Hey Google, Tell Me About Google Docs

Google Docs is a collaborative powerhouse for drafting, editing, and sharing text documents.

Information Services & Technology (IST) takes a deep dive into this popular tool to share tips to help you get the most out of Google Docs. We’re only just scratching the surface. If you’d like to take your Google knowledge to the next level, see which Google courses are right for you through the Technology Training Centre.

Assign Team Members Action Items To Get Things Done

Streamline the process of assigning tasks within your team by using the Action Item feature in Google Docs. To assign an Action Item simply mention the name of a team member (type the name or +ccid@ualberta.ca) in a comment and check the Action Item box. The team member will get an email notification and see the task clearly highlighted with a blue bar when they open the document.

 

Find, Review, And Restore Changes In Previous Drafts Of Team Documents

Use the Version history feature in Google Docs to review all the edits made by others. The timeline shows a detailed list of edits sorted by date and time. Click on a specific date to view the exact changes made by each collaborator (changes will be highlighted in a different colour for each collaborator). Additionally, any previous version of the document can be restored.

To restore a previous version:

  1. Using a web browser on a computer, open a document, spreadsheet, or presentation
  2. Click the File menu, select Version history then click See version history
  3. In the right panel, click the timestamp of an earlier version
  4. At the top, click Restore this version and then Restore

Note: You need Owner or Can edit access to see the version history and restore previous versions.

Suggest Edits, Make Progress

Sometimes instead of giving team collaborators free reign to edit away, you’d rather they make suggestions that you can accept or reject later. The Suggest edits feature in Google Docs can be used to suggest changes to a document without changing the original text.

To suggest an edit:

  1. Using a web browser on a computer, open a document, spreadsheet, or presentation
  2. At the top right, ensure that suggesting mode is on
  3. Begin typing where the edit should be made
  4. Each collaborator’s suggestions will appear in a new color, any text that is marked to be deleted or replaced will be crossed out
  5. The document owner will receive an email to review and accept or reject suggestions

Note: You must have edit or comment access to the document to use the Suggest edits feature.

Keep Track Of Document Versions With A Custom Name

Being able to add a custom name to versions of your document is a great way to keep a record of your team's progress or track the history of the document. Custom names can help eliminate the need to create a new document every time a new revision is required. Simply add a custom name, e.g. “Revised 2018”, to communicate with editors that a document has been updated and final.

To add a custom name:

  1. Using a web browser on a computer, open a document, spreadsheet, or presentation
  2. Click the File menu, select Version history then click See version history
  3. In the right panel, identify the timestamp of the version to name
  4. To the right of the timestamp, click the More actions button (three vertical dots) and then Name this version
  5. Type the desired name in the box and press the enter key
  6. Click the back arrow to continue editing the document

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Information Services & Technology’s (IST) Between U and G series was developed to help you work effectively within G Suite for school or work. Learn more tips and tricks with Google's virtual coach - the G Suite Training Chrome extension. With G Suite Training, users will be guided through tasks visually from start to finish - all without leaving the application.

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