Google Docs FAQs

What is the difference between G Suite and Google Docs?

Google Docs offers tools you can use to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings and forms. Google Docs is free of charge. G Suite offers more tools and you pay for those you choose. See What's the Difference?

From the organization's standpoint, an important difference listed on that page is: "Google Apps provides access to products powered by Google but administered by your organization." The organization needs the ability to manage our corporate data and G Suite allows us to do that. Google Docs is free to the public and is a solution for individual consumers, not companies.

Can I access Docs in Google Drive when offline?

Yes. In order to use Google Drive offline, complete these steps:

    1. Install Google Drive on the computer
    2. In the left sidebar of Drive, select More > Offline and then Enable Offline editing. Wait for file synchronization.
    3. Open the Web view of Google Drive.
    4. Click the Drive link at the top of the G Suite window or open In the left sidebar click More and choose Offline. Google will download the actual documents from the Web to the Google Drive app on the computer. Previously, Google Drive only contained links to the online documents, not the actual documents. Offline mode can be disabled by opening, clicking the Gear icon, and then choosing Disable Offline

Can I share a file with someone with an expiration date?

Yes. This feature allows you to share a file with "Comment" or "View" permissions with an expiration and avoid the possibility that you will forget remove permissions later. Watch a short demonstration on how simple this is.

Can I share a Google Doc or Sheet as a PDF?

Using Google Docs is a great way to collaborate on and share documents. Sometimes, though, you want to provide somebody with a PDF instead of an editable document. Google Docs now lets you edit your sharing link to provide a PDF. Best of all, if you edit the original document, the PDF link automatically includes any changes you made.

Visit this link for detailed instructions about how it works.

Note: This process works for Google Docs and Google Sheets, but not Google Slides.

Are there ready-made groups for sharing outside of SIL?

Yes. The Google groups listed here will let you share documents or My Drive folders with users from the following organizations:

    • Wycliffe Canada has:
    • Wycliffe USA has:
    • JAARS has:
    • SIL's Instance group is:

Is it possible for a person other than the owner of a file to delete it?

No. Only the owner of a file or folder can send it to the trash, permanently delete it, or recover it. Read Google's Find or Recover a File. Finding misplaced items is included.

The Google administrators from Wycliffe USA have published a document titled "Google Drive confusion" that might add understanding too.

Can I use Google Drive to keep Excel spreadsheets?

Yes. Remember, Google spreadsheets do not have all of Excel's features, and cannot be edited directly in Drive.

Can I acquire additional storage for my Google Drive?

Yes. Additional storage is available for purchase but that additional cost will need to be paid by the account owner. As an organization, GTIS will not pay for additional storage. Read Manage your Google Drive Storage Plan.

Can I view the revision history of a MS Office file in Google Drive?

Yes. If you put a Microsoft Office document in a Google Drive folder, along with syncing it to your other devices, Google Drive will show you the revision history. Click the file, go to "More," and then select "Manage Revisions." It will show the date and time that people have edited the file, and allow you to retrieve an earlier version. View the writeup at G Suite Tips.

Can I import special fonts?

No. Google uses the fonts available in your browser. Many open source font families are available. Learn to use Input Tools.

How to Search For (and Add) Free Images Right Within Google Docs

If your document needs some imagery, you can insert free images from right within Google Docs. You don’t need to be out scouring the Internet every time you need an image. Instead, take advantage of the free tools right within the app to search for and insert images in your document in just a few easy steps.

    1. In a Google Doc/Sheet/Slide, click on the Insert menu at the top of the screen, and scroll down to Image.
    2. In the window that opens up, you’ll see all the usual options for inserting images from your Drive, from a URL, or from your computer. However, you should also see the Search option on the far right-hand side of the window. Click on that.
    3. Here you will get a search bar. The results that are displayed will be labeled for commercial reuse with modifications, so you know that you can safely use these images. Search for the keyword(s) you’d like. The search pulls from Google, LIFE, and stock images.
    4. Click on the image you want. Click Select, and it will insert into your document. From there, you’re free to adjust or resize it as required.

Watch a short demonstration of this.

How to work with images in Google Docs

This guide dives into inserting and editing images in the app. Here's everything you need to know.

  • Insert images in a Google Doc
  • Resize and arrange images
  • Add a border to an image
  • Crop and edit images

Keep learning

10 Useful Keyboard Shortcuts

1. Insert a comment

      • ⌘ + Option + M (Mac)
      • Ctrl + Alt + M (Windows)

2. Make a bulleted list

      • ⌘ + Shift + 8 (Mac)
      • Ctrl + Shift + 8 (Windows)

3. Make a numbered list

      • ⌘ + Shift + 7 (Mac)
      • Ctrl + Shift + 7 (Windows)

4. Insert a link

      • ⌘ + K (Mac)
      • Ctrl + K (Windows)

5. Start voice typing (Chrome only)

      • ⌘ + Shift + S (Mac)
      • Ctrl + Shift + S (Windows)

For more information on how to use your voice to type in Google Docs, check out these posts: New & Improved Voice Typing Commands in Google Docs and You Can Now Use Your Voice to Format and Edit Your Google Docs.

6. Increase font size

      • ⌘ + Shift + > (Mac)
      • Ctrl + Shift + > (Windows)

7. Decrease font size

      • ⌘ + Shift + < (Mac)
      • Ctrl + Shift + < (Windows)

8. Delete a word (to the left of your cursor)

      • Option + Delete (Mac)
      • Ctrl + Backspace (Windows)

9. Delete an entire sentence (to the left of your cursor)

      • ⌘ + Delete (Mac)
      • Ctrl + Shift + Up + Backspace (Windows) (Depending on where your cursor is, this can also delete entire paragraphs)

10. Find the word count

      • ⌘ + Shift + C (Mac)
      • Ctrl + Shift + C (Windows)

Bonus tip: Move paragraphs up/down

      • Option + Shift + Up/down arrow (Mac)
      • Alt + Shift + Up/down arrow (Windows)

Time-Saving Trick for Starting Docs, Slides, Sheets and Forms

In October 2018, Google announced a new time-saving trick that lets you open a blank document, presentation, spreadsheet, or form simply by typing .new as the domain name in the URL bar. For example, instead of having to navigate to Google Drive, click “New,” and select “Google Docs,” you can now type (no www.) in the browser and a new doc will appear. Use to start a new spreadsheet, to start a new form, and so on.