase on a website, you can enter keyword site:sitename.com in the search bar, and Google will return pages that contain the keyword in the site you listed.

For example, if you’re looking for the word ‘business’ in the website examiner.com, then your search query would be – business site:examiner.com

Using this search query will show all the pages/posts in examiner.com that mention the word ‘business’.

Get exact match results

If you type keywords or phrases as you usually would in the search box, Google won’t give you exact results. For example, if you type in the phrase ‘business strategies’ (without quotation marks), you’ll get results for both business and strategies. If you want results that contain the exact phrase, then you simply have to add quotation marks around your phrase – “business strategies”. You can include as many words as you like, and if Google finds an exact match, you’ll see the result.

This is one technique that other writers or webmasters use to see if someone’s plagiarized their content.

Looking for pages that are the same/similar to a URL – related: sitename.com

If you like one website or page and would like to find similar sites you can enter related:sitename.com. This search query is perfect for client prospecting.

For example: If one of your customers was softwaremedia.com and your target market is companies that are selling software, you can just type in related:softwaremedia.com in the search field. Doing this will give you the URLs of sites that are similar to softwaremedia.com.

Searching for words in an article’s title – intitle: keyword

If you enter intitle:keyword, for example intitle:business strategies, in Google’s Search bar, you will get results that have the keyword phrase “business strategies” in the title. This can include articles and Web page titles.

Anything you’d like to share?

If you have any questions about how to make your business more efficient, contact us today and we will do our best to assist you.

Google Docs tip – columns

GoogleApps_Jan02_CGoogle has a variety of useful apps that businesses are integrating and increasingly relying on. One of the more popular apps is Google Drive and the connected document production apps. Google Docs has many of the same features as other word processors. That being said, there are some features missing, such as the ability to create columns. But there is a workaround available.

If you have a Google Doc that you would like to split into columns, you won’t be able to press a button like on other word processors, this trick however should help. While this won’t create a true columned document, it will be good enough, especially if you turn the Doc into a PDF or are just sharing it with other people. So, how do you create a columned Google Doc? With tables!

How to add columns to your Google Doc

As we said above, adding columns to your Good Doc isn’t technically a feature, but can be essentially simulated through the use of tables.

  1. Write your content without columns. The best thing to do is to write your document in a single column (or normal) format and leave a space or line (Press Insert and select Horizontal Line) where you want to split the content.
  2. Go to the top of the document, or where you want to start the columns. Click and hit Enter or Return twice.
  3. Click in one of the empty lines you have just created and press Table(located in the menu bar below the URL bar of your browser) followed byInsert table.
  4. Drag your mouse over the squares to highlight how many columns and rows you would like. If you would like to create 2 columns select (2×1) which will create a table with two columns and one row.
  5. Select the content from the first column and hit Ctrl + X to cut it.
  6. Click in the left column of the table and press Ctrl + C to paste the previously copied content.
  7. Repeat for the other columns.

Formatting your new ‘columns’

When you create a table, and the content is pasted into it, you will then want to format it to get rid of the table border, and also set where the text sits in the table.

You can take out the table outline by right-clicking anywhere in the table and selecting Table properties… In the window that opens click on 1 pt under Table border and select 0 pt. This will remove the border around the table, making it look like the Doc has two columns.

You can also format the way the text is aligned in the table by right-clicking anywhere on the table and selecting Table properties… Click Top under Cell vertical alignment and select where you would like the text to be aligned and where it should stay should you move the size of each cell. Top means the text will essentially stick to the top border, center or bottom of the cell.

If you are looking to learn more about using Google Docs and its use in your company, get in touch today.