Knock dvery own distressing Docs concerns in no time with these easy-to-implement, expert-apverified services.

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Once upon a time, a word processor was bit even more than a empty canvas for your finger-transmitted musings: You"d open up the routine, type whatever you wanted — and also, well, that was pretty a lot it.

These days, taking care of files has actually nearly come to be an art. And also though Google Docs is just one of the more approachable options out there (paging Microsoft Office Ribbon...), the company has grown surprisingly multilayered as of late.

For the many component, that"s a good thing. Docs is still mostly quite easy to usage, and also it packs even more than sufficient punch for a lot of common word processing objectives. But occasionally, the layers of complexity deserve to cause cloud-sized headaches that are anypoint yet light and also fluffy.

< Related: Google Docs cheat sheet >

Today, we"ll think with some of the the majority of common Docs challenges and also the fastest means to deal with "em. Whether you"re responsible for just your very own Docs intake or you act as the go-to troubleshooter for your office, frifinish team, or family (be it on an official basis or in one of those lovely unphelp "technology support" positions), this is the recommendation you have to fix whatever before woes may come your method.

(Keep in mind that a lot of of the problems described here are particular to the Docs internet interconfront for desktop browsers, which is far more totally featured and also complicated than the service"s mobile app equivalents.)

Google Docs trouble No. 1: Edit regret

Documents often represent hrs upon hours of valuable work — and as soon as they"re gone, concepts aren"t always easy to get ago. So what happens once a member of your team (that might or might not be, erm, you) renders a readjust to a Google Docs document that you later on come to realize was a mistake?

Sure, there"s the universal Unexecute command also — Ctrl-Z (or ⌘-Z, on a Mac), which deserve to likewise be found in Docs" Edit food selection — however that works only if you"re the one who made the edit in question and if you just did it. If someone else is to blame, if you"ve navigated away from the record since the change obtained made, or if you"ve made a bunch of various other transforms given that then that you execute want to keep, Undo isn"t gonna carry out you a lick of good.


So here"s the fix: Remember to depend on Docs" durable Version History system. You have the right to discover it in the File food selection or by utilizing the Ctrl-Alt-Shift-H (or ⌘-Alt-Shift-H) keyboard shortreduced.

Tbelow, you"ll uncover versions of your document that were autosaved at different points and deserve to be zapped straight earlier over as full replacements for the current variation of your record.

The complicating issue, though, is that those versions are conserved just sporadically, which implies you might or might not uncover one from the exact suggest you"d favor to gain back. The finest method roughly that is to manually pressure Docs to save a version anytime you reach a milerock or you"re expecting major alters to be made. That method, you constantly recognize you have a quick "n" easy means to obtain ago to the means things were prior to — or at the extremely least to see your pre-shakeup variation as a suggest of recommendation.

To manually force Docs to conserve a version of your record, open up the Documents food selection, click "Version history," then pick "Name present variation." Give the variation any kind of name you want — I"m partial to Clancy, myself, but feel cost-free to use something even more descriptive — and also then that specific state of your document will constantly be accessible and easily identifiable within the major Version History menu.

JR Raphael/IDG

Relying on Google Docs" Version History feature can be a real lifesaver, particularly if you remember to manually conserve and name versions prior to major edits are made. (Click picture to enhuge it.)

Google Docs problem No. 2: Case craziness

Have you ever pasted over message from an email, a web page, or some other resource and also then realized parts of it were in a wacky ALL CAPS format? Or possibly you"re working on modifying a document and also require all the headings to exist in title case in order to look correct. Whatever before the, ahem, case may be, conserve yourself the hassle of manually transcreating all that text and also let Docs execute the heavy lifting.

Just highlight the text in question, click the Layout menu at the height of the screen, then click "Text" complied with by "Capitalization." There, deep in the Docs menu framework, you"ll discover a one-click tool for altering whatever message you schosen into all lowersituation, all uppercase, or title instance — with no time wasted and just minimal initiative required.

Google Docs trouble No. 3: Auto-format frustration

By default, Google Docs perdevelops some formatting magic that"s intended to be useful however deserve to often be annoying. For circumstances, the company will instantly capitalize the initially word of every sentence you form, it"ll readjust all the quotation marks you enter from the conventional straight-quote style right into the controversial curly-quote style, and also it"ll add a hyperlink onto any web resolve you enter right into a record.

Docs also alters typical three-character ellipses (...) into single-character ellipses (…), utilizing a Unicode symbol for that piece of punctuation. It adjusts normal numerical fractions (choose 1/2) right into single-character signs (prefer ½), as well, and it changes particular abbreviations (favor c/o) into their single-character Unicode symbol equivalents (favor ℅).

For particular purposes, those transforms might be pleasant — yet simply as frequently, they"re obnoxious. Fear not, though, for you deserve to disable every among those behaviors and also tell Docs to leave your original message alone.

