How to make and edit a table of contents in Google Docs to easily navigate to sections of a document

typing on Mac
Adding a table of contents to your Google Doc only takes a moment.

  • You can create a table of contents in a Google Doc with a computer, iPhone, or iPad.
  • Google Docs’ table of contents feature gives readers an organized outline of the entire document.
  • Your table of contents’ sections will be automatically generated based on the headings in your Google Doc.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Google Docs quickly became one of the web’s most accessible, easy-to-use document editing and sharing platforms.

Although Google Docs is a platform beloved for its simplicity, there are sophisticated touches users can integrate into their Google Docs. One of the most useful: a table of contents.

Here’s how you can add a table of contents to a Google Doc, allowing you to organize a lengthy research paper or any other ambitious literary endeavors.

How to create a table of contents in Google Docs

Using a computer

1. Navigate to docs.google.com and open the document that you want to add a table of contents to. Select a document with multiple sections, each set apart by header text.

2. In the top options menu, beneath the title of the document, select “Insert.”

3. Scroll to the bottom to select “Table of contents” and select if you prefer page numbers, which is best for aa document that will be printed, or blue links, ideal for an online-based piece.

Google Docs page with the Table of Contents options highlighted.
You can format the table of contents in two ways.

Your table of contents will appear on the page.

A Google Docs file with a table of contents on the side.
The table of contents will let you move between sections quickly.

Using an iPhone or iPad

1. Open Google Docs and create a new document or open an existing document with multiple sections, each set apart by header text.

2. Tap the ellipsis icon, or three dots, in the top-right corner, and make sure that “Print layout” is enabled.

Google Docs' "Print layout" option.
“Print layout” lets you see what the document will look like on sheets of paper.

3. Tap the edit button – the blue pen icon in the lower right – to open editing options at the top of your iPhone or iPad screen.

5. Tap the “Insert” button, or plus sign icon, and scroll to the bottom of the options menu to select “Table of contents.” The page numbers option suits documents you intend to print, while the blue links option is great for online-only docs.

Google Docs iPhone app with the "Insert" menu opened, and the "Table of contents" option highlighted.
Select “Table of contents,” the last option.

Your table of contents will appear at the top of the page.

A table of contents in the Google Docs iPhone app.
The table of contents’ options will depend on your document’s headings.

How to format a Google Doc to make a table of contents appear

If you try to insert a table of contents and nothing appears, that means you likely need to reformat your document using headers. Then, your table of contents will automatically populate using the text of your headers. Here’s how to do it on desktop and mobile.

Using a web browser

1. Highlight the text you want to add as a table of contents section.

2. From the styles menu, included by default in the main toolbar, the default style will be “Normal text.” Select one of the numeric “Heading” options to add the text as a table of contents section.

The Headings menu on the Google Docs website.
Selecting any heading option will add the highlighted text to the table of contents.

Using an iPad or iPhone

1. Select the text that you want to become the name of your future table of contents section.

2. Tap the blue pen icon in the bottom-right corner to begin editing, then select the underlined “A” icon from the top menu.

3. Under text options, change the “Style” to “Heading,” followed by a number between one and six, depending on how you want the sections and subsections structured.

The Google Docs iPhone app's Text menu.
While here, you can also adjust the font type, size, color, and more.

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How to share a Google Doc to collaborate and edit documents with others

coworkers working at desktop computer together in office
It’s easy to share a Google Doc with only a few clicks.

  • You can share a Google Doc via email or URL link.
  • To share a Google Doc, open the document and click the blue “Share” button in the top-right corner.
  • You can also customize editing permissions so users can view, comment, or edit.
  • This story is a part of Insider’s Guide to Google Drive.

Google Docs is one of the handiest online tools because the platform makes it easy to collaborate on projects and share them with coworkers or classmates. Once a Google Doc has been shared by its creator, multiple people can work simultaneously, allowing for real-time additions, edits, and updates.

And unlike the Microsoft Word desktop app, Google Docs lives on the internet, so you don’t have to worry about manually saving your work, or losing your work due to a computer crash.

You can share a Google Doc via email or shareable link, and adjust everyone’s editing permissions on the document – here’s how.

How to share a Google Doc

1. Go to docs.google.com and sign into your account.

2. Either create a new document by clicking the colorful plus sign +New in the top-left corner, or find an existing document from your Google Drive.

Google Drive homepage
Click “New” to create a new document or “My Drive” to select a document from your Drive.

3. Open your document and click the blue Share button in the top-right corner.

Google Doc document open
Click the “Share” button.

4. In the pop-up, under Share with people and groups, you can type in the email addresses of everyone you’d like to send your folder to. If someone is part of your organization, you can type in just their name and their email address will auto-populate.

