How to download files from Google Docs for offline use or sharing

Commuter on bus looking at phone
You can download Google Doc files on any computer or mobile device.

  • You can download a Google Docs file on your computer by opening the document in a web browser and using the File menu.
  • Both Android and iPhone owners can download Google Docs as a Microsoft Word file or PDF, or make a document available offline.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Want to make a Google Docs document available offline? Downloading a document from Google Docs makes this possible. Once it downloads, you can edit or share the document as you would any other file.

How to download a Google Doc on your computer

The steps below will help you download a Google Doc on a computer running a Windows, MacOS, or ChromeOS operating system.

1. Open a web browser and navigate to Google Docs.

2. Open the document that you want to download.

3. Select File from the toolbar.

google docs download File option
Click File and hover over Download in the dropdown menu.

4. Navigate to Download. A sub-menu with a list of available document file types will appear. Select the file type you prefer to download.

Download google docs menu
Click a file format for your download.

How to download a Google Doc using Google Drive

You can also download a Google Doc through the Google Drive interface. Google Drive, unlike Google Docs, will let you select and download multiple files at once. The document will download in the Microsoft Word file format (.docx).

1. Open a web browser and navigate to Google Drive.

2. Select and right-click the document you want to download. You can also hold the shift button on your keyboard to select multiple files at once, then right-click.

google drive list of docs
Select one or multiple Doc files and right-click.

3. Select Download.

download menu google docs
Click Download to download a Doc as a Microsoft Word file.

How to download a Google Doc on your iPhone

You can download a Google Doc on an iPhone with the Google Docs app.

1. Open the Google Docs app.

2. Find the document you want to download in the list of available documents.

3. Select the three-dot ellipsis () next to the document that you want to download.

google docs mobile app
Tap the ellipses next to a doc.

4. Tap Send a copy.

google docs app menu
Select Send a copy.

5. You’ll see a prompt to choose between a PDF or Word document. Select your preference and tap OK.

send a copy options google docs app
Tap a format and tap OK.

6. A new menu will appear. Select Save to Files.

Send a copy menu google docs app
Tap Save to Files.

7. Navigate to the location where you want to save the file and tap Save.

save to files menu google docs app
Select a destination for the file and tap Save.

How to download a Google Doc on Android

Follow these steps to download a file from the Google Doc app on an Android device.

1. Open the Google Docs app.

2. Find the document you wish to download from your available documents.

3. Select the vertical three dots next to the document you wish to download.

google docs android app
Tap the vertical dots next to a doc.

4. Tap Download to save as a PDF, or select Save as Word (.docx) to save as a Word document.

google docs android save menu
Tap Download or Save as Word (.docx).

Google Docs will save the document to the Downloads folder on your Android device.

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How to use the strikethrough feature in Google Docs to indicate text that should be removed

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You can add a strikethrough in Google Docs text on a computer or mobile device.

  • The strikethrough feature in Google Docs puts a line through selected text to indicate words not meant for publication or a change of thought.
  • The strikethrough function is accessible through the Format tab of Google Docs in its desktop version.
  • You can add a strikethrough to text in the Google Docs mobile app through the Font toolbar option.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Google Docs offers features that are essential for creating memos, tailoring resumes, and editing essays. A useful tool to help edit your documents is the strikethrough function, which places a line through selected text. This allows the person who’s editing the document to show what information should be deleted before it’s published, or it can be used stylistically to show a change of thought while writing.

How to add a strikethrough on the Google Docs website

1. Open Google Docs in a browser and create a new document or select an existing one.

2. Highlight the text you want to strike through.

3. Click Format, on the menu bar at the top of the page.

google docs desktop strikethrough - format menu
Click the Format option in the toolbar.

4. Hover over Text to reveal another dropdown menu.

5. Select Strikethrough to add a line through the highlighted text.

google docs strikethrough feature in menu
Hover over Text and click Strikethrough from the resulting dropdown.

How to add a strikethrough on the Google Docs mobile app

1. Open the Google Docs app on your phone or tablet and select a document.

2. Tap the Pen icon at the bottom of the screen to start editing.

3. Double-tap to highlight a word or drag the cursor to select multiple words.

4. Tap the Font icon (an A with lines next to it) in the menu at the top of the screen.

google docs mobile app text highlighted
Tap the Font icon after highlighting the relevant text.

