Google Docs A-Z: Write, Collaborate, Store & Share Online
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Google Docs A-Z: Write, Collaborate, Store & Share Online

Comprehensive guide to using Google Docs as your word processor of choice. Work dynamically in the cloud on any device.
3.5 (2 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
531 students enrolled
Last updated 1/2015
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Current price: $10 Original price: $25 Discount: 60% off
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  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • 2 Articles
  • 3 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Learn to compose documents using a cloud-based word processor from any device and platform
  • Start a document, edit, save, rename, and format text effectively
  • Understand the complexities of working in the cloud, managing files and storing documents
  • Collaborate with other authors on the same document at the same time
  • Use Google Drive to upload, store and retrieve text-based documents
  • Build documents with complicated layouts using; images, lists, outlines, and tables
  • Effectively use the research pane, search pane, and other utilities to enhance the document creation process
  • Upload existing text documents and convert them to Google Docs format
  • Download Google Docs as PDF, Word, or RTF files for printing or distribution
  • Publish documents as web pages
  • Share documents with others with a variety of permission levels
  • Become more efficient in writing, sending, sharing, and publishing content
  • Edit documents from anywhere with an internet connection, any device, any platform or operating system
View Curriculum
  • This course requires a reliable and persistent internet connection.
  • To access Google Docs, you will need a Google account. You will want to enable access to the Google Apps suite and Google Drive.

Save time and stay connected by using Google Docs as your go-to word processor. Google Docs, and the entire Google Apps suite of tools help to keep the members of your team, your classroom, or your staff on the same page as you create, collaborate and publish online.

Using Google's free, cloud-based word processor will help you save time, save money, and boost productivity. This course is designed to build user confidence and streamline teamwork across multiple devices and even global regions.

Some of the benefits of using Google Docs include:

  • Completely Free - Google Docs and the Google Apps suite of tools is always free. Your personal account and Apps for Education are always free. However, if you look to Google Apps for Business, you may see some costs for increased storage or email accounts and filtering.
  • Easy Collaboration - quickly and easily share, work together, and publish in real-time. Keep all your team members on the same page, store all your files in the cloud in your Google Drive account - attached to Google Docs.
  • Work from Anywhere - the entire suite of tools is cloud-based, and works on any device with any browser...even on the iPad! If you can get connected to the internet, you can use Google Docs.

In this course, I will show you how to get your account established, how to access Google Drive, and how to start and save Google Docs. I will also show you how to manage folders in your Google Drive, to keep your online document storage organized and thoughtful.

Once you are familiar with connecting and accessing your documents, this course will teach you the skills you need to be successful in building, storing, sharing and publishing a variety of document types.

I will show you how to type, change formatting, build styles, change document layouts, print settings, manage lists, and tables. The list of features in Google Docs continues to grow, and can even be extended by using add-ons from the Google Marketplace. In this course, we look at the core structure and function of Google Docs, and also how to extend it's functionality and features.

The course is structured for your hands-on access to tools and projects to reinforce learning. After each section of the course, there are projects to complete that will challenge you to try what you have learned in a live environment. You will be asked to build, design and share what you have learned with others in the community, or in your own workspace.

The progression of the course is designed to be an ongoing, collaborative, workshop-style approach, that will keep users coming back to learn and try more!

Our Google+ group is designed to help build community and support for those learning to write and publish using Google Docs.

This course is designed to be a comprehensive look at the application Google Docs. The intent is to cover basic functionality up through advanced add-ons and functions for all levels of users in the application.

This course has something for all levels - from novice to advanced!