Google Doc sharing pop-up
Type in the email addresses of your recipients.

Make sure to choose editing permissions – click the Editor drop-down and select Viewer, Commenter, or Editor. If you want each person to be individually notified, click the checkbox next to Notify people, type in a message if you want, and hit Send.

Google Doc Sharing pop-up editing permissions
Choose an editing permission in the drop-down, click “Notify people,” type a message, and hit “Send.”

If you don’t want to share the folder via email, you can also copy and paste a URL link. Click Get link in the box beneath Share with people and groups. The box will expand to show a link and editing permissions – make sure you grant access as necessary.

Google Doc sharing  pop-up get link section
In the “Get link” section, choose users’ editing permissions.

Once you’ve changed your permissions, click Copy link to copy it to your clipboard. Then paste the link in a text, email, messaging app, or other platform to share your folder.

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How to make a hanging indent in Google Docs, for works cited pages and other forms

student working on laptop with textbooks
You can make hanging indents in any Google Doc.

  • You can make a hanging indent in Google Docs using the ruler tool, which lets you change the margin size.
  • Hanging indents are great for works cited pages, block quotes, lists, and more.
  • You’ll need to be using a computer to get hanging indents in Google Docs – it’s not available in the mobile app.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Hanging indents are rare, but useful. Unlike an ordinary indent – where only the first line of a paragraph is pushed a bit to the right – a hanging indent leaves the first line all the way to the left, and instead pushes all the lines under it to the right.

You usually find them in bibliographies and MLA format “works cited” pages, and sometimes for creating lists within documents.

It’s easy to do hanging indents in Google Docs. Here’s how.

How to make a hanging indent in Google Docs

1. If it’s not already visible at the top of your Google Docs document, turn on the ruler by clicking “View” and then clicking “Show ruler.”

Google Docs Show Ruler
In order to create a hanging indent, your ruler must be visible.

2. Highlight the text that you want to indent. This can be a single paragraph, multiple paragraphs, or the entire document.

3. On the ruler, find the left indent control (which looks like a blue triangle pointed down) and the left margin control (which is a small blue rectangle). They’re usually stacked together above the left margin.

4. Click and drag the left indent (the triangle) to the right, as far as you want the text to be indented. A common indent is about a half-inch. Notice that when you do this, the margin control will go with it, and all the text will be indented.

Google Docs Moving Indent Control
Drag the indent control to the right, and the margin control will go with it. We’ll correct that momentarily.

5. Click and drag the left margin control (the rectangle) back to the margin where it started.

google docs margin
Return the margin control to the left margin, and you’ve just created a hanging indent.

You’ve now made a hanging indent.

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Google Docs and other Google Drive services are experiencing issues

Google Drive app on smartphone
  • Google Drive and Google Docs have been experiencing issues.
  • On Monday morning, thousands of users reported error messages and difficulty getting into files.
  • Google said it is in the process of investigating and working to resolve the issue.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Google said on Monday morning the company was experiencing some issues with Google Drive and Google Docs.

Problems started around 9:36 a.m. ET and have affected users in the US, UK, and China, as well as several other countries.

While it is unknown how many users have been impacted, over 5,000 Google users reported issues with Google Drive on Monday morning, according to DownDetector. The company said it is in the process of investigating issues with the products.

“Hi there. We are aware of a service disruption and are working right now to resolve it,” @googledrive tweeted. “We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience. Stay updated by following the Apps Status Dashboard: http://goo.gl/NOZTZ. Thanks!”

Affected users are able to access their Google Drive, but are seeing error messages, according to Google’s Workplace Status Dashboard. The error messages ask users to reload the page.

On Google Docs and Google Sheets, some users have not been able to access or create new documents and spreadsheets. Google Slides is also showing error messages.

It is unclear when the issues will be resolved. A Google spokesperson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Many users took to Twitter to report the problem.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Is Google Drive secure? How Google uses encryption to protect your files and documents, and the risks that remain

Google Drive app on smartphone
Overall, Google Drive is fairly secure, but unlike some end-to-end encrypted apps, it has vulnerabilities.

  • Google Drive is generally very secure, as Google encrypts your files while they’re being transferred and stored.
  • However, Google can undo the encryption with encryption keys, meaning that your files can theoretically be accessed by hackers or government offices.
  • You can make Google Drive more secure by using two-factor authentication and being careful when giving other apps permission to use your Drive.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Google Drive is quickly becoming the most popular storage service around. And with more than a billion users and over 2 trillion files saved, it needs to be secure.

But Google users have been victim to hacks before – in 2014, approximately 5 million Gmail usernames and passwords were stolen and leaked online.

So if you use Google Drive, you might be wondering how secure your files really are.