5. In the Text tab, tap the S icon to perform a strikethrough.

text tab in font menu - google docs mobile app
Tap the struck-through S icon in the Text tab.

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How to write an MLA format paper in Google Docs using a template or other built-in features

young student using laptop and textbooks at desk
Google Docs is a great tool for writing MLA formatted papers.

  • Google Docs has all the features you need to write a paper in MLA format.
  • The basics of MLA format include double-spaced lines, one-inch margins, headers on all pages, and more.
  • Google Docs also offers an automatic MLA format template, if you don’t want to set it up manually.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Anyone who has had to write an English paper has heard of MLA format. MLA – short for Modern Library Association – is a standardized method for writing academic papers. It lays down specific rules for what the page should look like, which font you use, how you cite your sources, and more.

If you’re writing a paper in MLA format, consider using Google Docs. It lets you customize your documents in dozens of ways, making it a great choice for MLA writing.

Here’s how to set up MLA format in Google Docs, either manually or with a template.

How to set up MLA format in Google Docs

MLA format has a variety of different rules and guidelines. Here are the most important ones, along with tips on how to follow those rules in Google Docs.

  • The font needs to be size 12, and written in a “readable” font.

Contrary to popular belief, MLA doesn’t require you to use Times New Roman, just a “readable” or “legible” font. That said, Times New Roman is a great choice for this, and comes installed in Google Docs by default.

You can find it in the font menu at the top of the screen, and you can change the font size with the menu next to it.

The font menu in Google Docs.
There are nearly two dozen pre-installed fonts.

  • Every page needs to have one-inch margins on all sides.

You probably don’t need to worry about this one – new Google Docs documents have one-inch margins by default.

But if you want to double-check, or if you’ve been told to not use one-inch margins, you can change the margins using the Page Setup menu or ruler feature.

  • All body text needs to be double-spaced.

There’s a Line & paragraph spacing menu in the toolbar above your document. Select Double in this menu to turn on double-spacing. If you’ve already written some text without double-spacing, highlight it before you turn on double-spacing.

  • Every page needs a header in the top-right corner with your last name and the current page number.

Google Docs lets you place both headers and footers on any page. You can add automatic page numbers through the Insert menu, and then double-click the headers to type your last name next to them.

Remember that they need to be in the same font and font size as the rest of your paper.

(And if you ever need to remove the header, you can do that quickly too.)

Showing how to place a header in Google Docs.
Your page numbers need to be in Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.).

  • The paper’s title should be centered one line above your first paragraph.

Google Docs has four alignment options, which you can find in the toolbar above your document. Click the second option – Center align – to move your cursor to the center of the screen.

  • Your full name, your instructor’s name, the name of the class, and the current date should be written in the top-left corner of the first page, each on a separate line.

Left align is the default alignment setting, so you shouldn’t have to do anything special to write in the top-left. But if you’ve changed the alignment, you can change it back using the alignment options in the toolbar.

An MLA formatted header and title.
Your header and title need different alignments.

  • Body paragraphs all begin with a half-inch indent.

Google Docs has a feature that lets you automatically indent paragraphs – but it’s probably easier to just hit the Tab key on your keyboard at the start of every paragraph.

  • Your paper should end with a Works Cited page, and each entry should be written with a hanging indent.

Once you’ve finished writing your paper and want to move onto the Works Cited, make sure to create a new page. The Works Cited needs to be on its own page (or pages, depending on the length).

The words Works Cited should be centered on the very first line of the page. You can center the words using the alignment options mentioned above.

Finally, list your citations in alphabetical order, and use the ruler to give each one a hanging indent – in other words, every line after the first needs to be indented.

An MLA works cited page in Google Docs.
Your citations should have hanging indents.

How to use Google Docs’ MLA format template

While you can format your paper manually, Google does offer an MLA template. This will let you meet most of the formatting requirements automatically, although you’ll likely need to change some of it.

To use this template:

1. Head to the Google Docs homepage and click Template gallery in the top-right.

2. Scroll down the templates page until you reach the Education section. In this section, click MLA [Add-on].

The MLA Add-on template in Google Docs.
Although it’s marked “Add-on,” you don’t need to do anything to enable it.

