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5 Google Docs tricks you didn’t know you needed

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When it comes to new features in the apps we use every day, it can be hard to keep up. Google Docs is no different, with new tools being updated all the time. If you don’t scour the menus to see what’s different, you can easily miss a new time-saving feature.

To help boost your productivity, check out these Google Docs tricks that have slipped a bit under the radar.

Set up draft email for Gmail

Gmail template in Google Docs.

If you want to compose a Gmail message while your thoughts are fresh, you can do that directly in Google Docs. This handy feature is great for emails where you want to collaborate on with other people you share your document with; Additionally, it keeps a reference to the email in your document.

Step 1: Place your cursor in the document where you want to insert the draft email.

2nd step: Go to Insert > building blocks and select Email Draft in the context menu.

Step 3: Add the email elements you normally would, including recipient, CC and BCC, and subject line. Then type your message in the designated place.

Step 4: Select the Gmail icon to the left of the model.

This process creates the draft email in Gmail, ready to send. When you’re ready, go to Gmail, sign in, and select the Drafts folder. You’ll see your email, which you can edit or just send along the way.

In addition to getting started on your email or for collaboration, you can also use Google Docs to create multiple Gmail drafts in one place. Then head to Gmail and send them all when you’re ready.

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Get a head start on meeting notes

Meeting notes template in Google Docs.

If you schedule or join meetings often, you’ll appreciate the meeting notes feature in Google Docs. With it, you can create a meeting notes template with Google Calendar basics right in your document. Then just add the notes when the time comes.

Step 1: Place your cursor in the document where you want to insert the meeting notes.

2nd step: Go to Insert > building blocks and select Meeting notes in the context menu.

Step 3: In the window that appears, select the meeting’s Google Calendar event. You can also use the Search your calendar section to find a particular event.

Selecting Google Calendar events in Google Docs.

Step 4: you will see Docs add the meeting notes template with date, title, attendees and locations for notes and action items.

You can stop looking for meeting note templates for Google Docs or other related apps. Just use this handy feature and you’ll always be ready for the next meeting.

Write and format in Markdown

Detect the markdown feature in Google Docs.

While some places may require you to write markdown, it might just be one of those things you prefer. Google Docs helps you by letting you compose and format your documents using Markdown. All you need to do is enable the feature.

Step 1: Open a document in Google Docs and select Tools from the menu.

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2nd step: Choose Preferences in the list.

Step 3: To go to the General tab and check the box to Automatically detect Markdown.

Step 4: To select OKAY.

When the feature is enabled, you can format your document using Markdown and see your text updated immediately. This includes creating headings, formatting text as bold, italic or strikethrough, and inserting hyperlinks.

Create a drop-down list

Drop-down options in Google Docs.

Drop-down lists are among the fastest ways to enter data, answer questions, and make choices in documents. In Google Docs, you can insert a predefined drop-down list or create your own in minutes.

Step 1: Place your cursor in your document where you want the drop-down list.

2nd step: To select Insert > Scrolling menu from the menu.

Step 3: In the pop-up window, choose a predefined drop-down list or create your own.

  • To see list options for a predefined list, hover your cursor over one for a preview.
  • To create your own, add the items from the list, choose the colors, and arrange the items.
Custom dropdown configuration in Google Docs.

You or your collaborators can simply select the drop-down arrow and choose an item. It then appears in your document, just like that!

Insert image or text watermark

Until late 2021, one of the only ways to add a watermark in Google Docs was to use the drawing tool. But with an update from Google, you can watermark any image or text in just a few steps.

Use an image watermark

Image watermark in Google Docs.

Step 1: To select Insert > Watermark from the menu.

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2nd step: In the Watermark sidebar that opens, choose the Picture tab and choose Select picture.

Step 3: Locate the image you want to use. You can upload one from your computer, use your camera, enter a URL, use Google Photos or Drive, or search Google images. Choose the image and select Insert.

Step 4: The watermark appears immediately on your document. And you can make some slight adjustments in the Watermark sidebar if you want.

Under Formatting, choose a percentage to Scale the image from 50% to 100%. To make the image more transparent, check the box for Faded.

Step 5: To select Fact once you have finished.

Use text watermark

Text watermark in Google Docs.

Step 1: To select Insert > Watermark from the menu.

2nd step: In the Watermark sidebar, choose the Text tongue.

Step 3: Enter the text in the box at the top. You can then adjust it using the additional options in the Formatting section.

  • Choose a font style.
  • Select a font size.
  • Format the font with bold, italic, or color.
  • Adjust transparency.
  • Choose a diagonal or horizontal position.

Step 4: To select Fact once you have finished.

Inserting an image or text watermark in this way is much more efficient than creating one with the drawing tool.

I hope these tips will help you do even more in Google Docs than before. To learn more, find out how to use voice dictation or how to create a folder in Google Docs.

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