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Creating and Storing Online Documents An Introduction to Google Docs Slideshow created by Boise Public Library using Google Docs. March 2010 What Is Google Docs?

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creating and storing online documents

Creating and Storing Online Documents

An Introduction to Google Docs

Slideshow created by Boise Public Library using Google Docs.

March 2010

what is google docs

What Is Google Docs?

Google Docs is a free, Web-based word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, form, and data storage service offered by Google. It allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users. 

The service includes free storage of any files up to 1GB each in size (as of  January 13, 2010) and provides users to add storage space - shared between Google Docs and Gmail - for a yearly fee.

google docs in plain english

Google Docs in Plain English

Video taken from YouTube

how does google docs work

How Does Google Docs Work?

Google Docs uses a technology called "cloud computing" which hosts all of the necessary software on Google's servers. This allows users to edit files on the server; eliminating the need to have software installed on the computer. 

Google Docs can be used on any computer connected to the Internet regardless of operating system (Windows, Macintosh, Linux, etc.).

what can google docs do

What Can Google Docs Do?

Google Docs allows you to create three types of files:

Word processing documents (similar to MS Word)

Spreadsheets (similar to MS Excel)

Presentations (similar to MS Powerpoint)

Forms (create an online survey)

All files are created using the computer's Internet browser. The applications are not as robust as full versions of the software but most of the important and frequently used functionalities are available.


Advantages of Google Docs

    • Create, save and access your files from any Internet-connected computer.
    • Free online storage of any type of file.
    • Download files in different formats (.txt, .doc, .pdf, etc.).
    • Share your documents for group work.
    • Work without the skepticism of data loss.
    • Can be used on any computer regardless of operating system.
  • Disadvantages of Google Docs
    • Don't physically possess storage of materials.
    • Applications aren't robust.
    • Requires Internet to access files.
    • Dependent on provider (Google).
    • Storage limits on free accounts.
how to get a google docs account

How To Get a Google Docs Account?

A Google Account provides access both to Gmail and Google Docs as well as the other free programs offered through Google.

 Go to

If you already have a Google account type in your email and password to sign in. Otherwise click on the Get Started button to sign up with Google.

Fill in all of the required form fields to sign up for the account, read through the Terms of Service, and click on I Accept. Create My Account.

You will need to verify your email address you used to create the account by signing into it and clicking on the link that Google Docs sends you.

create a new document

Create a New Document

1. Click on New on the Menu bar and select which type of file you would like to create. For the purposes of this tutorial we will be using the Document option.

2. Google Docs will open a new window that will allow you to create a word processed document.

save or rename a file

Save or Rename a File

In order to save your document you just need to click on the Save button. (You can also use the Save and Close button if you are finished working with the document.)

You can also chose File on the Menu bar and then Save. In either case it will save the file using the text at the top of the document as the file name.

If you would like to rename your file you can go to File on the Menu bar and choose Rename.

Type in the new document name and click OK.

upload a file

Upload a File

In order to upload an existing document you just need to click on the Upload button on the Menu bar.

Then you will need to click on the Browse button and find the document that you would like to upload.

The path to your document will appear in the form field next to the Browse button. If the file is not on your computer but can be accessed via the web you can also type in the URL in the second form field. The third form field allows you to change the name before uploading. When you have completed these steps you will click on the Upload File button.

Your file should now appear in your main window.

other features

Other Features

Spell Check

Insert Images and Tables

Translate into other languages

Font and Style Options

Sharing and Collaboration

Publish to Web

Formatting for different page sizes

Exporting in a number of different formats including MS Word, PDF, plain text, Excel, Open Office, MS Powerpoint

other google docs resources

Other Google Docs Resources

Boise Public Library's Links Page

Google's Official Help Page

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Google Docs

Michigan State University's Google Docs Tutorial

eHow's Google Docs Video Series

for more information about google

For More Information about Google

Visit the "About Google" page at