3. A page will open with a two-page paper already written in fake Lorem Ipsum language. Most of the formatting is there, so you just need to replace the pre-written words with your own.

You can find this template in the mobile app by tapping the plus sign icon in the bottom-right, and then selecting Choose template.

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How to use Google Docs’ dark mode on any device to make late-night writing more comfortable on your eyes

professional using laptop at night working with documents
You can use a dark mode in Google Docs on a computer or mobile device.

  • Google Docs’ dark mode can make the writing tool more attractive and comfortable to use in a dark room.
  • You can enable dark mode in the Google Docs app on any iPhone, iPad, or Android device.
  • Dark mode is not available in a browser, but a third-party Chrome browser extension can add it.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Dark mode is a popular interface option that presents bright text on a dark background. While it doesn’t necessarily ease the strain on your eyes, it can prove more comfortable and attractive than dark text on a bright background, especially when using a device in a dark room. Here’s how to enable dark mode in Google Docs.

How to turn on dark mode in Google Docs on iPhone or iPad

Follow these steps to turn on Dark Mode in Google Docs on an iPhone or iPad.

1. Open the Google Docs app.

2. Tap the Options menu, which is represented by three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner of the app.

google docs iphone app - options menu
Tap the three horizontal lines to open a menu.

3. Select Settings.

options menu in google docs app
Choose Settings.

4. Tap Theme.

5. Choose Dark.

google docs app -theme menu
Select Dark.

Google Docs will switch to dark mode immediately.

How to turn on dark mode in Google Docs on Android

These steps will turn on Dark Mode in Google Docs on an Android phone or tablet.

1. Open the Google Docs app.

2. Tap the Options menu. It’s represented by three horizontal lines in the upper left hand corner of the app.

android google docs app - options menu
Tap the three horizontal lines to open a menu.

3. Select Settings.

android google docs app - settings
Tap the Settings option.

4. Tap Choose Theme and select Dark.

choose theme menu in android google docs app
Tap Dark in the pop-up window.

Google Docs will switch to dark mode immediately.

How to turn on dark mode in Google Docs on a computer

Google Docs does not offer a built-in dark mode on a computer. However, you can enable dark mode with a third-party extension. The instructions below apply to Google Docs in the Chrome web browser.

1. Open the Chrome web browser.

2. Visit the Google Docs Dark Mode extension’s page.

3. Select Add to Chrome.

google docs dark mode extension
Click Add to Chrome.

4. Click Add Extension in the pop-up that appears.

The extension will download and install. You must reload any open Google Docs windows for the extension to take effect.

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How to use the Google Docs résumé template to create and edit a professional document for job applications

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You can create a resume without much hassle using a Google Docs resume template.

  • Google Docs offers five résumé templates, making it simple to personalize a résumé while using a standard, professional layout.
  • To get started, open Google Docs and click Template gallery, then click the template you want to use as the basis for your résumé.
  • You can choose a template and create a résumé using the Google Docs mobile app as well.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

There are a lot of resources at your disposal when you need to create a résumé. You can use the templates that accompany Microsoft Word, for example, or try one of the many free or paid résumé builders online.

If you frequently use Google Docs, though, the simplest solution might simply be to make your résumé there. Google includes five résumé templates in Google Docs – here’s how to use them.

There are five résumé templates in Google Docs offering a broad variety of résumé styles. Here is how to choose a résumé template and make a résumé in Google Docs.

How to use the Google Docs résumé template on a computer

1. Open Google Docs in a web browser and make sure you are logged into your Google account.

2. On the Google Docs home page, click Template gallery in the top-right corner, to the right of Start a new document.

3. Browse for the row marked Resumes. Here you’ll find five résumé formats. You can see what each one likes in thumbnail form. To get a closer look at the résumé (or just start working), click the résumé.

Google Docs homepage in Chrome.
There are five résumé templates in Google’s template gallery.

