Google Docs

Free Applications: An Intro to Google Docs

Google Docs

Every now and then we like to touch on some free resources that are available on the web, that can effectively help your business in meaningful ways. In this article we are going to cover a cloud-based application offered by Google, called Google Docs. There are a couple reasons why using this free application can fit almost any business need.


  • You can access them from any computer anywhere in the world
  • You can grant access to to the documents to a selected group of people by sharing it out to them
  • Your documents can be downloaded and saved to your computer in common file formats (.pdf, .xls, etc)
  • You don’t have to worry about expensive software upgrades
  • You can upload all your existing documents, so that you can access them from anywhere


Google offers a list of all the benefits and things you can do in Google Docs:

Here’s what you can do in your Documents List:

  • Create Google documents, spreadsheets, other file types, and collections.
  • Upload (from your computer, if you’d like), manage, and store files and folders.
  • Share Google Docs, files, and collections.
  • Preview your docs and files before you open or share them.
  • View images and videos that you’ve uploaded to your Documents List.
  • Search for items by name, type, and visibility setting.


Here’s what you can do with documents:

Documents view of Google Docs


  • Convert most file types to Google Docs format.
  • Add flair and format your documents, with options such as paint format, margins, spacing, and fonts.
  • Invite other people to collaborate on a doc with you, giving them edit, comment or view access.
  • Collaborate online in real time and chat with other collaborators.
  • View your documents’ revision history and roll back to any version.
  • Download Google Docs to your desktop as Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF, HTML or zip files.
  • Translate a document to a different language.
  • Email your documents to other people as attachments.


To learn more about Google documents, check out the Google documents getting started guide.


Here’s what you can do with spreadsheets:

Google Docs spreadsheets screenshot

  • Import and convert .xls, .csv, .txt and .ods formatted data.
  • Export .xls, .csv, .txt and .ods formatted data and PDF and HTML files.
  • Use formatting and formula editing so you can calculate results and make your data look the way you’d like.
  • Chat in real time with others who are editing your spreadsheet.
  • Create charts and gadgets.
  • Embed a spreadsheet, or individual sheets of your spreadsheet, in your blog or website.


For more information about Google spreadsheets, check out the Google spreadsheets getting started guide.


Here’s what you can do with presentations:

Slideshow Presentation in Google Docs

  • Share and edit presentations with your friends and coworkers.
  • Import and convert existing presentations in .pptx and .pps file types.
  • Download your presentations as a PDF, a PPT, or a .txt file.
  • Insert images and videos, and format your slides.
  • Allow real-time viewing of presentations, online, from separate remote locations.
  • Publish and embed your presentations in a website, allowing access to a wide audience.


For more information about Google presentations, check out the Google presentations getting started guide


Shapes and drawings in Google Docs Drawings

Here’s what you can do with drawings:


  • Share and edit drawings with your friends and coworkers.
  • Download your presentations as a PNG, JPEG, SVG, or PDF file.
  • Insert images, shapes, and lines, and format them to fit your preferences.
  • Real-time collaboration with other people, no matter where they are.
  • Insert a drawing into a document, spreadsheet, or presentation.


For more information about Google drawings, check out the Google drawings getting started guide

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