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Google Docs

August 15, 2018

Google Drawings Overview


This article is an overview of the Google Drawings program. Google Drawings is an application as part of the Google Drive suite of applications (along with Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Maps). This guide will cover the creation and manipulation of the various content types available within the program.


Creating a Drawings file

Google Drawings can be found as part of Google Drive. To create a new Drawings file, select the New button (in the upper-left corner), go to the More option, then select Google Drawings.

Google Drive New File menu with More and Google Drawings highlighted

Once the Drawings file is created, you can name it so that you can easily find it again.


Google Drawings acts like similar drawing programs in that you can select a content type and put it onto the digital canvas. Content objects include various types of lines and shapes can be added along with text boxes and images.

Content Types

The content types available are wide-ranging and include the following:

  • Lines
    • includes arrows, connectors, curves, polylines, and scribbles
  • Shapes
    • includes shapes, arrows, callouts, and equation symbols
  • Images
  • Text Boxes

If you are unsure, you can hover your mouse’s cursor over the button along the menu to find the content type you wish to add.

Adding and arranging content

To add content, click on the content type button you wish to add to your canvas, then click anywhere on the canvas. Once it is added, then you can adjust the size and scale of it by adjusting its object handles.

In most cases, select the content type and click on the canvas and it will appear. Some exceptions like the curve will keep adding line segments until you double-click and the polyline will stop once you click on the starting point (to close the shape).

All content types has formatting options that can be altered more precisely from the Format Options pane.

When an object is selected, the format options button becomes available which allows for a frame to appear on the right-hand side with more precise options

Additionally, you can select a content object and adjust it by grabbing one of the object handles that surround it when selected.

A highlighted circle on the Drawings canvas with instructions on how to arrange the shape, size, and scale of the circle. Bounding box handles on the top, top-right, right-middle, and bottom are highlighted as well

Object handles can allow for the rotation and resizing of any content object by clicking-and-dragging the handle with your primary mouse button in the desired direction. Release the mouse button once the object has reached your desired size

Rearranging multiple pieces of content

At any point, you can select a piece of content and rearrange its shape and size. You can also do this with multiple pieces in certain cases. A good example can be see in creating a grid using text boxes and lines:

Three highlighted text boxes with content handles highlighted to showcase different ways to arrange them all together

In the illustration above, a text box was created, copied two times, and arranged to where they all align horizontally and overlap to create a one-row, three-column grid.

  • If you drag your mouse’s cursor across the collection of the three text boxes, you can select all of them at once (this can also be done by holding the Shift key and selecting each box until all are selected).
  • You can then select the bounding box you wish to move and the other two will move the same distance by the same relative point – if you were to move the handle on the right-middle, the other boxes will adjust according to that point as well. Since they are all selected, they will move together as one unit and no overlap should occur.

Considerations while creating

Google Drawings is limited in comparison to more sophisticated illustration programs in that it does not have the ability to assign content to separate layers. This can become an issue when objects are overlapping one another. There is a workaround, however, that will allow you to arrange content by a bottom-to-top sort of order.

If you select a content object, you can arrange it to be on top of or beneath an overlapping content object by selecting the Arrange menu, hovering the mouse cursor over Order and choosing to have the object move forward or backward.


Page Setup

Setting up your page is useful especially when you are looking to create a printable drawing. To make the necessary changes, go to the File menu then select Page Setup to proceed.

Page setup dialog with drop-down menu open

A dialog box will appear with a drop-down menu to select the different presets and to add a custom size. For letter-size drawings, select Custom. Press OK to save your changes.

Page Setup dialog with Custom dimensions



November 12, 2015

Google Docs Overview


This article is designed to guide users within CAS through some of the features of Google Docs–the word processing portion of the Google Apps suite. Many of its features are similar to other word processing programs like Microsoft Word or Pages from Apple. Google Docs in fully integrated with Google Drive and is accessible online via web browser and through its own mobile application (on iOS and Android platforms).

For faculty, staff, and graduate teaching fellows (GTFs) within CAS, a CAS Google account can be acquired through an opt-in process here.

Getting Started in Docs

In order to create a document in Google Docs, you will first need to go to, click the New button, and select Google Docs

From here, the user will be directed to a new screen with a full word processor.

  1. Here the document can be named (click to edit)
  2. Standard File Menus
  3. Standard toolbar (with print, font, rich text, spacing features)
  4. Body of document (Letter size default)
  5. Takes user to Docs home page (see below)


Since Google Docs is entirely web-based, many of its features are collaborative in several ways. The author of the document share the file with collaborators and assign access levels to each if preferred.