The key lives in an conveniently overlooked two-part preferences food selection. To acquire tbelow, click the Tools food selection at the height of the Docs desktop interconfront, then choose "Preferences" from the list of alternatives that comes up. There, you"ll view a list of options for some of Docs" even more standard text substitution habits.

JR Raphael/IDG

You have the right to disable fundamental message substitution patterns in the Docs "Preferences" menu. (Click photo to enhuge it.)

That location permits you to revolve off the auto-capitalization, allegedly "smart" quote transformation, and automatic link formatting, among various other points. As for the fractions and also other more progressed develops of message substitutions, you"ll should click on the "Substitutions" header at the top of that same window to discover "em — and also then uncheck package next to any substitutions you desire to blast amethod.

JR Raphael/IDG

The "Substitutions" area of that menu allows you take total control over exactly how Docs messes with your text. (Click image to enhuge it.)

Ahh...the glass is unexpectedly looking 1/2 complete instead of ½ empty, isn"t it?

Google Docs problem No. 4: Grammar police overreach

Docs loves to tell you when you"ve obtained somepoint wrong via your grammar, which deserve to absolutely be valuable at times. But it have the right to likewise be very irritating — if, say, you deliberately bfinish the rules for particular factors or count on extremely stylized viewpoints and find yourself distracted by all the squiggly red underlines stating points that aren"t actually problems. (Been tright here, done that.)

If that frustration sounds familiar, offer yourself a break by disabling Docs" grammar suggestions — whether permanently or simply for a tiny while, on an as-essential basis. You can find the command also to perform so in the Tools food selection, under "Spelling and also grammar"; just click the line labeled "Sexactly how grammar suggestions" to uninspect and deactivate it.

You have the right to likewise rotate automatic spelling suggestions off in that very same area, if you have actually a brand name that uses an uncommon spelling and constantly gets corrected. Conversely, you can usage the "Personal dictionary" choice within that very same food selection to include particular terms right into Docs" vocabulary and also save it from thinking they"re mistakes.

Google Docs trouble No. 5: Bullet suggest blues

Who does not love lists? Docs provides it basic to add bulleted lists into your documents, and it even has actually a handful of formatting alternatives within its Layout menu, under "Bulallows & numbering," in situation the basic babsence dot isn"t doing the trick for what you require.

Those default options are pretty limited, though, and also if you have anypoint specific in mind, they more than likely will not incorporate the symbol you want.

But wait! Docs likewise permits you to insert virtually any symbol imaginable as your bullet list indicator. You"d simply never before realize it, as the option to execute so just shows up after you"ve produced a list. (Go figure.)

So try this: Create a bulleted list within a document, either by looking in the food selection we just discussed or by utilizing the Ctrl-Shift-8 (or ⌘-Shift-8) shortreduced. Then, through your cursor on that list, open up up the Format food selection and also look under "Bulallows & numbering" aacquire. This time, you need to have the ability to select the "List options" item — and also when you carry out, you deserve to choose "More bullets" to choose from a sprawling array of bullet symbol styles.

JR Raphael/IDG

You"ve acquired all sorts of bullet suggest alternatives within Docs — if you know exactly how to discover and activate them. (Click image to enhuge it.)

That exact same food selection will certainly additionally permit you to change the numbering on a numbered list, in case you ever before need a list to revolve about something various other than numbers alone (favor "Item No. 1," for instance) or need to have a list start on a number various other than 1.

Google Docs difficulty No. 6: The envelope enigma

For as capable as Docs has acquired over the years, one feature it"s curiously still absent is the ability to format a page as an envelope or as a sheet of labels for proper printing. If you require either attribute for your work, you"ll should turn to a third-party Google Docs add-on to obtain it.

On the envelope front, a straightforward add-on referred to as Page Sizer is the simplest alternative obtainable. Add it onto your account (or ask your admin to perform it for you, if you"re on a firm account without straight add-on access) and also then look in the Add-ons menu at the peak of any record to discover and activate it.

Once you execute, you can simply enter in the specific dimensions of your envelope — and, ta-da:

JR Raphael/IDG

Envelope formatting in Google Docs does not have to be challenging. You just have to have actually the right add-on in area. (Click photo to enhuge it.)

With labels, the aptly named Create & Print Labels Google Docs add-on will certainly carry out everything you require. It"ll present up in that very same Add-ons food selection, when mounted, and also it"ll give you one-click accessibility to immediate web page formatting for a range of prevalent label sizes (from Aextremely and also various other label providers).

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Page Sizer is cost-free, while Create & Publish Labels is free for use via a minimal selection of typical label styles (which will certainly most likely be plenty for the majority of casual purposes). For accessibility to all available styles and also attributes, the add-on runs 30 bucks a year or $80 for a life time license.

Bonus Google Docs problem: Word weirdness

There"s just one more Docs-related fix to resolve, and it"s pertained to the means the business interacts via Microsoft Word papers. To discover that issue and obtain right into some various other appropriate experience-boosting suggestions, head over to the previous chapter in my "fast fixes" series: "6 rapid fixes for widespread Google Drive problems."