Who is the target audience?
  • Students looking for a faster, lighter, feature-rich word-processor that is free, and easy to use should enroll
  • This Google Docs specific course is designed for students wanting to work without the constraints of a typical word processor. If you are looking to be more flexible, work more dynamically and collaboratively with others, this course is for you.
  • Users of the Google Apps suite will benefit by learning Google Docs more specifically in-depth in this course.
  • If you do not have a Google Account, or access to the Google Apps suite, this course is not for you.
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Curriculum For This Course
32 Lectures
Set Yourself Up For Success! Course materials, access to Google Drive & Docs
4 Lectures 14:26

Let's get going! In this overview, I show you how to establish an account, and access Google Drive and Google Apps. This tutorial is a basic walkthrough of the Apps architecture starting with Google Drive. Since Google has changed much of the orientation of Google Apps in the last few years, the idea now is to create and manage all of your Apps files from your Google Drive account.

You can think of your Google Drive account like your local computer's hard drive, but in the cloud. That is, when you store files from a program like Microsoft Word, or PowerPoint, you need to put those files on your computer somewhere. In MyDocuments, or the Desktop, or wherever, those files need to be saved and stored on the hard drive. Unfortunately, those files are 'stuck' on that computer. To access them remotely is complicated. To move them to another computer, you need some kind of device like a flash drive, or some kind of transfer mechanism, like email or cloud-storage to make this happen. It gets a little hard to manage some times.

Google Drive takes the mystery out of all of this by creating a 'hard drive', or a storage drive online that is accessible from anywhere, and from any device with an internet connection. Google Drive can be used to store Google Apps files, as well as any other file type you need to store for easy retrieval.

This orientation will show you how to access your Google Drive, some ideas for staying organized, and getting the most our of your Google Drive account.

An overview and orientation to Google Drive and Google Apps

"The Cloud", or "Cloud Computing" is a big term in technology these days. "The Cloud" is used by just about everyone in their favorite social media apps, to online storage, streaming media, and file backups. In this lecture, I explain what the cloud is, and how you access it with your favorite devices and apps. The lecture also covers what Google Drive is and how it relates to "The Cloud".

What is Cloud Computing? How is it connected to Google Docs?

Many people have been critical of Google's privacy rules in the last few months. Your Google account holds a lot of important personal information, documents and resources. Here are 3 ways to make sure that no prying eyes can access your account.

Is my data safe at Google? Who owns my documents and content created in Docs?

Adding some additional security is never a bad thing! If you are concerned about the information contained in your Google Drive, GMail, or other Google Apps, you should consider adding 2-Step Verification to all your Google accounts. 2-Step Verification is a way to secure access to your account on new, public, or unauthorized devices. With 2-Step Verification, you can add another layer of protection using your mobile phone.

If someone tries to log in as you from a computer or app, they will need to enter a one-time access code. The code will be sent to your mobile phone, and expires quickly. Without the code, unauthorized access is prevented. Get protected - secure your info!

Preview 03:36

Google Drive and Security Overview
3 questions
The look and feel of Google Docs. Get in and get going!
4 Lectures 26:09

Let's take a look around the Google Docs screen, look at an overview of the tools, menus, and options. In this lecture we will address setting up a document and folders on Google Drive as well.

Let's start with some basic screen orientation.

Now let's make something. In this lesson, we will create a Document, add a title, some text, an image, and get the text to wrap. We will explore the Research Pane, and also look at Sharing Options and Making Comments. This lecture covers some of the basics of creating, modifying, sharing, commenting and collaborating on a live Google Doc.

Creating Commenting and Collaborating - a simplified overview.

Test what you have learned in the first few lectures of this course by completing this simple and thorough project. Create a document you can manipulate, share and maybe even publish to the web.

Google Drive Project #1
1 page

Quick Screen Orientation Review
3 questions

Learn to make Google Docs even more flexible and useful - especially in the classroom environment. Use EasyBib as an Add-On to Google Docs for creating bibliography pages, works cited, and use common formats like APA, MLA, or Chicago.

Advanced Add-Ons Features Example: Using EasyBib
Level Up! Advanced Features for writing
9 Lectures 43:28

Let's take a look at some specific examples of how to apply formatting to text. From fonts, sizes and styles, to colors and text highlights - I cover all the basics here. I'll show you how to use styles, add more fonts, and more.