How Google Drive secures your files and data

Regardless of previous hacks, the risk of using Google Drive is low. Google uses the strong 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption on all its Google Drive servers (with the exception of a small number of storage devices that date prior to 2015 – those use AES128 encryption instead).

Likewise, when the data is in transit between users and Google Drive servers, Google uses the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol to protect the data and prevent interception. 

In short: your data is largely secure.

Is_Google_Drive_secure 1
Google Drive uses enhanced encryption tools for both file transport and storage.

How Google Drive may be vulnerable

Some security experts don’t love that Google keeps encryption keys for all the files on Google Drive. Encryption keys are tools that let Google (or whoever has the keys) decrypt files, bypassing all their security.

“Because they are in control of these encryption keys, it can lead to vulnerabilities for its users,” said Kristen Bolig, founder at SecurityNerd. “They have the power to decrypt files which can make them easier for hackers.” 

This is in contrast to apps like Signal, where not even the company that runs the app can access your data.

Moreover, Google is subject to governments and law enforcement. “If your files are subpoenaed, depending on what Google decides, it might not take a security breach to forfeit your privacy,” said Monica Eaton-Cardone, chief operating officer of Chargebacks911.

And as is often the case with cloud services, the most significant risks aren’t related to the encrypted infrastructure, but with the user, and Google Drive has a number of user-related vulnerabilities. 

Google Drive lacks cohesive organizational permissions, for example. Nick Santora, CEO of Curricula, said, “The way Dropbox uses folders allows us to segment data by department and only give employees in that department access to those folders. Google makes this extremely difficult to do. Everything you do is a one-off. The permissions system is ad hoc, which leads to mistakes.”

Is_Google_Drive_secure 2
Google has no coherent system for file permissions, so every file permission is applied in a one-off, highly error-prone process.

How to protect yourself as a Google Drive user

The biggest risk to your Google Drive data is often you – along with the computers or devices you’ve connected to Google Drive. Remember that in general, any files on Google Drive get synchronized to your computer, so those files are vulnerable. “You can use encryption to further hide and protect your files,” Bolig suggested. 

In addition, you can take advantage of two-factor authentication to prevent hackers from accessing your files from another device, even if they take your username and password. And of course, always make sure you have a strong password.

Security.org editor Gabe Turner said it’s important to “remove any apps or browser extensions that have access to Google Drive unnecessarily.” Every app with permission to access Google Drive is another vector for hackers and a security vulnerability. 

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How to add footnotes in Google Docs in 4 easy steps, to cite your research and provide links

women working computer
It can be helpful to add footnotes in Google Docs to cite your research in a lengthy paper.

  • You can add footnotes to a Google Doc on the web or in the Google Docs mobile app.
  • It’s easy to add footnotes in Google Docs on the web by using the toolbar to select “Insert,” and then “Footnote” in your desired location. 
  • The built-in feature automatically adds a supercript number where you want the note, then takes you to the bottom of the page to add your text.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.
  •  

Write enough academic papers and you learn to love footnotes. 

They can provide useful context and allow you to show your work, giving the reader access to, and an idea of, all the hours you spent researching and synthesizing complex information.

But you don’t have to be an academic to use footnotes. In general, the most useful footnotes provide not just a notation about where the information in the text came from, but also gives a link for quick access. 

If you use Google Docs, footnotes are a built-in feature you can take advantage of right away. Here’s how to add them to any document, whether you’re on the web or using the Google Docs mobile app. 

How to add footnotes in Google Docs

1. Click your cursor at the point in the document where you want to add a footnote (this way, a notation will automatically be added to the correct spot). 

2. In the toolbar at the top of the document, select “Insert” and then “Footnote.” Alternatively, you can use the shortcut Control-Alt-F on PC, or Command-Option-F on Mac.

2 HOW TO ADD FOOTNOTES GOOGLE DOCS
Footnotes typically go at the end of a sentence, after the punctuation.

3. The document will automatically add a superscript number to where you placed the cursor, and a footnote notation at the bottom of the page, along with a line of delineation. 

3 HOW TO ADD FOOTNOTES GOOGLE DOCS
Google Docs will add a numbered footnote at the bottom of the page.

4. Type out your footnote in the space provided. Format the footnote in the citation style of your choice.

How to add footnotes in Google Docs using the mobile app 

If you’re using the Google Docs mobile app for Android or iOS, adding footnotes is just as easy as it is on the web. 

footnote mobile
The plus symbol takes you to the Insert menu.

1. Open the document and tap the cursor where you want the footnote.
2.
Tap the plus symbol at the top of your screen to open the Insert menu. 
3. Scroll down and click “Footnote.”
4. The app will bring you to the bottom of the page, where you can type your footnote text.  

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