“Use These 11 Tips to Get (Even More) Productive in Google Docs - TIME” plus 3 more

“Use These 11 Tips to Get (Even More) Productive in Google Docs - TIME” plus 3 more


Use These 11 Tips to Get (Even More) Productive in Google Docs - TIME

Posted: 15 Aug 2019 01:35 PM PDT

Nearly everyone needs a place to do some serious writing, whether it's the notebook in your bag or the text editor on your computer. For the millions of people with a normal Google account or work-related G-Suite account, that place is Google Docs, where you can create, share, and store documents in the cloud, accessible wherever you've got a web browser.

But having a convenient place to do your writing one tab over from your ongoing Cookie Clicker game is one thing; understanding the tools at your disposal to make the work you do easier is another.

Here are some essential shortcuts, tips, and suggestions to make every word written in Google Docs count.

Track Your Word Count by the Paragraph

Need to hit your report's 5,000-word goal? Are you aiming to keep your cover letter under a page? If you're curious about the word count of your document, it's easy to check. Visit Tools > Word Count to get a quick overview of the number of pages, words, and characters.

While that's valuable information, it doesn't help if you're trying to shorten a particular section, or discern where you need to add a few sentences. The fix is simple: Highlight the selection you'd like to analyze, and select Word Count again. You'll see your selection's word count compared to the document's entire count, giving you that extra information necessary to fit your prose into its future container.

Finally, Easier Superscripts

Mathematicians, scientists, and other fans of exponents will appreciate the ability to easily add superscript and subscript text to their documents without digging into the system's catalog of characters. After highlighting the text in question, hit Format > Text, then select either superscript, subscript, or whatever text transformation option you'd like to use. You can also use "Ctrl-." or "Cmd-." to ditch the menu and use your keyboard.

Check Out Google's Cache of Awesome Fonts

Google Docs has a few dozen fonts for you to choose from right off the bat, but for some that just doesn't cut it, especially if you've got a particular one tied to whatever you're writing — be it for your business or personal project. Thankfully, a few extra clicks will grant you access to a veritable storehouse of open-source fonts from Google itself.

To access the Google Fonts catalog, simply hit the font drop-down menu (next to the header drop-down menu) and select "More Fonts." You'll be greeted with a window full of fonts to scroll through and add to your personal collection for use anywhere (you can even download them to your computer to use anytime you'd like). By visiting the Google Fonts site, you'll be able to do more granular searches for particular styles, and sort based on features you're looking for.

Dictation Doubles as a Transcription Tool

Whether you've got a three-minute or three-hour conversation to transcribe, listening to yourself talk only to type it all out is excruciating punishment, and pretty boring. So instead of agonizing about it (or paying someone else to do your dirty work), use Google's built-in dictation tool to "transcribe" the conversation and save yourself the headache of typing it all out by hand. In addition to the Chrome browser, you'll need some headphones to keep from confusing the dictation tool. Other than that, it works like a charm.

Before you set about transcribing, be sure to set your default language by going to File > Language. Then, look for Tools > Voice Typing. From there, hit the microphone, talk while you play the file back, and watch as Google turns your audio into text right there in the document.

Use Headers to Break Down Big Documents

Headers aren't just useful for separating topics in your kid's book report, they double as a quick navigation tool for longer documents. Creating headers is easy, just select the Normal Text dropdown menu and pick your header size.

For some even simpler organizing, you can also use bold text as substitute headers, so long as the text is on its own, with a line break above and below it. If you want to see the fruits of your labor, go to View > Show Document Outline to open the outline navigation sidebar.

Work Offline to Dodge Distractions

The internet can be pretty distracting if you're trying to finish a time-sensitive project. Instead of looking at apps and services to curb your content consumption while you create your own (and falling down that rabbit hole), here's a better idea: Turn off your Wi-Fi and work offline.

Before you cut your connection to the web, you'll need to download the Google Docs Offline extension first. After you install it, visit your document of choice and select File > Make Available Offline. Now, all your changes will be saved locally, and sync with the web when you're back online. You'll know you're offline when you see a small lightning bolt icon next to your document name, indicating its disconnection from the web.

