Google Docs by aihaozhe2


									Google Docs has been around for some time now but until recently I'd never managed
to find a use for it in my life and my lack of experience with the service means I've
not felt confident enough to recommend it to readers. We are currently going through
the process of getting another shop up and running in Newton Abbot which has
necessitated several people working on the same few spreadsheets (costing exercises,
proposed time sheets and so on) from several different locations. Google Docs has
worked out perfectly for this task.

To get started, set up a free Google Account (if you don't already have one) at From there you will now be able to create an online
Document, Spreadsheet or Presentation. As well as then giving you access to these
documents from wherever you are in the world, you also have the added advantage
that you can choose to share them with any number of different people. Those that
you trust to make their own changes can then also edit the document, even at the same
time as another user.

There are three primary types of file that you can work with:

Word Processed Documents

* Either create a document from scratch or upload an existing Word, OpenOffice, RTF,
HTML or plain text file. Files can also be saved back in to these formats for
distribution in more conventional formats.

* Files are created using a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor. Those
familiar with Word should have no problems using this and similar formatting and
insert tools are provided.

* Each document can have a maximum size of 500kb plus up to 2mb per embedded


* Documents can be created from scratch or imported from Excel, OpenOffice, CSV
or a plain text file. In the same way as with documents, work created in the
Spreadsheet can also be saved back in to those formats.

* The layout and navigation is extremely similar to Word and formatting and formula
editing tools are provided.

* Each spreadsheet can be up to 256 columns, 200,000 cells or 100 sheets; whichever
is reached first.

* Work can be imported and exported in PowerPoint format along with the facility to
save as a PDF file.

* A familiar looking WYSIWYG editor is provided to allow you to easily format your
slides as well as inserting images and videos. Those used to using Word or
PowerPoint shouldn't have any issues.

* Presentations can be a maximum of 2mb in size when uploaded.

The remarkable thing you'll notice about Google Docs is how fully featured the
applications are, despite the fact that you don't need to download or install any
software. The service comes in to its own with the share functionality which is
incredible; it's quite surreal to be working on the same document as another and
seeing the changes they are making in real time. Any changes are stored in a revision
history so you can track any work that has been done on a document as well as rolling
it back if required.

Since all the work you create is saved online there are potential issues with regards to
privacy and security however I don't believe that most would have any real cause for
concern. Members of MI5 may want to consider sticking to conventional offline
storage methods for the time being, although that having been said, it is much harder
to leave an online document on the train.

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