When you select a résumé template, Google Docs makes a copy of the template and opens it as a new document titled Resume. You can now personalize it by editing the document as you would edit any document. Be careful to keep the template’s formatting intact, though.The easiest way to do that is to work on one small block of text at a time – you can select a small block of text and replace it with your own personalized copy. If you accidentally select too much text and wipe out some of the template’s unique formatting, just click the Undo button in the toolbar.

Google Docs resume template in Chrome.
Once in Google Docs, you can edit the résumé like any other document.

How to use the Google Docs résumé template on a mobile device

It’s a lot more convenient to create a résumé on a computer – the screen is bigger and it’s easier to enter a lot of text. But if you want or need to work on a mobile device, Google makes that easy to do.

1. Start the Google Docs app on your phone or tablet.

2. Tap the New Document button (it looks like a plus sign).

3. In the pop-up, tap Choose template.

google docs app template
Tap the Plus sign to create a new document, and you’ll find the résumé options after selecting Choose template.

4. Browse for the row marked Resumes. Here you’ll find the same five résumé formats that are available in a browser on the computer. When you find the one you want, tap it.

Google Docs makes a copy of the résumé template and opens it as a new document titled Resume. You can now start editing and personalizing it.

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How to convert a PDF file to a Google Doc with or without its original formatting

woman using computer at home
It’s possible to convert a PDF to a Google Doc, though the results may vary.

  • You can convert a PDF to a Google Doc if your PDF meets certain guidelines, like page orientation.
  • If you want to convert it with the formatting, you’ll need to have access to Microsoft Word.
  • Just be aware that the free version of Word doesn’t work with that conversion method.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

PDFs can be useful, but if you don’t own the file and need to make changes to it, that presents a problem. So converting it to a Google Doc can be a useful option. Just be aware that converting it can cause formatting issues – though converting it to a Word document first can help minimize those.

With that in mind, here’s what you need to know.

How to convert a PDF to a Google Doc without formatting

1. Go to drive.google.com and log into your account, if needed.

2. Drag your PDF onto the Drive page to upload it. Or click the New button in the top-left corner of your Drive and choose File Upload and then select your PDF to upload.

Screenshot of the Add New menu in Google Drive
Select “File Upload” to begin the upload process.

3. Once uploaded, right-click the file and select Open with followed by Google Docs.

Screenshot of the "Open with" option for a file in Google Drive
Choose “Open with” and then Google Docs to open your PDF as a Google Doc.

It may take a few minutes for the PDF to convert to a Google Doc. Once it does, it will appear in your main Drive file area.

How to convert a PDF to a Google Doc with formatting

Microsoft Word is more accurate than Google Docs at preserving your PDF’s formatting. The catch here, of course, is that you’d have to have access to Word for this to be an option. And although there is a free version available online, this method doesn’t work with it.

1. Open the Microsoft Word desktop application.

2. Select Open and then choose the PDF you want to convert.

3. A pop-up message will then appear. Hit Ok to let it convert the PDF to a document. Once converted, the document will open in Word.

4. Choose File, Save as, and then select Word document. You may have to hit Enable editing to get this done.

5. Open your Google Drive.

6. Right-click in the folder you want to save your document to, then choose Upload files.

Screenshot of the Upload option in Google Drive
Upload your Word document to Google Drive.

7. Choose your Word document and hit Open.

8. Once the file has been added to your Google Drive, right-click it and choose Open with followed by Google Docs.

9. Click File and then Save As Google Docs.

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How to use voice typing in Google Docs to dictate your text

man speaking into laptop computer with headphones on at desk
The Google Docs voice typing feature turns your spoken words into written text.

  • To use voice typing in Google Docs, turn on voice typing, click the microphone icon, then start speaking.
  • This accessibility feature is only available on Google Docs and Slides and must be used with a Chrome browser.
  • A working microphone is also necessary to use voice typing.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Voice typing is a helpful accessibility tool that’s available on Google Docs and in Google Slides speaker notes. It’s a feature that’s only available in Chrome browsers, and some aspects (like voice commands for editing, formatting, and punctuation) are only available in certain languages.

Here’s how to use voice typing in Google Docs.

How to use voice typing in Google Docs

1. Open a Google Doc in Google Chrome.

2. On the toolbar, click Tools, then Voice typing.

Google Docs screenshot with the voice typing tool highlighted
You can also use the keyboard shortcut “command + shift + S” to open voice typing.