First, any document can be shared with fellow collaborators. The author of the document can also determine how collaborators can interact with the document.

First, click on the Share button in the upper-left corner.

Then, add the e-mail addresses of your collaborators.

Note: Those who have CAS Gmail accounts will see fellow CAS Google users when typing in e-mail addresses.

  1. This link can be copied into an e-mail with collaborators
  2. The document’s visibility online can be set to private (default) or public
  3. The owner of the document
  4. Invite people via e-mail (or names if they’re in your contacts list from Gmail) and set view/edit permissions
  5. The owner can set the global permissions for the document (default setting is shown)

Click Done once all preferences have been set.

Exporting Documents

The document can be exported to other standard formats. Click File > Download As… > select export format

The document will save to your web browser’s default download folder.

Research Tools

Google Docs allows for users to conduct searches from a sidebar within the document.

Under the Tools menu, select the Research option.

Any information found within the research tool can be added into the document. Any results found within this sidebar can be correctly cited into your document in MLA, APA, or Chicago formats. Just click the small arrow below the search field for the available options (as seen below).


There are additional features that can be enabled through free add-ons from third party vendors. Click the Add-Ons menu, then select Get add-ons…

Docs Home Page

When the user clicks on the Docs icon in the upper left of the window, they will be directed to the Docs home page (which bears similarities to the main Drive page):

September 15, 2010

Use new Google spreadsheets charts in your documents and drawings

Copy charts from spreadsheets into documents and drawings. Start by creating a chart. Then, select the chart by clicking on it once, which will display the chart’s name. Click the chart name or the arrow next to it to open the dropdown menu of chart actions. From the menu, select Copy chart.

Next, open the document or drawing where you’d like to insert the chart and position the cursor where you’d like the chart to go. Use the Web Clipboard dropdown menu, as shown below, to locate your copied chart.

As you hover the mouse over the menu item for the chart, a thumbnail will be displayed. Clicking on the chart item will paste it into the document as an image, which can then be resized, aligned, etc. Here’s an example of a chart pasted into a document:

Note that the chart snapshots are just that — they are images of the chart at the time of copying and therefore do not update as the spreadsheet data changes. If you need to update a chart, just copy and paste it again.

The name of the chart shown in the Web Clipboard menu is the same as the chart’s name in the spreadsheet, which you can easily change from the default name, “Chart 1.” To rename a chart, select Edit chart from the chart’s action menu, and enter a new name on the Customize tab. This is particularly handy when working with charts from multiple spreadsheets.

We’ve also introduced a few new types of charts to Google spreadsheets. We now support candlestick charts and combo charts (which allow you to show columns, lines, and area lines all on the same graph). You can also use the GeoMap chart to insert a data-driven map of the world, a continent, or a country into your spreadsheet. Our TreeMap chart, meanwhile, should be exciting for the statisticians and logicians among you.

This makes creating great documents easy as pie (charts, of course).

September 14, 2010

ZIP and RAR support now available in the Google Docs Viewer

If someone sends you a ZIP or RAR file in Gmail, you’ll be able to view its contents from within your browser by clicking on View.

This will bring up a view that includes all of the files in the archive, the file types, and the size of those files.

When you hover over the list you can activate a menu by clicking Actions. You’ll be able to View items supported by Google Docs Viewer and Print (PDF) those that we offer PDF support. Save to Google Docs and Download appear for all files.

ZIP and RAR archives that are embedded inside other archives also work. For example, if you have a RAR file inside a ZIP file (like in our example above) you can just click on that file to access the embedded archive.

Go ahead and try the feature by viewing a ZIP file.

This feature extends to Google Docs for mobile, too. For each viewable file (including embedded ZIP or RAR archives) there is a link to view.

This removes the need to download full archives when you only need to work on select items.

September 13, 2010

Act as delegate in Google Apps Sync

Add account
Access mail
Access calendar

Add account

If someone in your organization such as your manager grants you access to their Gmail or Google Calendar account, you can use Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook® to manage that person’s mail or calendar from Outlook.

  1. Have your manager grant you access to their Gmail account and/or Google Calendar (follow each link for instructions on doing this).
  2. Go to the Windows Start menu, open All Programs, and choose Google Apps Sync > Add account for delegation.

  3. From the dialog, choose your Google Apps profile (if more than one Outlook profile is available). Then enter your manager’s Email address.

