6 fixes for typical Google Docs problems quick

Upon a time once, a word processor had been little more when compared to a blank canvas for the finger-transmitted musings: You’d start the program, type anything you wanted – and, properly, that has been much it pretty.

These days, dealing with documents is becoming an art practically. And although Google Docs is one of the more approachable choices on the market (paging Microsoft Workplace Ribbon …), the service is continuing to grow multilayered lately surprisingly.

Generally, that’s a positive thing. Docs is generally rather easy to use still, and it packs plenty of punch for some common word processing reasons. But sometimes, the layers of complexity can result in cloud-sized headaches which are not fluffy and light.

Today, we’ll consider one of the most typical Docs problems and the quickest ways to repair ’em. Whether you’re in charge of only your personal Docs use or you become the go-to troubleshooter for the office, friend team, or loved ones (be it on the official basis or in another of those wonderful unpaid “tech support” opportunities), this is actually the reference you should solve whatever woes might come the right path.

(Note that the majority of the problems described here are particular to the Docs internet interface for desktop computer browsers, which is a lot more fully showcased and complex compared to the service’s cellular app equivalents.)

Search engines Docs problem No. 1: Edit regret


Documents often represent hrs upon hrs of precious work – as soon as they’re gone, concepts aren’t always an easy task to get back. Just what exactly happens a associate of your group (who may or may possibly not be, erm, you) can make a big change to a Search engines Docs record that you later arrived at realize was a blunder?

Sure, there’s the general Undo command – Ctrl-Z (or even ⌘-Z, on a Mac pc), that may also be within Docs’ Edit menus – but that functions only when you’re the main one who made the edit involved and when you simply achieved it. If somebody else would be to blame, if you have navigated from the document because the alter got produced, or if you have made a lot of other changes since that time that you do desire to maintain, Undo isn’t gonna can you a lick of great.

Therefore here’s the fix: Be sure you depend on Docs’ robust Edition History system. You will discover it in the Document menu or utilizing the Ctrl-Alt-Shift-H (or ⌘-Alt-Shift-H) keyboard shortcut.

There, you will discover versions of one’s document which were autosaved at different factors and will be zapped directly back again over as complete replacements for the existing version of one’s document.

The complicating issue, though, is that those versions sporadically are saved only, therefore you may or might not find one from the complete point you would like to restore. The easiest way around that’s to manually push Docs to save lots of a edition anytime you achieve a milestone or you’re expecting major adjustments to be made. That real way, you constantly know you’ve got a quick ‘n’ simple way to get back again to the way items had been before – or at the minimum to see your pre-shakeup edition as a spot of reference.

To force Docs to save lots of a version of one’s document manually, open the File menus, click “Version history,” after that select “Title current version.” Supply the version any title you need – I’m partial to Clancy, myself, but feel absolve to use something a lot more descriptive – and that exact condition of your document will be available and quickly identifiable within the primary Version History menu.

01 google docs fixes version history JR Raphael/IDG

Counting on Google Docs’ Edition History feature could be a genuine lifesaver, particularly if you be sure you manually save and title versions before main edits are created. (Click picture to enlarge it.)


Search engines Docs problem No. 2: Situation craziness


Perhaps you have pasted over textual content from a contact ever, a website, or various other source and realized elements of it were within the wacky ALL CAPS file format? Or maybe you’re focusing on editing a record and need all of the headings to can be found in title case to be able to look correct. Regardless of the, ahem, case be, save yourself the trouble of manually transforming all that textual content and let Docs perform the heavy lifting.

Highlight the text involved just, click on the Format menu near the top of the screen, after that click “Text” accompanied by “Capitalization.” There, strong in the Docs menus structure, you will discover a one-click device for changing whatever textual content you chosen into all lowercase, all uppercase, or title case – without right period wasted and only minimum effort required.


Search engines Docs problem No. 3: Auto-structure frustration

Automagically, Google Docs performs some formatting miracle that’s designed to be helpful but can frequently be annoying. For instance, the support will capitalize the initial word of each sentence you type immediately, it’ll change all of the quotation marks you enter from the typical straight-quote style in to the controversial curly-quote design, and it’ll put in a hyperlink onto any website you enter a document.

Docs also changes regular three-personality ellipses (…) into single-personality ellipses (…), utilizing a Unicode symbol for that little bit of punctuation. It adjusts regular numerical fractions (like 1/2) into single-personality symbols (like ½), too, also it changes specific abbreviations (like c/o) to their single-personality Unicode symbol equivalents (like ℅).

For certain purposes, those changes may be pleasant – but normally just, they’re obnoxious. Fear not really, though, for you personally can disable all of those behaviors and inform Docs to depart your authentic text alone.

The secret resides within an overlooked two-component preferences menu effortlessly. To obtain there, click on the Tools menu near the top of the Docs desktop user interface, then select “Choices” from the set of options that arises. There, you’ll notice a listing of options for a few of Docs’ more basic textual content substitution habits.