3. When you’re ready to start voice typing, click the microphone icon in the left margin.

Google Docs screenshot with the microphone icon for the voice typing tool highlighted
Click the microphone icon to turn the voice typing tool on and off.

4. Speak clearly, using a typical volume and pace (not too loud or soft, and not too fast or slow).

5. When you’re finished, click the microphone icon again.

How to use voice commands

There are a variety of voice commands that you can use to edit and format your document when voice typing. Here are a few basic ones to know.

  • To select text: Say phrases like “select [word or phrase],” “select all,” or “select line.”
  • To format text: Say phrases like “bold,” “italicize,” or “underline.” There are also commands for font size (“decrease font size,” “increase font size”), alignment (“align center,” “align justified,” “align left,” “align right”), and more.
  • To edit your document: Say phrases like “copy,” “cut,” “paste,” “insert header,” or “insert page break.”

How to edit voice typing in Google Docs

If you need to correct a mistake while voice typing, move your cursor to where the mistake is located and add in any text you may have forgotten by speaking. You can also highlight any mistakes and speak to type over them.

If there are any words or phrases underlined in gray that are incorrect, right-click to see a list of suggestions from Google Docs.

Google Docs screenshot with gray underlined text highlighted
Google Docs will highlight any words or phrases it’s unsure of.

Say “delete” to delete the word right before the cursor.

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How to download and use Grammarly in Google Docs to improve your writing

person working on tablet typing on keyboard
You can install the Grammarly Chrome extension to get writing suggestions in Google Docs.

  • You can use Grammarly in Google Docs by installing a browser extension.
  • Grammarly makes spelling, grammar, and punctuation suggestions for free, though there’s a premium subscription that adds additional features.
  • If you set goals within your document for audience, formality, and tone, Grammarly makes custom recommendations to help you achieve your desired writing style.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Every one of us needs some help with our writing, which is why many people turn to spelling and grammar checkers. Microsoft has spent years honing the tools built into Microsoft Office, but what if you use Google Docs? A popular option is Grammarly, a free spelling and grammar checker that integrates into your browser and can correct your work everywhere you type online, including Google Docs.

Even though Grammarly for Google Docs is still in beta mode, it’s easy to install and start using. It works in all common browsers, including Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge – but the fullest experience with advanced suggestions are only available in Chrome.

How to install Grammarly for Google Chrome

1. Start Google Chrome and, if you haven’t already installed the Grammarly for Chrome extension, go to the Grammarly for Chrome page and click Add to Chrome.

Screenshot of the Grammarly extension webpage
Install the Grammarly extension for your browser.

2. Confirm you want to install the extension by clicking Add extension.

3. The Grammarly web page should open. Log in to your Grammarly account or create a new free account.

4. Go to Google Docs in your browser and open a document. You should see the Grammarly icon (an arrow that curves into the shape of the letter G) or the total number of suggested edits in the document in the lower-right margin of the page. Click it to open the Grammarly sidebar.

Screenshot of Grammarly icon in Google Docs
Click the Grammarly icon to see your suggestion changes.

How to enable Grammarly in Google Docs

Once you have installed the Grammarly extension, you should be able to use it in Google Docs. If you don’t see the Grammarly icon or the number of suggested edits, Grammarly might be disabled. To check:

1. Click the Extension icon in the toolbar at the top of the browser.

2. In the drop-down, click Grammarly.

3. Make sure Check for writing suggestions on Google Docs is turned on. The button should be swiped to the right.

Screenshot of the Grammarly extension in Chrome
If Grammarly isn’t working in Google Docs, make sure it’s enabled.

How to use Grammarly sidebar in Google Docs

To start using Grammarly in Google Docs, open a Google Doc (or create a new document).

There are two ways to review the suggested edits:

  • You should be able to see suggested edits in the document by looking for text with a red underline. You can hover your cursor over the red underlined text to see suggestions, and accept or reject them one by one.
Screenshot of Grammarly suggestions in Google Docs
Hover the mouse to see suggestions.