  4. If you’re accessing your manager’s calendar, configure your calendar notifications to receive his or her calendar notifications in your own mail Inbox.How to configure notifications
    1. Sign in to Google Calendar, Click the gear icon in the upper-right and select Gmail settings, and open the Calendars tab.
    2. Click the Notifications tab next to your manager’s calendar (that’s been shared with you).
    3. Check the Email box for each type of notification you want to receive (for new invitations, changed invitations, and so on).
  5. If you’ve been granted access to your manager’s calendar but not their email, configure your Gmail settings to send mail from the manager’s address, as described below. (If you have access to the manager’s email, skip this step.)Send mail from another address
    1. Sign in to Gmail and Click the gear icon in the upper-right and select Gmail settings.
    2. Click the Accounts tab.
    3. Under Send Mail as, click Add another email address you own.
    4. Enter your manager’s Name and Email address, and click Next Step.
    5. Click Send Verification. This sends an email to your manager’s address with instructions on verifying that you can send from their address (typically the manager just clicks a link in the email to verify).
  6. You can now begin sending mail and managing calendar invitations on your manager’s behalf. (Follow the links for tips on doing this.)
September 2, 2010

32 Ways to use Google Apps for Faculty

Forms-Creating, Editing and Viewing Results

Creating forms

Creating a form from your Docs list
Creating a form from a spreadsheet

Editing forms

Add items to your form
Adding pages
Allowing navigation to a specific page and adding general page navigation

Your form questions

Embedding a form

Viewing form responses

Viewing the summary of responses
Editing the spreadsheet with the responses

Creating forms

You can create a form from the Docs list or from any spreadsheet.

Creating a form from your Docs list:

1. Click Create new > Form.
2. In the form template that opens, you can add any questions and options you’d like.
3. Click Email this form once you’ve finished adding your questions.
4. Add the email addresses of the people to whom you want to send this form.
5. Click Send.

Creating a form from a spreadsheet:

1. Click the Tools drop-down menu, scroll to Form, and select Create a form.
2. In the form template that opens, you can add any questions and options you’d like.
3. Click Email this form once you’ve finished adding your questions.
4. Add the email addresses of the people to whom you want to send this form.
5. Click Send.
6. The next time you open the form, a Form menu will appear in the menu bar.

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Editing forms

Add items to your form

You can add different types of questions to your forms by clicking Form in your spreadsheet and Add item at the top of the editing page. Here are some of the question types you can choose: checkboxes, grid, drop-down lists with options, multiple choice, paragraph text, which allow for long answers, and scale, to ask your invitees to grade something in a scale from 1-5, for instance.
Add section headers if you’d like to divide your form in sections to make it easier to read and complete. Simply select Section header from the Add item drop-down menu.

Each section header can have a title, which appears in a larger font, and a section description.

Adding pages

If you’ve created a long form, for example, and would like to make it easier for your respondents to fill it out, you can add page breaks. From the Add item drop-down menu, select Page break.

Once you’ve created a form with multiple pages, you can add different sets of questions based on a previous answer within the form, and allow people to skip irrelevant sections.
Multiple choice questions with the ‘Go to page based on answer’ option enabled direct form respondents to particular pages based on their answer, whereas page navigation automatically routes form respondents to a specific page based on your selection. For example, you can create a form asking your respondents to select their language and then direct them to questions written in their language. Then, they can all be automatically routed back to the same page using page navigation in page breaks.

Click here for steps to allow navigation to a specific page (by including a “Go to” question in your form )
Click here for steps to include page navigation in your form

Once you’ve set up these options, you can send out your form, and your form respondents will navigate to different pages on your form based on their answers in the “Go to” questions or your selections in the form page breaks.

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Your form questions

Here are some of the things you can do with your questions:

  • Edit: To edit an existing question, just click the Edit button to the right of the question you want to edit.
  • Delete: To delete a question, click the Delete button to the right of the question you want to delete.
  • Duplicate: To duplicate a question, click the Duplicate button to the right of the question you want to duplicate.

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Embedding a form

If you’d like to embed your form in a website or blog, after you create and save your form, click the More actions drop-down menu at the top of the form, select the Embed option, and paste the URL into your site or blog.

Editing tips:

  • You can edit the confirmation message that people filling out your form see after submitting their responses. Click the More actions drop-down menu at the top-right of the form, and select Edit confirmation.
  • If you’ve edited a form and need to send it again, click the Edit and resend button in the lower-left corner of the Share tab.

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Viewing form responses

Viewing the summary of responses

To see the spreadsheet with the form responses, click See responses at the top-right of the form and select Spreadsheet. It’s a good idea to use the same name for the form and the spreadsheet, so you can quickly find both of them in your Docs list.
To quickly see how many users filled out a form and what their responses are, you can check the response summary. From your spreadsheet, go to Form > Show summary to view it.