Preview 05:32

Sometimes you remember, and sometimes you don't. What's the question? What was that font, size, color, and style I used for my title? There's an easy way to match formatting and a hard way. I'll show you the easy way. Also in this lecture, I'll show you how to build and set a custom style for your headings, title, and subtitles in your document. Use these styles over and over for branding, customization, or standardization. I'll also show you how to reset the styles menu to the Google Docs default settings.

Paint format and Custom Styles

Formatting basic line spacing is important for your writing projects. From student projects geared for specific instructions to lab reports, white papers, or other journal articles, line spacing plays a role on your success. To create a document that follows specific rules for spacing per page or per paragraph, these tips will get you where you need to be. Use the menu bar or the toolbar to quickly access line spacing. Here, I show you how to set your own custom spacing, or choose from single, 1.5, double or 1.15 (Google Docs default).

Line Spacing

For many writing projects, something as simple as page numbers can be a task onto itself. Make your life easier by using a header or footer and setting automatic page numbering there instead. If you are writing a paper and you need the same thing on each page like the document title or author name, use a header or footer and modify it to the needs of the assignment. In this lecture, I will show you how to use the header and footer - as well as how document footnotes work and are automatically inserted into the footer. Using the research pane is covered more completely in another lesson, and is mentioned here.

Preview 07:41

When you are writing, tab stops can be a critical part of formatting your document properly. Whether you are formatting a paper for a class, a report for a colleague or boss, or you are composing your next brilliant novel, you will probably need to use tabs. In this lesson, we look at how to create your own tab stops and modify or delete them to suit your needs. In Google Docs, it's always a good idea to set your tab stops BEFORE you start typing. There are some glitches in applying tab stops to existing text, so to avoid frustration, set the stops first, then type your text.

Using Default and Custom Tabs

The default page margins in a Google Doc can be too generous for most people's needs. If you would like to modify the margins to something more conservative, or in a way that limits wasting extra printed pages or pages in a pdf file export, I'll show you how to build your own margins.

In this lecture you will see how to set the defaults to something you are more happy with, and also how to modify the margins for a specific project design.

Dealing with Page Margins

"How long does this have to be?" Probably the single-most asked question from my students when it comes to writing projects. If your professors are asking you to write a certain length, and perhaps keep track of how long your projects are, here's your answer. Adding page numbers and a page counter to your Google Doc will help you stay organized and on track to finish your work and follow project guidelines. There are two default locations for page numbers, but your page counter can be placed anywhere in the document. Really handy, and even easier to do!

Pagination, Numbering and Page Counts

For this exercise, use Google Docs to create a document that contains the following elements. For this project, you could use some text copied and pasted from a website, as citing your source will also be important. Use the attached guide in course resources for the specifics of the project.

Constructing a document with these details will encourage the use of specific tools covered in this lesson.

The skills required to complete this project will challenge you to learn the ins and outs of the menus, options and settings within the application.

Google Docs Project #2
1 page

Remember the basics? I hope so - let's check in on what you know and what you remember...

Simple Formatting Review
5 questions

One thing that continually separates Google Docs from other word processors like Microsoft word is the lack of, what some might consider, critical features like column layouts. In this lecture, I will show you how to break your document into a multi-column document - all within Google Docs!

As you will see, the ability to add column layouts to a Google Doc is not technically possible as a column layout. However, as with many things in the technology world, there are workarounds to help you get this done. Here, I'll show you how to get as close as possible to a column layout as you can presently in Google Docs.

BONUS: Level Up Challenge! Multi-Column Layout in Google Docs
Adding "stuff" to your document layout - make your documents shine!
8 Lectures 50:40

Google Drive has recently added some key updates to its platform when it comes to dealing with images. Now, it's easy to add images from a variety of sources (including Google Images) and edit those images in-line with the text you are producing. Google Docs accounts for image citations, size, rotation, and text flow, right in the document window.

