How to Edit Google Docs

910579 How to Edit Google Docs

Google Docs is a powerful online word processor that enables users to create, edit, collaborate on, and share documents from any device. As part of Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), Docs provides a robust set of editing features for crafting professional documents.

In this article, we’ll walk through the key features and best practices for editing Google Docs effectively. Whether you’re writing blogs, reports, essays, or any other document, these tips will help you edit like a pro.

Accessing and Opening a Google Doc to Edit

To start editing an existing Google Doc:

  1. Go to Google Docs and login to your Google account.
  2. Locate the document you want to edit in the left sidebar under “My Drive” or “Shared with me”.
  3. Click on the document title to open it.
  4. Once open, click the “Editing” pencil icon at the top right to enable editing.

If you want to create a brand new document to edit:

  1. Click the “+ New” button at the top left.
  2. Choose “Document” from the dropdown menu.
  3. A blank document titled “Untitled document” will open, ready for you to edit.

You can also open and edit Google Docs on mobile devices using the Google Docs app.

Key Editing Features in Google Docs

Here are some of the most useful editing features in Google Docs:

Basic Text Editing

The basics like typing, selecting, copying/pasting, and deleting text work similarly to other word processors. You can bold, italicize, underline, strikethrough, subscript, superscript, and more.

Comments and Suggesting Mode

Collaborate with others by adding comments or toggling “Suggesting mode” to make changes that the document owner can review and accept or reject.

Voice Typing

Use your microphone to dictate text by going to Tools > Voice typing. This can save lots of time typing.

Find and Replace

Find and replace words or phrases easily via Edit > Find and replace or Ctrl/Command + H. This is useful for fixing typos or standardizing terminology.

Format Painter

Quickly copy formatting from one section of text to apply to another with the format painter icon.

Headers, Footers and Page Numbers

Make your documents look more professional by adding customizable headers, footers and page numbers.


Organize information neatly by inserting fully-editable tables via Table > Insert table. Adjust columns and rows as needed.

Images and Drawings

Insert images by dragging and dropping them or via Insert > Image. You can also draw shapes and diagrams with the built-in drawing tools.


Type out beautiful mathematical equations using LaTeX syntax inside double dollar signs like $$x = {-b \pm \sqrt{b^2-4ac} \over 2a}$$.

Word Count

See your document’s word count instantly in the bottom left corner. Useful for meeting essay requirements or article length guidelines.

Version History

View a document’s entire edit history by going to File > Version history > See version history. Restore older versions if needed.

Best Practices for Editing Documents in Google Docs

Follow these best practices to master editing in Google Docs:

Use styles – Take advantage of heading styles like Heading 1, Heading 2 etc to create an organized document structure. Apply body text, caption, and other styles consistently.

Enable offline editing – Install the Google Docs offline chrome extension to enable productivity without an internet connection. Your changes will sync when you’re back online.

Perform a spell check – Click the ABC checkmark icon in the toolbar to catch typos and grammatical errors. Toggle it on to underline misspellings as you type.

Add page numbers – Insert page numbers to make your documents easier to navigate. Use different formats like 1, 2, 3 or i, ii, iii depending on your preference.

Turn on version history – Enable version history via File > Version history > Show version history to see a timeline of all changes made. Use it to restore lost work.

Use templates – Take advantage of beautifully-designed Google Docs templates as starting points for your documents instead of starting from a blank page every time.

Use offline apps – For working without an internet connection, install the Google Docs offline app on your desktop/laptop and mobile device so you can keep editing on the go.

Master keyboard shortcuts – Learn keyboard shortcuts for frequent actions to edit documents more efficiently. For example, Ctrl/Command + B for bold, Ctrl/Command + I for italics.

Following these best practices will have you editing documents in Google Docs like a seasoned pro. Refer to Google’s official support documentation for more advanced tips.

Happy editing!

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