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Lesson 8: Getting Started with Your Document

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Introduction

When working with a word processing application like Google Docs, it's important to be comfortable with the document interface and to know how perform basic tasks. In this lesson, you'll get to know the interface and learn how to configure the document page.

Watch the video below to learn how to navigate the Google Docs interface and set up your first document.


The Google Docs interface

The Google Docs interface includes the toolbar at the top of the screen, as well as the document itself. It allows you to type and modify text, in addition to sharing a document with others.

Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn about the Google Docs interface.

edit hotspots

Page setup options

When you first create a Google document, you may want to change page setup options like page orientation, margins, or paper size, depending on the type of document you are creating. You can access these options by clicking Page setup in the File menu.

Selecting Page setup

In the Page setup dialog, you can customize several options:

  • Page orientation is whether your page is oriented in portrait or landscape format. Landscape format means the page is oriented horizontally, while portrait format means it is oriented vertically.

    Choosing the Page Orientation

  • Page margins are the gaps between the body of the document and the edge of the page.
    Setting Page Margins
  • Paper size lets you change the dimensions of the page. This is particularly useful if you are printing the document on a custom paper size.
    Paper Size selection
  • Page color is the background color of the document. This may be useful as a decorative option if you plan on publishing your document on the Web.

    Page color selection

Challenge!

  1. Open Google Docs, and create a new blank file.
  2. Change the document title from Untitled Document to Practice Document.
  3. Change the page orientation to landscape.
  4. Change all of the margin sizes to 0.5" (1.25 cm).
  5. Change the page color to a light blue.
  6. When you're finished, your document should look something like this:
    Getting Started Challenge Example

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