Knock down distressing Docs issues in no time v these easy-to-implement, expert-approved solutions.

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Once upon a time, a word processor was little more than a empty canvas for your finger-transmitted musings: You"d open up up the program, form whatever you want — and, well, that was pretty much it.

These days, handling documents has virtually become an art. And even though Google Docs is amongst the much more approachable choices out there (paging Microsoft Office Ribbon...), the organization has grown how amazing multilayered as of late.

For the many part, that"s a great thing. Docs is still generally quite simple to use, and it packs an ext than enough punch for most typical word processing purposes. Yet sometimes, the great of intricacy can lead to cloud-sized headaches that are anything yet light and also fluffy.

< Related: Google Docs cheat paper >

Today, we"ll think through few of the most usual Docs challenges and also the fastest means to fix "em. Whether you"re responsible for only your own Docs usage or friend act together the go-to troubleshooter for your office, friend group, or family (be the on an official basis or in one of those lover unpaid "tech support" positions), this is the recommendation you need to solve whatever woes may come your way.

(Note that most of the worries described here are certain to the Docs web interface for desktop browsers, which is far more completely featured and complex than the service"s mobile application equivalents.)

Google Docs trouble No. 1: edit regret

Documents often represent hrs upon hours of precious job-related — and once they"re gone, ideas aren"t constantly easy to acquire back. So what happens once a member of her team (who might or might not be, erm, you) provides a readjust to a Google Docs record that you later concerned realize was a mistake?

Sure, there"s the universal Undo command — Ctrl-Z (or ⌘-Z, top top a Mac), i m sorry can likewise be discovered in Docs" edit menu — however that works just if you"re the one that made the edit in question and if girlfriend just go it. If someone rather is to blame, if you"ve navigated away from the document since the readjust got made, or if you"ve made a bunch of various other changes due to the fact that then that you execute want to keep, cancel isn"t gonna carry out you a lick that good.

So here"s the fix: mental to count on Docs" durable Version history system. Friend can uncover it in the file menu or by using the Ctrl-Alt-Shift-H (or ⌘-Alt-Shift-H) keyboard shortcut.

There, you"ll discover versions the your document that to be autosaved at various points and can it is in zapped directly ago over as full replacements for the existing version of her document.

The complicating issue, though, is the those versions are saved just sporadically, which means you may or might not find one from the an accurate point you"d like to restore. The best method around that is come manually force Docs to save a variation anytime you with a milestone or you"re expecting significant changes to it is in made. That way, you always know you have actually a quick "n" easy method to get ago to the means things were prior to — or in ~ the very least to watch your pre-shakeup variation as a suggest of reference.

To manually force Docs to save a version of your document, open up the document menu, click "Version history," then choose "Name current version." give the version any kind of name you want — I"m partial to Clancy, myself, however feel cost-free to use something much more descriptive — and also then that precise state of your paper will constantly be obtainable and conveniently identifiable in ~ the main Version background menu.

JR Raphael/IDG

Relying ~ above Google Docs" Version history feature can be a real lifesaver, especially if you remember come manually save and also name version before significant edits room made. (Click image to enlarge it.)

Google Docs difficulty No. 2: instance craziness

Have you ever pasted over message from an email, a internet page, or part other source and climate realized parts of it to be in a wacky all CAPS format? Or maybe you"re working on editing a document and need all the headings come exist in title instance in order come look correct. Every little thing the, ahem, case may be, conserve yourself the problem of manually transforming all that text and also let Docs perform the hefty lifting.

Just to mark the text in question, click the layout menu in ~ the top of the screen, climate click "Text" adhered to by "Capitalization." There, deep in the Docs food selection structure, you"ll discover a one-click device for an altering whatever message you selected into all lowercase, all uppercase, or title case — through no time wasted and only minimal effort required.

Google Docs problem No. 3: Auto-format frustration

By default, Google Docs performs part formatting magic that"s meant to be beneficial but can frequently be annoying. Because that instance, the company will automatically capitalize the an initial word the every sentence friend type, it"ll adjust all the quotation marks you get in from the traditional straight-quote format into the controversial curly-quote style, and also it"ll include a hyperlink onto any type of web address you enter into a document.

Docs also changes standard three-character ellipses (...) into single-character ellipses (…), making use of a Unicode symbol for that item of punctuation. It adjusts regular numerical fountain (like 1/2) into single-character signs (like ½), too, and it changes particular abbreviations (like c/o) right into their single-character Unicode price equivalents (like ℅).

For particular purposes, those changes might be pleasant — but just together often, they"re obnoxious. Fear not, though, for you have the right to disable every among those behaviors and also tell Docs to leave your initial text alone.

