Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.

5 Google Docs Features Hidden in Plain Sight

5 Google Docs Features Hidden in Plain Sight

By Mike Daugherty

reading too much? Whooos ReadingGoogle Docs has rapidly become an everyday tool in many schools across the country. Educators love that their docs are always saving, so there’s never any fear of losing work and students enjoy the accessibility, allowing them to access Google Docs on almost any device with an Internet connection.

The Google Docs platform contains a variety of beneficial features on the surface; however, many of the most important ones get overlooked or even forgotten about all together. Let’s take a look at five features that are hidden in plain sight.

More: 20 Best Google Education Resources for Every Teacher

1. More Fonts

Google Docs comes loaded with about 10 default fonts. What you may not know is that there are thousands of fonts available at your fingertips. With any Google Doc open, click the name of the font you are using along the toolbar. A drop down menu will appear allowing you to choose a new font.

At the bottom of that menu, click the “More Fonts” option. You’ll be presented with screen of new fonts. You can search for a favorite or scroll through the list to find a new one. When you find one you like, simply check the box next to it and it will appear in your list of available fonts.

2. Voice Typing

Imagine a future where you can create a document just by talking to your computer. Well, the future is here! On any Google Doc, click the Tools menu and select the option for “Voice Typing.” Google will listen to you speak and then type those words into your document.

Voice typing is surprisingly accurate and easy to use. You’ll need a microphone for this to work, but most laptops that were created in the last five years have one built right in. If you’re on a desktop computer, you can pick a mic up on Amazon for less than $10.

3. Personal Dictionary

Regardless of your profession, there are certain words that always get flagged by the spell check system even if they’re not mistakes. Often times these are industry specific terms, acronyms, or something similar that spell check believes to be incorrect. Google has a built in personal dictionary that allows you to flag those words as spelled correctly.

Adding words to the personal dictionary will save you a significant amount of time in the long run. To add a word, type it on the document, right click on it, and choose “Add to Personal Dictionary.” You can also manage this personal dictionary from the Tools menu.

More: 10 Google Tools to Make Your Life Easier

4. Equation Editor

This one is especially helpful for math teachers. There are times when you need to enter an equation with all the correct symbols, letters, etc., and the equation editor is here to save the day.

Click on the “View” menu, and choose “Show equation toolbar.” A new toolbar will appear along that top that allows you to enter Greek letters, operators, relations, and more.

5. Add-ons

Not finding a feature that you could really use? Check out Google Add-ons. Similar to Chrome extensions, Add-ons are tools that can be installed to add additional features to Google Docs. For example, there are add-ons that will help with creating a bibliography, entering musical notation, adding charts, and much, much more. Almost all of the add-ons are free and can be installed with a simple click.

Do you have favorite, little known feature? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. Pingback: OTR Links 11/30/2015 | doug --- off the record

  2. Pingback: 意外に知らないGoogle Docsの機能5つ | Techforlearning's Blog

  3. Pingback: 5 Google Docs Features Hidden in Plain Sight | Instructional Know-How

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