Google Docs 4 Everyone

Since its introduction in 2006, Google Docs has changed the way people think about office productivity tools — first word-processing documents and spreadsheets and then slideshow-style presentations (which made their Google Docs debut in 2007). Unlike traditional productivity applications, which you buy, install on your computer, and later upgrade yourself (for an additional fee), Google Docs’ applications are Web-based. That means your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations are stored on the Web, and you can access them from anywhere you have an Internet connection and a Web browser. Imagine the possibilities: No more having to remember to transfer a file from your desktop computer to your laptop before you hit the road. No more wondering whether the version you’re working on is the current version. No more having to back up all your documents — because Google’s got you covered.

And if you sometimes need to work when you’re offline, Google’s got you covered there, too. When you install Google Gears (Chapter 3 tells you how), you can work on your documents and view your spreadsheets even when you’re not connected to the Internet. Using Gears to work offline is optional; you don’t have to install it to use Google Docs.

But one of the greatest advantages of Google Docs is the ability to share your documents with others—and collaborate on them in real time. If you’ve ever collaborated by emailing a flurry of files or waiting for someone else to check a document back into a central repository (so you can have your turn), you’ll love collaborating in Google Docs. When you share a document with some collaborators, those people can sign in and work on the document whenever they want, from wherever they are. Multiple collaborators can work on a document at the same time. All edits happen to the current version of the document, so you never have to worry about working on an out-of-date file. (If someone makes edits you need to undo, you can roll back to a previous version using Google Docs’ revision history feature.)

Best of all, Google Docs is free. Yes, you heard that right—it won’t cost you a penny to use. There’s nothing to install on your computer, and Google takes care of fixing bugs and updating the applications.

It’s no wonder that organizations—including GE, L’Oreal, the District of Columbia, and Google itself—are evaluating or switching to Google for their productivity tools. And it’s no wonder that millions of individuals are choosing Google Docs to create, edit, and store their documents. Given that you are reading this introduction, you’ve probably done the same (or are thinking about it). Whether for business or personal use, this book will help you get the most out of Google Docs.

Download Google Docs 4 Everyone (9.7 MB, 265 pages)

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