Tech Tips: Google Docs basics

By John Gargiulo, Supervising Librarian of Creative Technology

Do you have a Gmail account?

Gmail provides you with access to Google apps like Docs, Drive, and Slides. If you have used programs like Microsoft Word before, Google Docs will feel very familiar to you.

‘A more streamlined feel’

Google Docs is a text editor program with a more streamlined feel.

Many of the common formatting options you would see in Microsoft Word are available in the ribbon menu at the top of the page. Additional options are available by clicking on the File, Edit, View, Insert, Format, and Tools dropdown menus. 

Continuous saving, easy sharing

So what is one of the main advantages of Google Docs? Because Docs is a cloud-based application, it allows you to work on documents while they are being continuously saved in real-time. As long as your internet connection is maintained, your work will be saved.

Google Docs also makes it easy to share documents with colleagues, family members, and friends. Customizing the share options allows you to choose if other viewers can comment on your document, make changes, or see it in a view-only mode without editing permissions.

More resources for learning Google Docs

Have an Oak Park library account? Watch these two LinkedIn Learning ( tutorials for more in-depth learning:

And from Google, here’s help: How to use Google Docs

Have a tech question?

About John

John is a member of the library’s digital learning team and recent graduate of the University of Illinois MS in Library and Information Science program. He enjoys working with patrons to discover how we can demystify technology and shape it to help us with our different needs. He is also a musician and loves making noise.