03a google docs fixes text substitution JR Raphael/IDG
It is possible to disable basic textual content substitution patterns in the Docs “Preferences” menu. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)


That one area enables you to switch off the auto-capitalization, allegedly “smart” estimate transformation, and automatic hyperlink formatting, among other activities. Are you aware that fractions and additional more advanced types of text substitutions, you will have to go through the “Substitutions” header near the top of that same windowpane to get ’em – and uncheck the box close to any substitutions you need to skyrocket.

03b google docs fixes text substitution JR Raphael/IDG
The “Substitutions” portion of that menu enables you to take total control over how Docs messes together with your text. (Click picture to enlarge it.)


Ahh…the glass is looking 1/2 full rather than ½ empty suddenly, isn’t it?

Search engines Docs problem No. 4: Grammar law enforcement overreach

Docs loves to let you know when you’ve got something amiss with your grammar, which may be useful sometimes certainly. But it could be incredibly annoying – if also, state, you deliberately bend the guidelines for several reasons or depend on highly stylized techniques and discover yourself distracted by all of the squiggly reddish underlines pointing out items that aren’t actually troubles. (Been there, completed that.)

If that frustration been there as well, give yourself a rest by disabling Docs’ grammar recommendations – whether permanently or simply for a time, on an as-needed schedule. You can get the command to take action in the Tools menus, under “Spelling and grammar”; simply click the line labeled “Display grammar recommendations” to uncheck and deactivate it.

It is possible to turn automatic spelling suggestions off for the reason that same place also, in case a brand is had by you name that uses an uncommon spelling and constantly gets corrected. Alternatively, you may use the “Private dictionary” choice within that same menus to add specific conditions into Docs’ vocabulary and maintain it from considering they’re mistakes.


Search engines Docs problem No. 5: Bullet stage blues

Who doesn’t adore lists? Docs makes it simple to include bulleted lists into your articles, and it has a small number of formatting choices within its Format menus even, under “Bullets & numbering,” in the event the basic dark dot isn’t carrying out the trick for the thing you need.

Those default options are restricted pretty, though, and when you have anything particular at heart, they probably won’t are the symbol you want.

But wait! Docs also enables you to place any symbol imaginable because your bullet checklist indicator almost. You’d just in no way realize it, because the option to achieve this only shows up after you’ve developed an inventory. (Go figure.)

So try out this: Develop a bulleted list inside a document, either by looking in the menu we simply mentioned or utilizing the Ctrl-Shift-8 (or ⌘-Change-8) shortcut. Then, together with your cursor on that listing, start the Format menus and appearance under “Bullets & numbering” again. This right period, you should be in a position to choose the “List options” product – as soon as you do, it is possible to select “A lot more bullets” to pick from a sprawling selection of bullet symbol styles.

05 google docs fixes bullet point styles JR Raphael/IDG
You’ve got a variety of bullet point choices within Docs – once you learn where to find and activate them. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)


That exact same menu shall also permit you to modify the numbering on a numbered list, in the event you ever need a checklist to revolve around something apart from numbers only (like “Item No. 1,” for example) or have to have a listing start a number apart from 1.

Search engines Docs problem No. 6: The envelope enigma

For as capable as Docs has gotten on the full years, one feature it’s curiously even now missing is the capability to format a full page being an envelope or as the sheet of labels for proper publishing. If either function is necessary by you for the work, you’ll need to switch to a third-party Search engines Docs add-on to obtain it.

On the envelope front, a straightforward add-on called Web page Sizer may be the easiest choice available. Add it on your accounts (or request your admin to accomplish it for you, if you are on an organization account without immediate add-on access) and try the Add-ons menu near the top of any document to get and activate it.

Once you do, you can enter in the exact dimensions of your envelope – and just, ta-da:

06 google docs fixes envelope formatting JR Raphael/IDG
Envelope formatting in Search engines Docs does not have to end up being difficult. You ‘must’ have the right add-on set up just. (Click picture to enlarge it.)


With labels, the aptly called Create & Printing Labels Search engines Docs add-on can do all you need. It’ll arrive for the reason that same Add-ons menus, installed once, and it’ll offer you one-click usage of instant web page formatting for a number of typical label dimensions (from Avery along with other label providers).

Page Sizer is free of charge, while Create & Printing Labels is free of charge for make use of with a limited selection of standard label forms (that will probably be a lot for some casual purposes). For usage of all available functions and formats, the add-on operates 30 bucks per year or $80 for life license.


Bonus Search engines Docs problem: Phrase weirdness

There’s just one even more Docs-related fix to handle, and it’s linked to what sort of service interacts with Microsoft Word data files. To discover that presssing issue and obtain into various other relevant experience-improving suggestions, mind over to the prior chapter in my own “fast fixes” collection: ” 6 quick fixes for common Search engines Drive complications .”

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