Hacking Google Documents

The other day I was getting ready to write a blog post and got it started in Google Docs. While I was writing in Google Docs I stumbled upon several tools that they provide that have helped me to complete more quality blog posts in less time. So I figured I’d share what I’ve found.

1. Quickly Insert Drawings

Drawings can make complex ideas seem simple. Before if I needed to create a flow chart or diagram I would have to use another tool like Power Point. Now I go to Insert -> Drawing to make the diagram and then simply insert it into the post. It’s a big time saver and if I need to make any edits I don’t have to worry about finding the original file.

Insert Google Drawings

2. Save Time Finding Stats, Images, and Quotes

This is my favorite tool that I found, which is the ability to add a research column in the Google Doc browser by selecting Tools -> Research.

Google Document Research Column

When I am writing a blog post I usually have to open lots of tabs to look for images, statistics, and quotes. This can be distracting and time consuming, but with this new research column you can accomplish all of these without leaving your blog post. Type in the keyword of what you are looking for and filter it by quotes, photos, and statistics.  Additional bonus: when you insert anything from the research column it automatically adds the source and a footnote to the article.

Benjamin Beck Inserting A Quote Into A Google Document

3. Get Feedback With Comments

Whenever I get done with a post I like to have a friend read through it to catch the sure to be many errors I make. All you need to do is Share -> Allow to Comment with someone you trust to proof read your content for you.

Benjamin Beck Making Comments In Google Document Blog Post
When your proof reader is going through your content and sees something that they would like to give feedback on, they can do this with Insert -> Comment.  This allows them to give you the feedback that you are looking for.

Once they leave this feedback you can go back to review and resolve their comments before publishing. I especially like the feature that you can check the comments history the document has had, even the resolved ones.

Benjamin Beck  Comment Feed In Google Document Blog Post

4.  Dictionary / Thesaurus

To save you a few trips to dictionary or  thesaurus sites use Tools -> Define to get the exact definition or synonym for any word you are looking for.

Benjamin Beck uses dictionary in google document

5. Fast Word Counter

If you are a freelance writer or like to do  guest posts, most blogs have a minimum word count requirement for submissions. Using Tools -> Word Count is a good way to check your progress.


Benjamin Beck showing how to use word count in google docs

I hope these blogging tips help you to  leverage Google Docs to be more productive and get more done.


If you have any Google Doc hacks or tips please share in the comments!



Image Source: ChadSenga.com



4 thoughts on “5 Gdoc Hacks To Blog Like A Pro”

  1. All good Ideas, I hadn’t thought of using share for proofreading particularly but I might just add that into the workflow now.  I haven’t gotten to grips with the drawing tools yet though. they are awkward. Adding images and then getting the formatting right can also be awkward in google docs.  I find it’s great for simple documents or drafting but doesn’t have the polish I like in iWork.

    1. Hey Phil, 

      As a fellow mac man i’m with you about the formatting problems.I’ve run into the opposite problem of items not formatting sometimes when a Word user opens an iWork document and the format is off. 

      If you have some iWork hacks, I’d love to hear them!

  2. I’ve found the “See Revision History” hack really helpful. You can see all changes to the doc and go back to a previous version if you like that one better. It pretty much parallels Tracked Changes in Word.

    You can see this function at File>See Revision History

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