Users can add images, resize, and crop right from within drive. Images can be manipulated freely without a great deal of pre-processing in another image editor. The images inserted into a Google Doc can be manipulated like Google Slides. Familiar controls make the user experience consistent across Drive applications now.

Inserting and Manipulating Images - Part 1

When you have your own stock images to use, that's a great thing. When you don't, and you need to 'borrow' someone's work, you need to know where to go, how to get it, which images to use - and which images to not use. It's important to understand the copyright laws involved in using images from Google Image search and Flickr, so here I'll show you how to search, what to look for, and how to interpret image codes.

Each photographer on Flickr wants to share images, but not all of them want you to profit from their hard work or creativity. Be sure you know what images you are borrowing, what you are using them for, and what kind of permission you need. This lecture explains what to do in Flickr.

Inserting Images from Flickr and other Creative Commons Sources

Making a Google Doc more useful, often involves creating hyperlinks to external content. Whether it is a resource you are quoting in your writing, or a list of resources for clients, or even just for future reference, adding links is easy. Managing the list of links in your document is also easy.

This lecture will show you how to create links from text within your document, and how to use the Google Docs embedded search. Easily highlight text and insert a link, test your links, and learn how to change and remove them.

Links, links, and more links! How to handle the hyperlinks.

Sorting, organizing and manipulating data is great if you are in a spreadsheet, but what if you are in your own document and you just have some list items you need to add and keep organized. What about pictures and titles, or captions, references, lists, etc.?

Here, we take a look at how to build and manipulate tables and cells. From adding rows and columns to an existing table, to merging cells, to deleting cells, rows and columns.

This lecture describes how to add and remove tables, and get them to work for you and your document needs. Make it easy and simple - make it your own!

Set the table, break it down, make it work for you.

Writing projects often involve special characters like the copyright symbol, or trade mark. For writers using other languages, using Google Docs can appear frustrating. It's not really that bad when it comes down to it. There are some simple steps and simple menus you can use to add your own symbols, and to use some quick keyboard shortcuts to make your environment most productive.

In this lecture, I'll show you where to find the symbols, and how to best use them. Also attached to this lecture in the external materials is a quick-reference guide for common language character marks. Please feel free to drop me a message if you have questions about how to use special characters and language marks.

Insert special characters, symbols and language symbols

In typing a longer Google Doc, or using Google Docs for a research project or paper, you may find that some research is necessary when it comes to your production. In Google Docs, you can now build a Table of Contents for your project right from the main document window. It's easy to create references part way through your document, or from the beginning.

A table of contents will certainly add a level of professionalism to your work, but it also shows that Google Docs now wants to be a major player in the word processing software game. That is to say, that many people were critical of Google in the beginning, that their Docs product could not compete with Microsoft word. That being said, Docs is still not a 1:1 substitute for Word, but the addition of features like the ability to create a table of contents certainly brings it within range.

Preview 06:19

For this exercise, use Google Docs to create a document that contains the following elements. For this project, you will create a table of your favorite movies. You will make a table that has the movie title, year released, and an image you found online. Each element will be organized in the table, and each image will be found online using search tools. Size the images to be the same, and use text wrapping where appropriate.

As a bonus task, try to link the movie’s title to it’s description page or trailer on IMDB’s website, Wikipedia or YouTube!

Google Docs Project #3
2 pages

Docs Review Quiz #4 :: Adding stuff to your document
5 questions

There's a unique way within Docs to create a study guide visualization known as a mind map. Mind maps are handy when studying relationships between vocabulary terms, foreign language concepts, or even how ideas in a list are connected. With a handy add-on to Google Docs called MindMeister, you can convert a bulleted list, numbered list or outline into a neat visualization mind map.

BONUS: Convert a list to a mind map using MindMeister
Document Proofreading and Finalizing
4 Lectures 18:16

If you are like most people today, spelling can seriously be a stumbling block to successful writing project. Using the built-in spell checker in Google Docs is hand and easy. Some of the suggested corrections will come from your browser, and some will be made by Google Docs.