The response summary page opens in a new window.
Note: As you’re reviewing the responses, keep in mind that you can’t prevent users from submitting a form more than once, so the same person may have submitted multiple responses. If you use Google Apps, however, you can choose to record the email addresses of people who fill out your form, and then easily identify any duplicate responses.
You can allow those who filled out your form to see a summary of the responses. Select the option ‘Let everyone see response summary’ in the ‘Edit confirmation’ window to make the summary viewable to everyone.

If you’d like to print your form responses summary, open your browser’s Print menu.

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Editing the spreadsheet with the responses

Here are some changes you can make to the spreadsheet:

  • Insert columns to add your own content, such as calculations, notes, or lookups, next to form responses.
  • Add response data directly to the spreadsheet by adding rows above, below, or between your existing response rows. You can add data one row at a time, or paste it in in bulk. Rows you add will be absorbed into the table that stores your form’s data.
  • Insert new sheets or move sheets. Responses will continue to be automatically entered in the same sheet.

Some changes to your spreadsheet aren’t allowed, once your spreadsheet is storing form responses in a table. This is so that you don’t make changes that would stop your spreadsheet from being able to read your form responses properly. For example, you can’t move columns in the table from side to side, since doing so would disrupt the structure of the table.

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Invite Someone to Share Your Google Docs – without signing up

If you’ve been holding off on trying our new editors or know a friend who has never tried Google Docs because they don’t have a Google Account, you can now take Google Docs for a test drive with the new Google Docs demo. This lightweight demo includes a sample document, spreadsheet and drawing and works even if you aren’t logged into a Google Account.

Instead of trying to explain to friends how real-time collaboration in Google Docs works, now you can show them. All you have to do is go to, share the link over chat or email, and start typing. Real-time character by character co-editing in documents, cell presence in spreadsheets and instant updates in drawings are all seconds away.

Revision History

Google Docs has a revision history pane that allows you to view at a glance all changes made to a doc by each collaborator. To access revision history in Google documents, drawings, and spreadsheets, follow these steps:
These steps are applicable to Google spreadsheets, documents, and drawings. Learn more about revision history in presentations.

1. Select File > See revision history.

3. Click a time stamp in the right column to see what changes were made at a given time or use the arrow keys to scan through many revisions quickly. For example, James, whose edits show in orange text, deleted and added text while bmichael, whose show in green text, removed a paragraph and added a comment.

5. If you’d like to revert to the version you’re currently viewing, click Restore this revision.
6. Note: Restoring your document to a previous version does not eliminate any versions of your document. Rather this version moves to the top of your revision history, maintaining all previous versions of your document, including the current version.

8. If you’d like to return to the the current version of your document to continue editing, click the X in the upper right of the ‘Document History’ pane.
For all Google Docs types, revisions are grouped into short time periods to make it easier to see the full history of changes. If you want to see more fine-grained revisions, click the Show more detailed revisions button in the lower right of your document.
Google spreadsheets sometimes trims down your revisions over time to save storage. If you’re working in Google spreadsheets, and your document is either large or you created it a long time ago, your revisions may be pruned. Visit the Revision Pruning help article to learn more about this process.

File Organization/Labeling in Google Docs

August 17, 2010

Create a Tasks List: Using the Tasks gadget

Use the Tasks gadget to keep your “to do” list handy.

Open the Tasks gadget
Add a task to your list
Format your list and create additional lists
Get reminders for task due dates on your calendar

To open the Tasks gadget:

In Gmail, click Tasks in the left pane:

In Google Calendar, click the Tasks calendar under My Calendars:

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To add a task to your list:

Click the “plus” (+) icon, or simply click in the Tasks window and start typing.

Tip: You can also add email messages to the list to create items for follow-up! First, select the messages in your inbox. Then, on the More actions menu, choose Add to Tasks.

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To format your list and create additional lists:

On the Actions menu, you’ll find options to indent or move items, edit details such as a due date, print your list, and more.

Click the arrow ( > ) to the right of the current task to go directly to the Edit Details screen, where you can enter a due date.

Use the Switch List menu in the lower right to rename the list and create more lists.

To work in a separate, bigger window:

Click the Pop-out arrow in the upper-right corner:

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To get reminders for task due dates on your calendar:

On your Google Calendar, make sure the Tasks calendar is selected (highlighted with a color) under My Calendars:

If you want to turn off reminders at any time, just click the Tasks calendar in the list to de-select it.

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