Google Docs: Docs Basics - access, create, edit, and print

There are several kinds of Google Docs: text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, and forms. We’ll use a basic text document to show you how to get started with Google Docs. Most of these steps also work for other document types, so learn these tasks and you’re on your way to creating presentations, spreadsheets, forms, and drawings too.

Get help
The fastest and most in-depth place to go for help with Google Docs is the Help menu in Google Docs.

Access your documents

One of the great things about Google Docs is that you can access your documents from any computer, anywhere in the world. Visit and sign in with your Butler email address and password to view a list of documents you own, have access to, or to create a new document. In your Docs list, you'll see all of the documents, presentations, spreadsheets, forms, and drawings you can access.

Create a document

From your Docs list, click Create and then select Document.

An untitled document appears in your browser -- now you're ready to edit!

Rename your document

Just click on the title to rename the document (the title is “Untitled document” when you first create it).

Edit and format your document

There are many ways to edit your document with the edit toolbar.

You could stick to entering plain text, but why? Take advantage of the full range of features in Google Apps Documents to make your documents stand out from the rest.


  1. For most copying and pasting, you can use the familiar keyboard shortcuts, Ctrl-C for Copy and Ctrl-V for Paste (Cmd-C and Cmd-V on a Mac). Because Google Docs is browser based, your default to cut, copy and paste should be these keyboard shortcuts (not using the Edit menu). This is a security feature of working in a browser.
  2. There are a few specific cases in which the best way to copy and paste is using the web clipboard menu. When you copy a selection using this menu, the content that you copy is stored and associated with your Google Account. That means that you can copy more than one selection and then choose which one to paste later; it also allows you to copy something on one computer and then paste it on another. To copy a selection using the web clipboard menu, follow these steps:
  1. Select what you'd like to copy.
  2. Click the Web clipboard menu that appears in the toolbar of your doc.

  1. Click Copy selection to web clipboard.
  2. In the destination document, click the web clipboard menu; you'll see the selection that you previously copied. If you copied multiple things, you'll see a list of the items that you've recently copied.
  3. Place the cursor where you want to paste the content.
  4. Click the Web clipboard menu.
  5. Select what you want to paste. Depending on your selection, you'll see different formats that you can choose from to paste what you've copied (for example, HTML or plain text).
  6. Select a format.

Insert images

  1. Click Insert > Image. You'll be able to add images in these file types: .gif, .jpg, and .png. Images must be less than 2MB.

  1. Choose an image from your computer or from the web (via URL). Once your image is added, you can remove or resize it at any time.

    To remove an image, select it, click
    Edit, and choose Cut or select it and press the Delete key.

    To resize an image, select it and then pull one selection handle. Use a corner handle to proportionally resize in all dimensions:

    Use a top, bottom, or side handle to resize on only one dimension:

Add a table

Tables are a great way to organize information in your document.

  1. Click Table > Insert table and point at the number of rows and columns you want:

  1. Then format and fill out your table:

    Tip: To add color to cells (like the top row above), select the text in one or more cells, click Table > Table properties, and then set the cell background color.

Add a link

It’s super easy to add links in Google Docs.

  1. Select the text (or an image) where you want the link.

  2. Click the link icon in the toolbar.

  3. Type the URL and click OK. Note that you can even test the link before you add it.

Set margins, page size, orientation, and background color

To set these options, click File > Page setup.

To print your document, click File > Print. A PDF version of your document will appear with these print options:


If you need more advanced options, or if system print settings override your Google Docs print settings, click
Print using system dialog.