The mystery resides in an easily overlooked two-part choices menu. To get there, click the Tools menu at the optimal of the Docs desktop computer interface, then choose "Preferences" native the perform of alternatives that comes up. There, you"ll check out a list of choices for some of Docs" much more basic text substitution habits.

JR Raphael/IDG

You deserve to disable basic text substitution patterns in the Docs "Preferences" menu. (Click photo to enlarge it.)

That area allows you to rotate off the auto-capitalization, allegedly "smart" quote transformation, and also automatic connect formatting, amongst other things. Together for the fractions and also other much more advanced creates of message substitutions, you"ll require to click the "Substitutions" header at the optimal of that same window to find "em — and also then uncheck the box following to any substitutions you desire to blast away.

JR Raphael/IDG

The "Substitutions" ar of the menu allows you take complete control over how Docs messes through your text. (Click picture to enlarge it.)

Ahh...the glass is all of sudden looking 1/2 full instead that ½ empty, isn"t it?

Google Docs problem No. 4: Grammar police overreach

Docs loves come tell you once you"ve obtained something wrong v your grammar, i m sorry can certainly be helpful at times. However it can likewise be incredibly irritating — if, say, you deliberately bend the rules for certain reasons or count on highly stylized approaches and find you yourself distracted by all the squiggly red underlines pointing out things the aren"t in reality problems. (Been there, excellent that.)

If the frustration sound familiar, provide yourself a break by disabling Docs" grammar proposal — even if it is permanently or simply for a tiny while, on an as-needed basis. Girlfriend can find the command to do so in the tools menu, under "Spelling and grammar"; simply click the heat labeled "Show grammar suggestions" to uncheck and deactivate it.

You can likewise turn automatically spelling proposal off in that exact same place, if you have actually a brand name that provides an uncommon spelling and constantly gets corrected. Alternatively, you can use the "Personal dictionary" alternative within the same food selection to add certain terms right into Docs" vocabulary and also keep that from thinking they"re mistakes.

Google Docs trouble No. 5: Bullet point blues

Who doesn"t love lists? Docs provides it basic to add bulleted lists into your documents, and also it even has a grasp of formatting choices within its layout menu, under "Bullets & numbering," in instance the basic black dot isn"t doing the trick for what friend need.

Those default alternatives are quite limited, though, and if you have anything certain in mind, they more than likely won"t incorporate the symbol girlfriend want.

But wait! Docs also allows you to insert almost any symbol imaginable together your bullet perform indicator. You"d simply never establish it, together the alternative to carry out so only appears after you"ve produced a list. (Go figure.)

So try this: produce a bulleted list within a document, one of two people by spring in the food selection we simply mentioned or by utilizing the Ctrl-Shift-8 (or ⌘-Shift-8) shortcut. Then, with your cursor on that list, open up up the style menu and also look under "Bullets & numbering" again. This time, you should be able to select the "List options" article — and also once friend do, you can pick "More bullets" to choose from a sprawling range of bullet symbol styles.

JR Raphael/IDG

You"ve obtained all species of bullet allude options within Docs — if you know exactly how to find and also activate them. (Click image to enlarge it.)

That same food selection will also enable you to adjust the numbering on a numbered list, in instance you ever before need a list to revolve about something other than number alone (like "Item No. 1," because that instance) or require to have actually a list start on a number other than 1.

Google Docs difficulty No. 6: The envelope enigma

For as qualified as Docs has gotten over the years, one function it"s curiously still missing is the capability to layout a web page as an envelope or as a sheet of labels for appropriate printing. If you need either function for her work, you"ll have to turn to a third-party Google Docs add-on to get it.

On the envelope front, a basic add-on dubbed Page Sizer is the easiest choice available. Add it onto your account (or ask her admin to perform it for you, if you"re on a agency account without direct add-on access) and also then watch in the Add-ons menu at the peak of any paper to find and activate it.

Once you do, you can just enter in the specific dimensions of her envelope — and, ta-da:

JR Raphael/IDG

Envelope formatting in Google Docs doesn"t need to be difficult. You just have to have the right add-on in place. (Click photo to enlarge it.)

With labels, the suitably named develop & print Labels Google Docs add-on will certainly do whatever you need. It"ll display up in that exact same Add-ons menu, once installed, and it"ll offer you one-click access to instant page formatting because that a variety of usual label sizes (from Avery and other label providers).

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Page Sizer is free, while produce & print Labels is cost-free for use through a restricted range of standard label styles (which will most likely be many for many casual purposes). For access to all accessible formats and also features, the add-on operation 30 bucks a year or $80 for a life time license.

Bonus Google Docs problem: word weirdness

There"s simply one much more Docs-related resolve to address, and also it"s related to the way the organization interacts through Microsoft word files. To discover that issue and also get right into some other relevant experience-improving suggestions, head over to the previous chapter in mine "fast fixes" series: "6 fast fixes for typical Google journey problems."