Google Docs: Formatting Text and Adding Hyperlinks

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Lesson 9: Formatting Text and Adding Hyperlinks

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Introduction

To create and design quality documents, you need to know how to format text. In addition to making your document more appealing, formatted text can draw a reader's attention to specific parts of the document and help communicate your message.

In this lesson, you'll learn how to format the font, size, and color, as well as how to highlight text. In addition, you'll learn how to use the bold, italic, and underline shortcut buttons, as well as how to add a hyperlink.

Watch the video below to learn more about formatting text.

The Toolbar Shortcut menu

Google Docs offers a variety of text formatting options you can use to modify the look and feel of your document. These options are located in the Toolbar Shortcut menu. In the following lesson, you'll learn how these options can help enhance your document's appearance.

showing the toolbar shortcut menu

To change the font:

  1. Select the text you want to modify.
    selecting text to modify
  2. Click the Font drop-down arrow on the toolbar. A font menu appears. The name of each font has been formatted to look like the style it describes.
    showing the font drop-down menu
  3. Select the font you want to use. In our example, we'll hover over Roboto and select Normal font.
    choosing a font
  4. The selected text will change to the new font.
    changing to the new font

If you don't see the font you're looking for—or if you would like more fonts to choose from—Google Docs allows you to add additional fonts to the Font drop-down menu. Click More fonts from the Font drop-down menu to open the Fonts dialog box.

viewing more fonts

To change font size:

  1. Select the text you want to modify.
    selecting text to modify
  2. Click the Font size box from the toolbar. A drop-down menu of font sizes appears.
    showing the font size drop-down menu
  3. Select the font size you want to use. In our example, we'll change the font size to 24 to make it larger.
    choosing a font size
  4. The text will change to the new font size.
    changing text to the new font size

To change text color:

  1. Select the text you want to modify.
    selecting text to modify
  2. Click the Text color command from the toolbar. A drop-down menu of text colors appears.
    clicking text color
  3. Select the circle of the text color you want to use. In our example, we'll choose blue.
    selecting a font color
  4. The text will change to the new color.
    changing text to a new color

To use the bold, italic, and underline buttons:

  1. Select the text you want to modify.
  2. Click the bold (B), italic (I), or underline (U) button from the shortcut toolbar.
    selecting bold from toolbar

To change text alignment:

There are four alignment buttons in Google Docs that you can choose from the Align drop-down menu. 

viewing the alignment buttons
  • Left align: Aligns all selected text to the left margin
  • Center align: Aligns text an equal distance from the left and right margins
  • Right align: Aligns all selected text to the right margin
  • Justify: Text is equal on both sides and lines up equally to the right and left margins; many newspapers and magazines use full justification
  1. Select the text you want to align.
    selecting text to align
  2. Click the desired alignment button.
    clicking an alignment button
  3. The text will realign.
    realigning text

Line and paragraph spacing

In Google Docs, line spacing is measured in lines. For example, when text is double spaced, the line spacing is two lines high. You can reduce the line spacing to fit more lines on the page, or you can increase it to improve readability.

To format line spacing:

  1. Select the text you want to format.
    selecting text to modify
  2. Click the Line spacing button, then select the desired line spacing option from the drop-down menu. You can also click Custom spacing to fine-tune the spacing.
    viewing line spacing options
  3. The line spacing will adjust in the document.
    spacing out lines

Paragraph spacing

Just as you can format spacing between lines in your document, you can choose spacing options between each paragraph. Typically, extra spaces are added between paragraphs, headings, or subheadings. Extra spacing between paragraphs is another way to help to make a document easier to read.

To format paragraph spacing:

  1. Select the text you want to format.
    selecting text to modify
  2. Click the Line spacing button.
  3. Select Add space before paragraph or Add space after paragraph from the drop-down menu. You can also click Custom spacing to fine-tune the spacing.
    adding space after paragraph
  4. The paragraph spacing will adjust in the document.
    space is added to paragraph

To remove paragraph spacing, click the line spacing button, then select Remove space before paragraph or Remove space after paragraph.

removing space after paragraph

Hyperlinks

A hyperlink is a link to a web address (or URL). If you want to include a web address in your Google document, you can format it as a hyperlink for someone to click. The hyperlink will then open the webpage in a new browser window.

To insert a hyperlink:

Hyperlinks have two basic parts: the address (URL) of the webpage and the display text. For example, the address could be http://www.apple.com/ipad and the display text could be Apple iPad. When you're creating a hyperlink in Google Docs, you'll be able to choose both the address and the display text.

  1. Select the text you want to make a hyperlink.
    selecting text to hyperlink
  2. Click the Insert link button, or right-click the selected text and click Link.
    clicking insert link button
  3. The Edit Link dialog box will appear. In the Text field, the selected text will appear. You can modify this text if you want.
  4. Type the address you want to link to in the Link field. Google Docs may automatically fill in this field if the text you've selected looks like a URL.
    hyperlinking the url
  5. Click Apply. The text you selected will now be a hyperlink.
    applying hyperlink
  6. Click the link to view the URL.
    showing how to remove the link

If you want to change or remove the hyperlink, click the link and select Change or Remove from the options that appear below the hyperlink.

Challenge!

  1. Open our example file. Make sure you're signed in to Google, then click File > Make a copy.
  2. Select the first two lines of text and center align them.
  3. Select the text that starts with 2 bed 1.5 bath and ends with Won't last! Available June 1. Then change the line spacing to 1.5.
  4. Select the words For Rent and change the font to something of your choosing.
  5. With For Rent still selected, change the font size to 30 pt and bold the text.
  6. Select the words ABOUT VILLA PIÑA and change the font color to green.
  7. Scroll to the bottom of the page, select the web address in the last line, and change it to a hyperlink.
  8. When you're finished, your document should look something like this:
showing the finished document

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