  • You can review your edits in the Grammarly sidebar. To do that, click the Grammarly icon in the lower-right margin of the page to tell Grammarly to display the number of suggested edits in the document. If you already see the number of suggested edits, click that number. The sidebar should appear and display all the suggested edits in a list. You can now work your way through the list, one item at a time, accepting or rejecting edits as you go. To accept a change, click the item you want to use. You can reject a suggestion by clicking the Dismiss icon shaped like a trashcan. To see additional context and details about the grammar rules behind a suggestion, click Learn more.
Screenshot of Grammarly sidebar in Google Docs
The Grammarly sidebar shows all the suggested edits in a long list.

One advantage of using the sidebar is that it’s easy to see at a glance how well your document scores in four categories Grammarly uses to assess your document: Correctness, Clarity, Engagement and Delivery. At the top of the sidebar you can see a fuel gauge score for each.

How to set goals on Grammarly in Google Docs

While Grammarly is a powerful tool for ensuring your spelling and grammar are correct, many people also rely on Grammarly to ensure their tone and presentation matches the document’s intended audience. Grammarly can customize the suggestions it gives you based on how you set your document’s goals. Here’s how to use it:

1. If necessary, click the suggested edit counter at the bottom of the document to open the Grammarly sidebar.

2. Atop the sidebar, click the Adjust Goals button, which looks like an archery target.

3. In the Set goals window, choose the settings you want for this document. You can pick the audience, level of formality, tone and intent. If you’re a premium subscriber, you can also choose the domain, such as academic, business, creative, and so on.

Screenshot of Grammarly's Set Goals window
If you customize the Set Goals options Grammarly will tailor its recommendations.

4. When you’re finished, click Done.

You might now see the number of suggested edits change; the specific suggestions will vary depending on what document settings you choose. Grammarly will have a different suggestion for word choice, for example, depending on whether you’re trying to appeal to a general audience or experts in this field.

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How to add checkboxes in Google Docs to create interactive to-do lists

google docs
Google Docs has a checkbox feature on its desktop site and mobile app.

  • You can add checkboxes to Google Docs from the bulleted list dropdown menu in the toolbar.
  • Checkboxes are interactive, which means you can click them to check the box and strikethrough the related text.
  • The Google Docs mobile app for iOS and Android also has a checkbox option in the toolbar.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

The modern world is fueled by a never-ending array of tasks and to-do lists, and for good reason; there’s nothing like a checkbox to help you (or others) stay on track. If you need to create a document with entries that can be “checked off” to indicate status or completion, Google Docs can help – it’s easy to add checkboxes to any document, whether you’re using Google Docs on a computer or mobile device.

How to add a checkbox in Google Docs on a computer

1. Go to Google Docs in a web browser and create a new document or open an existing one.

2. Create the text that you want to add checkboxes to. For example, if you want to make a checklist, create a list of items on the page, and then select them.

3. Find the Bulleted list button in the toolbar and click the dropdown menu. In the bulleted list options, choose the hollow squares, which is usually the top-right selection.

[google-docs-checkbox1.png: / The bulleted list menu in Google Docs.]
You can find the checkbox option in the bulleted list dropdown.

The selected items should now be preceded by checkboxes. Anyone with permission to edit this document can click a checkbox which adds a checkmark and strikes through the accompanying text.

[google-docs-checkbox2.png:/ Checkboxes in Google Docs.]
The checkboxes in Google Docs are fully interactive.

How to add a checkbox in Google Docs on a mobile device

You can add checkboxes in the Google Docs apps for Android and iOS just as easily.

1. Start the Google Docs app and open the document you want to create the checkboxes in.

2. Enter the text that will appear in your list and then select it. To do that, tap and hold, then drag the selection bar to include all the text you want selected.

3. Tap the Bulleted list button in the toolbar above the keyboard. The text will be bulleted, but the toolbar will expand to show the Checkbox button.

4. In the toolbar, tap the Checkbox button, which displays as two checkmarks in a list.

[google-docs-checkbox3.png:  / The Google Docs app.]
Checkboxes are accessible from the toolbar in the Google Docs app.

How to insert a checkbox in Word that readers can print out or check off on their computerHow to create a Google doc on your computer or mobile deviceHow to share a Google Doc to collaborate and edit documents with othersHow to make and edit a table of contents in Google Docs to easily navigate to sections of a document

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