Link to Everything, Even Your Own Documents

Sticking links in your documents is fairly simple — just highlight the text you want to link, hit Ctrl-K (or Cmd-K), and type in your URL — but that's not all. If you're working on multiple documents, perhaps with multiple people involved, you can link to other documents rather than external web pages. Instead of pasting or typing in a URL for a webpage, copy and paste the URL of the document you'd like to link. You can also search for it when you bring up the link window, and have Google search through your Google Docs account for items matching your search terms.

Linking to documents provides a three-line overview showing you the document title, owner, and the last time any changes were made. That makes keeping multiple documents —perhaps part of an overarching guide or report — easier than visiting each one to see when the last modification happened, especially if you know some edits are overdue.

Build Your Personal Dictionary for Fewer Misspellings

Properly spelling that one word you always mess up, or correctly nailing the esoteric medical terms you're studying is an annoyance many can live without. Luckily, Google Docs lets you build a dictionary of your own, complete with unfamiliar words, accents, or terms found only in your weird science-fiction screenplay. Visit Tools > Spelling and grammar > Personal dictionary. Add your words of choice, and keep your document error-free.

Version History, a Disaster's Best Friend

Sometimes you just wish you could go back and find that choice phrase you wrote before dismissing it to the ether with a quick backspace. Other times you wish you could recover that first draft of a document before your co-writer or manager took the axe to every Oxford comma you lovingly inserted. To take advantage of Google Docs' revision history feature, visit File > Version history to either "bookmark" the current version of your document, or visit past versions, seeing where and when changes were made to your document.

Custom shortcuts bring text expansion to the web

I don't know about you, but typing out "two-factor authentication" every time I need to talk about protecting myself online feels needlessly time-consuming. There are tons of other words, names, and phrases everyone spells (or misspells) on a daily basis, words that would benefit from a text expansion tool. Well, Google Docs has one built-in, making it easy to turn that default greeting you send to every new client, colleague, or peer into a three-letter shortcut.

Visit Tools > Preferences to find the Automatic Substitution list, pre-populated with shortcuts for things like fractions and arrows. Add your own shortcut phrases (making sure they don't belong to actual words you use on a daily basis) along with the full, expanded result you'd like to see.

One great use? You can use a phrase like "wmail" to drop in your work-related email address, or "xintro" to quickly paste in some traditional boilerplate text to the start or end of your document. You can even make shortcuts for symbols, and type something like "( c )" to easily add a copyright symbol or other seldom-used character.

Write to Patrick Lucas Austin at patrick.austin@time.com.

Black former Google employee writes memo about racism at company - Business Insider

Posted: 15 Aug 2019 11:52 AM PDT

In a memo that's circulating through Google, a former employee who recently decided to leave described the racism they felt as a black person working at the search giant's New York headquarters, in what is the latest example of the tech industry struggling to provide safe and equitable working environments for employees of color.

"Over the last 5 years I've heard co-workers spew hateful words about immigrants, boast unabashedly about gentrifying neighborhoods, mockingly imitate people who speak different languages, reject candidates of color without evidence because of 'fit,'" the former employee wrote in the memo, which was first obtained by Motherboard.

They said that although they grew more comfortable over time speaking up to "educate" their co-workers, they "never stopped feeling the burden of being black at Google."

The former employee — who had their name redacted from the publicly released memo — also laid out three steps they thought Google should take to improve its diversity and inclusion efforts.

Those steps included restructuring the company's referral program (which, they said, perpetuated the diversity gap), use virtual reality more prominently in diversity training to build empathy and curtail biases, and offer more mental health support for employees of color.

Google did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment on the memo.

Google, along with other Silicon Valley giants, has struggled to hire a more diverse workforce. In 2018, black employees only accounted for 2.8% of Google's technical roles and 3.6% of its leadership roles. Overall, black employees accounted for 4.8% of Google's total workforce.

Read more: ' Facebook has a black people problem': A former employee posted a 2,500-word memo about racial discrimination at the company

Last year, it was a former employee from Facebook that shared a letter upon his departure, detailing the experience of racism he encountered and the company's failures to build a more inclusive and supportive work environment for people of color.

"Facebook has a black people problem," he said at the time.

