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Lesson 3: Creating Google Docs

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Creating new files

Google Drive gives you access to a suite of tools that allows you to create and edit a variety of files, including documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. There are five types of files you can create on Google Drive:

  • google docs logo Documents: For composing letters, flyers, essays, and other text-based files (similar to Microsoft Word documents)
  • google sheets logo Spreadsheets: For storing and organizing information (similar to Microsoft Excel workbooks)
  • google slides logo Presentations: For creating slideshows (similar to Microsoft PowerPoint presentations)
  • google forms logo Forms: For collecting and organizing data
  • google drawings logo Drawings: For creating simple vector graphics or diagrams

The process for creating new files is the same for all file types. Watch the video below to learn more.


To create a new file:

  1. From Google Drive, locate and select the New button, then choose the type of file you want to create. In our example, we'll select Google Docs to create a new document.
    selecting Google Docs from menu
  2. Your new file will appear in a new tab on your browser. Locate and select Untitled document in the upper-left corner.
    Selecting Untitiled Document.
  3. The Rename dialog box will appear. Type a name for your file, then click OK.
    Typing a new name.
  4. Your file will be renamed. You can access the file at any time from your Google Drive, where it will be saved automatically. Simply double-click to open the file again.
    showing file after renaming

You may notice that there is no Save button for your files. This is because Google Drive uses autosave, which automatically and immediately saves your files as you edit them.

All changes saved.

Using templates

A template is a pre-designed file you can use to quickly create new documents. Templates often include custom formatting and designs, so they can save you a lot of time and effort when starting a new project. Most templates are designed to help you create specific types of files. For instance, you could use a template to quickly create a resume or newsletter.

Document template example.

You can find a wide selection of templates in the Google Drive Template Gallery. Unfortunately, we've found that many of these templates aren't very well designed, and it's often difficult to find specific templates within the gallery. For this reason, we recommend using templates made by Google, which tend to be of higher quality than user-submitted templates.

To use an official Google template:

  1. Navigate to the template gallery.
    Google template gallery
  2. When you've found a template you want to use, click the template to select it.


    selecting a resume template in the template gallery
  3. A new file will be created with the selected template. You can then customize the file with your own information.
    Template applied to document.

Challenge!

  1. Make sure you're signed in to Google, and open the Google Drive Template Gallery.
  2. Find a template and select Use this template.
  3. Rename the file.
  4. Try going back to your Google Drive to see that your new file has been added.
  5. If you're on a desktop computer, add a file from your computer to your Google Drive.

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