In this lesson, I show you how to run a quick spell check and make changes. I also show you how to ignore suggestions, and also how to add proper names or proper nouns to a custom dictionary right within Google Docs.

For those writers that use their own name, or other proper names frequently, using a custom dictionary can eliminate much of the hassle of constant red marks and suggested corrections.

Splchk! Speelcheek? How about some spellcheck?

Sometimes writer's block isn't really a thing - sometimes you need to scale back on what it is you are writing. Or, if you are a student, and you are building a paper for a class, you have to follow specific directions for that assignment. Making sure that you have the right number of words, paragraphs, or pages can be a chore - until you find the word count menu. Google Docs gives you an easy and straight forward table analysis of the document's contents. Take a look to be sure you meet your project's requirements!

How big and how long? Get a handle on your document's word count and file size

When it comes to student writing projects, and research projects, it is important for you as a writer to be sure to cite your sources. Google Docs makes it easy to build your own works cited pages and also your own footnotes based on the searches you conduct right in the document!

In this video, we will look at how to properly build a set of research citations, search for websites and images to use in your documents, and how to add them with footnotes.

Make sure your stuff is original, and/or cited correctly with the Research Pane

Google Docs and Google Drive are helpful in keeping yourself free from the desktop. Using Google Drive to upload, convert and store your documents online allows you to work from anywhere on almost any device. I this lecture, I'll show you how to use your Google Drive as a storage device, and also how to use Drive to convert files from your local computer into Google Docs format. In this lecture, I'll also show you how to download Google Docs files as Microsoft Word, PDF, RTF, or even html zip files to store or use offline.

The process of uploading and downloading files to and from Google Drive is very easy and straight forward, but there are times where you don't want Google to convert your files. I'll show you how to manage your digital files and how to set options for Docs.

Up down and all around! Where does it come from, where does it go?

Quiz #5 :: The 'Final Countdown' steps to publishing and sharing review
5 questions
Publishing Sharing and Collaborating Live Online
3 Lectures 21:14

Now let's make something. In this lesson, we will create a Document, add a title, some text, an image, and get the text to wrap. We will explore the Research Pane, and also look at Sharing Options and Making Comments. This lecture covers some of the basics of creating, modifying, sharing, commenting and collaborating on a live Google Doc.

Let's review and move forward! Creating, Commenting, and Collaborating Online

By now, you should have a very good understanding of the inner-workings of Google Docs. As another way to review, how many of these things can you do on your own?

Here's a challenge - get out a piece of paper, and write down how many of these 10 tricks you know - after moving through this course.

How many did you miss? How many did I miss? Let me know in the discussions!

10 Things Everyone Needs to Know in Google Docs!

Thanks for making your way through the course. If you have some honest feedback, or questions or comments, please feel free to share them with me. I'd appreciate any reviews (hopefully positive) you are able to contribute to the course.

As always, if there is something I can do better, include in the next update, or fix for accuracy, please let me know before leaving a negative review.

Hope to see you all on social media - and engaging with other learners on Udemy groups on Facebook or Twitter! Enjoy!

Thanks for watching and learning!


Wrap it UP! Thank you! Learn more, get help, spread the word.
About the Instructor
Jonathan Jarc, M.Ed
4.6 Average rating
47 Reviews
3,911 Students
4 Courses
Teacher, Technology Coach and Free-Lance Graphic Designer

Jon is a teacher and technologist at St. Ignatius High School, the Jesuit preparatory school in Cleveland, Ohio. Jon works with teachers integrating technology to their classrooms.

He supports student learning and faculty professional development across the curriculum. He works with both IT staff and school administration to offer sound technology advice on planning and integration projects throughout our camps as well as conducting ongoing professional development.

With a wide range of IT experiences, and a Masters Degree in Educational Technology, finding solutions to specific teachers' needs is his specialty.