Google Docs is a word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation application similar to Microsoft Office. Google Apps doesn't have all of the advanced features of Microsoft Office, but it has some distinct advantages.
Unlike Microsoft Office, Google Docs is web-based, which makes it accessible from any computer with an Internet connection. Google Apps also simplifies online collaboration by enabling groups of students or coworkers to share and work from the same copy of a document, spreadsheet, or presentation.
View Sample Docs:
Google Docs is not officially supported by the ITS Help Desk. This section covers the features available in Google Docs so that you can imagine the possibilities and start exploring. More information on Google Sites is available in the Google Help Center.
You can create a new doc from scratch or upload an existing doc.
Create a Doc
Upload a Doc
Since Google Docs are saved on the web, they're easy to share with others. By sending a web link, you can invite your peers and co-workers can access your doc. If a change is made to the doc, everyone will automatically have the most current version - no worries that different people may be working with different versions. You can even give others permission to edit the doc, so there's no need to go back and forth, comparing and consolidating individual files. See sharing limits.
Sharing a Doc
From your doc, click the Share drop-down menu in the top right corner of the page. (Alternatively, you can start from the main docs list, checkmark the doc, then click Share.) Then follow these instructions:
In the Share dialog, you can also check who has access to your doc, remove collaborators and viewers, and change editing rights.
IMPORTANT: Faculty/Staff Sharing to Students (and Vice Versa)
At UWF, we use two different copies of Google Apps: one for faculty/staff and one for students. As a result, you must use the steps above to share a doc with students. You should not send students the URL that appears in the address bar at the top of your doc - if you do, the student will receive the login page for Faculty/Staff Google Apps, since that's where the doc was created, and he/she will be unable to log in.
Publishing allows you to make your document available to everyone in the world. When you publish, you get a URL (web address) that you can share with anyone you choose - and they can, in turn, share it with others. This can be an alternative to sharing if others only need to view the doc, not make edits. Keep in mind that if you send the URL of the published version of your document, spreadsheet, or presentation to collaborators, they won't be able to make any edits.
To publish your documents, click the Share drop-down menu on the top right and choose Publish as web page. Then, click Publish document (Publish now in Spreadsheets).
If multiple people are editing the same document at the same time, the names of collaborators appear at the top of the screen. You can chat with collaborators as you view or edit the document.
Google Docs' Revision History automatically saves older revisions of your doc. To revert to an older version of your document, follow these steps:
Your document is reset to the version you selected. Now, when your collaborators view this file, they'll see the version you selected.
Tip: To go back to working with the latest version of your document, open the revision history and click Newer until you find the latest version.
The Google Docs template gallery contains preformatted documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and forms to help you get started creating your doc. All of the sample documents listed at the top of this page were created from templates!
How to find a template:
To search for templates from your Docs list, simply enter your search term in the search box and click the Search Templates button.
With Google Docs, you can quickly create a form or survey, email it to your friends or co-workers, and keep track of the answers in one spreadsheet.
Create a New Form
There are two ways to create a form in Google Docs: from your Docs list or from a spreadsheet.
Now, you can add questions. Start by editing the sample questions in the middle of the page, then add more questions with the Add item button at the top. Also in the toolbar at the top of the form you can select a Theme, Email the form, See responses (summary or spreadsheet), Embed the form in a webpage, and Edit the confirmation message that users receive after submitting the form.
Below the toolbar, you have the option to Require [uwf.edu or students.uwf.edu] sign-in to view this form. Be careful when you use this option because the only people who will be able to complete the form are those with the specified email address type. If you are faculty/staff, then only faculty/staff will be able to complete the form. If you are a student, then only students will be able to complete the form.
Use the link at the bottom of the form to see the live form.
Opening the Form from a Spreadsheet
If you are starting from a spreadsheet, you can access the form tools from the Form menu.
You can add gadgets to Google Spreadsheets to display data in a variety of ways. The table below shows examples of gadgets in use. For a full list of gadgets, see http://docs.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=99488.
Adding a gadget: