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Google Docs

Friday, February 9th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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Q:
Can you give me a little information about Google Docs? I saw something about it online the other day, but I wasn’t too sure what it was. Please explain!

A:
Excellent question! You know, I didn’t really know too much about this either until you asked. But once I got to searching for it, I immediately became a fan. I’m sure most of you will too. That is, those of you who aren’t already taking advantage of it. Okay, so Google Docs. What is it? Well, allow me to tell you!

The full name is Google Docs and Spreadsheets and it’s just another great service to come from the Google company. They truly do think of everything, don’t they?! With this service, you can create basic documents and spreadsheets right on your own computer. You can either create your own from scratch or you can import any that you already have saved on your PC. You don’t need a fancy work suite to do this either. All you need is a Google account (which we talked about above) and you can get started right away. Yes, you heard right. It’s all 100 percent free!

With Google Docs, you can do all of the basic document work that you would do in, say, an MS Office program. For example, create bullet points, sort your information by columns, add tables, insert images, add comments, work with formulas, change your fonts and so much more. How does all that sound to you? It sounds pretty darn good to me!

Also, like I said before, you can do all of this from scratch or if you’d like, you can upload your already existing documents and continue to work with them in Google Docs. You can do this with any file format as well, including doc, xls, odt, ods, rtf, csv and so on. Google isn’t too picky when it comes to that! Plus, you don’t have to worry about something not going through in the upload process. Google assures that all of your formatting, formulas, etc. will come through intact.

Google Docs and Spreadsheets works with a simple tab system of File, Edit, Insert and Revisions. Everything you need to do to your documents can be found under those four tabs. Once you have your document ready to go, you can either keep them to yourself, share them with your peers or even edit them along with the help of others. To do this, you just have to invite the people you want by entering in their e-mail address. They will then be able to access your document once they sign in. Multiple people can see the document all at one time and there’s even a chat service you all can use as well. How cool is that?!

Now, don’t think you’re stuck working on your documents just from your home computer. You can take them anywhere with you and edit them on any PC. All you need is an Internet connection and a standard Web browser and you’re good to go. (This is all free too, by the way!) It all can be done with just a simple sign in to your Google account. Everything you work on is stored there.

One more cool thing you can do with Google Docs and Spreadsheets is publish your work as a Web page. You can do it online with just a few clicks and your work will turn into a normal looking Web page. With this, if you only want a certain few to see the page, you can control who has access to it. It’s very easy to take it off the Web if you ever want to do that as well. And if you have a blog of your own, you can easily publish your work on there as well. Everything is covered with just one simple program.

So, if you’re as impressed as I was, you should definitely try this thing out. To start right away, just go here and sign in. Like I said, it’s all free, so even if you’re not sure you want to use it, you can at least go and check it out. If you don’t like it, there’s no obligation to you. You can also take a tour of Google Docs from that link, if you’d like to learn more about it before starting to use it.

As you can see, Google really did take care of everything with this service. Don’t you think it’s worth at least a look? Give it a shot. You just might fall in love with it!

~ Erin

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