Using Google Docs instead of MS Word

February 26, 2023
2 min read

For Starters, Google Docs is a free web-based alternative to MS Word.

Basically, all you need is a Google account, an internet connection, a computer/tablet and these tricks

Microsoft Word may be the most well-known word processor, but Google’s cloud-based Docs is steadily eclipsing Redmond’s venerable software among budget-conscious internet users. Not only is it free, but Google Docs offers seamless sharing options and is accessible on any computer or mobile device with a web connection.

Google’s success prompted Microsoft to offer up internet-based versions of its Office suite, as well as a pared-down, free version of Microsoft Word for the web. And while Google Docs no longer offers unlimited storage for free, 15GB is a lot of Docs. If you’ve swapped Word for Google Docs, read on for a few hidden tricks.


Don’t know where to begin? Check out the included templates. Access them from the main Docs page by hovering over the plus icon on the bottom right and clicking the Choose template icon that appears. Or click File > New > From template inside an existing doc.

Templates are categorized by purpose, and include formatted samples for project proposals, newsletters, several legal documents, job offer letters, resumes, school reports, and more. Others can be made available by installing specific add-ons.

Create a Table of Contents

For lengthy documents that would benefit from some organization, go to Insert > Table of Contents and select one of two formats (with page number or with blue links).

Docs will look for text that’s styled as a heading and organize it at the top of the page, with links that allow you to jump to that section. How do you style as a heading? Highlight your text, click into the Styles box, and select Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, and so on. (Or go to Format > Paragraph styles.)

If you create headings after dropping the TOC box into your Doc, click the circular Update icon next to your TOC for the changes to take effect. You can also view the TOC on the side panel.

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