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HERO

li2baba

Writing your Seminar and Project on your mobile phone and PC simultaneously using Google Docs.

Nov 17 at 05:47pm

What is Google Docs?

Hey,

I recently heard about using Google docs to make scripts for YouTube videos and I decided to try it out; I fell in love with the app immediately mainly because of the cloud feature which makes it easy to work across devices.
Now back to the question, "what is Google docs?": it is a cloud application by Google which allows you to type, edit, save, download and print documents just like Microsoft word. Like Microsoft Word it uses files in the .doc or .docx formats (don't really know much about the differences yet). The cloud feature is really what got me to fall in love with the app easily. However, there are a few other cool things to love about Docs as well.

Why I use Google Docs Now?

As I mentioned earlier, I love the fact that it is cloud based which makes it possible to work both on my android phone and PC without any stress. Also the app functions really well even when typing on a mobile phone. It has similar features to those found on the web app (PC) and the interface can be made to look and feel even more alike by switching to the "Print layout". Your files can be saved either offline on the device or online using "Google drive". You can also download the online document whenever you want. Compared to the other software I was using when I started working on my seminar, Docs definitely provides a better work-flow between PC and mobile. Another thing I love about Docs is the ability to share documents which makes it possible to collaborate with other writers on a project.

Using Google Docs on Mobile

All right, let me share a quick tip on how you can go about using Docs on a mobile phone. First, you'll need to install the app from the play store and sign in with your gmail account. Now you can create new files by hitting the plus icon and then choosing the file format or template you want. There are two tabs on the app homepage: 1. Drive and 2. Device ; make sure you are one the drive tab before hitting the plus icon if you want your document to be saved online. Even if you don't have Internet access at the moment, no worries, just go ahead and create and save your file, it will be uploaded to the drive the next time you connect to the internet and save the file again. Of course to save the file you just have to tap the check icon at the top left corner of your screen. To edit an already saved document simply tap the pen icon floating at the button right when you reopen the document. If you already have a document that you want to upload and edit with Google docs simply tap the folder icon next to your profile picture and choose between Google drive or device if the file is located in a folder on your phone. Make sure the file is in a format Google doc can use, I tried using a pdf once and it didn't work for me, it was just greyed out and I was unable to select it. Again pay attention to the tab you're on before opening the folder, make sure you're on the drive tab if you want to save it to the cloud (online).
In terms of typing on android, I use SwiftKey as my default virtual keyboard and it is pretty good. Also I would recommend that you leave the print layout turned off while using a virtual keyboard to type as it is a lot easier to see what you're typing that way. You can install add-ons to Docs by tapping the three dots on the top right corner of your screen to bring up more options and then scrolling down to “Add-ons”, tap and follow the instructions to download the add-ons you want. To add a new blank page (called page break) simply tap the plus icon at the top and scroll down to "Page break".

Using external keyboard on mobile

However if using a virtual keyboard isn't really your thing then you may consider using an external keyboard with your mobile phone. Yeah, you read that right, you can actually use your mobile phone as some sort of monitor while you type from a physical keyboard like you would on the computer. How? Well it's not too complicated ; you will need a few things though. First, find out if your phone supports OTG (use this app to check https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.faitaujapon.otg&hl=en), this is the most important because if it doesn't then you just have to stick with the good old virtual keyboard. If you are absolutely sure that you have OTG on your device then proceed to buy a physical keyboard and an OTG USB adapter ( a cable that converts a big USB head of keyboard to the small USB mouth for phones/ phone charger). You can get these two for less than $6 at the time of posting this. Make sure you test them to see if they're working properly before you buy. Additionally you might want to get a USB hub, it's like a socket that allows you to connect more than one device to your phone or computer at the same time. This will help you to add a mouse as well if you want.

Using Your Laptop as Mobile Phone Keyboard

So maybe you don't want to use the virtual keyboard or your phone doesn't support OTG or you just don't have that extra cash right now to spend on getting a physical keyboard; there might still be hope for you after all. If you have a laptop already then you can use that as a physical keyboard for now. You will need an app called WiFikeyboard, which you can install from the play store (size is less than 1mb ). Open up the app and follow the instructions, set up your input method and select WiFikeyboard as your default input method then connect your phone’s Hotspot with the laptop's Wi-Fi (no need for internet) and open your system’s web browser to type in the address as shown in the WiFikeyboard android app. Once connected, on your laptop browser you will see a page with a text area click on the text area and open your document on Google docs to edit, anything you type in that text area on your laptop will appear on your android phone. Pretty cool right? I was blown away the first time I tried it as well.

Google Docs on PC

Using Google docs on mobile could be fun and helpful especially when you don’t have a computer or internet connection since it still works offline unlike the computer version which is an online web application however, Docs comes with a lot more features and is more convenient to use on PC. You can access google doc by going to www.docs.google.com. Once the site is opened you will see all your online documents previously saved to Drive. The interface is straightforward and a lot similar to MS word and other document editors. One thing I did struggle with at first however, was adding a new blank page; this can be done by clicking on “Insert '' from the menu bar and scrolling to “Break” then clicking on “Page break”. Once you are editing a document on PC it saves automatically to the drive if you have internet connection so you don't need to save from time to time. And if you decide to turn off the internet connection from your computer it will stop working unless you install the Google docs extension which is only available on chrome browser and allows you to temporarily save documents offline while editing.
On PC you also have the option to install add-ons to docs like a spellings-checker, by clicking on “Add-ons” from the menu bar and choosing “Get add-ons”.

The Finishing Touch

When you are done writing your seminar or any other document, you can proceed to download as an offline file. On mobile you can go to options (three dots on top right corner) and choose “Share & export” then select “Save as”, choose the file format you want and hit “OK”.
On PC; click on “File” and scroll down to “Download”, choose the file format you want and save.
For the next step you would want to choose to save the document as a Microsoft word document (.docx) file b



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