Read the full memo from the former Googler here.

Do you work at Google? Got a tip? Contact Nick Bastone via Signal or WhatsApp at +1 (209) 730-3387 using a non-work phone, email at nbastone@businessinsider.com, Telegram at nickbastone, or Twitter DM at@nickbastone.

Pewaukee animal clinic sues Google reviewers over false reviews - WTMJ-TV

Posted: 14 Aug 2019 08:19 PM PDT

PEWAUKEE — An animal clinic in Pewaukee is fighting back against bad Google reviews. Court documents reveal the reviews stem from an incident in which a veterinarian was bit dozens of times by a dog, prompting Waukesha County to put it down.

The attorney for Lakeview Animal Clinic, James Barton, said the clinic used to have stellar reviews from clients. But after the incident, one-star reviews started popping up on Google when you search the business' name.

"As many small businesses know, you don't have an unlimited marketing budget to put commercials on, so you rely on word of mouth and people posting honest, unbiased reviews," said Barton.

Barton said when Lakeview checked the names behind the negative reviews, it found none of them have ever been a client of the clinic. So first, they asked them to take down the reviews. Then, they asked Google to remove them.

animal clinic lawyer.jpg
James Barton, attorney for Lakeview Animal Clinic

"Google took down a few of them, but ultimately Lakeview was left without options," said Barton.

So they decided to sue. According to the lawsuit, the negative reviews stem from an incident in which the vet was bit 31 times by a client's golden retriever. Waukesha County made the decision to euthanize the dog. That's when the lawsuit said the posts began.

"It's quite clear it's a coordinated attempted to drive down Lakeview's ratings," said Barton.

TODAY'S TMJ4 reached out to the people with listed phone numbers in the lawsuit. So far, no one has responded to our requests for an interview.

Google released this statement:

"We have strict policies in place, enable people to report issues to us, and use manual and automated systems to detect fraud - but we tend not to share details behind our processes so as not to tip off spammers or others with bad intent. We provide reviews on Google Maps to help users make informed decisions on businesses and services. We believe that overall the reviews system is an opportunity for great businesses to shine and attract more customers. The vast majority of reviews on Google Maps are legitimate. If you believe that a review violates our posting guidelines please bring it to our attention by flagging it as inappropriate."

Lakeview Animal Clinic's attorney said it is seeking damages, but all they really want is for the false reviews to be removed.

Ohio State trying to trademark the word 'The' - UPI News

Posted: 14 Aug 2019 07:08 AM PDT

Aug. 14 (UPI) -- The Ohio State University is attempting to trademark the word "The," one of the most common words in the English language.

The filing was made Thursday with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Trademark serial number 88571984 stipulates the use of the word "The" when used with the school's name on clothing, T-shirts, baseball caps and hats.

Ohio State had former coach Urban Meyer's name was trademarked in 2015. The school had Woody Hayes' name trademarked in 2016. Ohio State requested a trademark for the acronym OSU in 2017, but agreed to split the name with Oklahoma State University.

"Like other institutions, Ohio State works to vigorously protect the university's brand and trademarks," Ohio State spokesman Chris Davey said in a statement, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

"These assets hold significant value, which benefits our students and faculty and the broader community by supporting our core academic mission of teaching and research."

Trademark lawyer Josh Gerben tweeted a video analyzing the trademark application, saying he thinks it's "likely" the school will be refused on its initial application. He cited merchandise on the school's online team store, which featured the word "The," without mentioning the rest of the school's name.

"In order for a trademark to be registered for a brand of clothing, the trademark must be used in a trademarked fashion," Gerben said. "In other words, it has to be used on tagging or labeling for the products. In this case, just putting the word 'the' on the front of a hat or on the front of a shirt is not sufficient trademark use."

The word "the" is used about for five out of every 100 words, according to the Google Ngram viewer, which tells users how often words are used over time span based on the Google Books database. Conversely, the word "of" is used for four out of every 100 words, while "and" is used for nearly three out of every 100 words.

The "The" in The Ohio State University was part of state legislation when the school was renamed in 1978. The school -- founded in 1870 -- was originally known as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College and opened in 1873.

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