Docs

Chapter 9: Mobile Docs

Table of contents

Minimum requirements for mobile Google Docs

Accessing and creating Google Docs on your mobile device

Overview

Creating new documents

Share docs on the go

Editing and collaborating on documents with a mobile device

Start editing a document on a mobile device

Collaborating in documents on a mobile device

Working with text in documents on a mobile device

Editing text

Copying, pasting, and selecting

Editing a spreadsheet on a mobile device

Viewing files on your mobile device

Viewing files from within Google Docs

Mobile and Desktop views for documents on a mobile device

Printing Google Docs from your mobile device

Setting up Cloud Print on your mobile device

Printing a document or spreadsheet

Using the Google Docs app on your Android device

Overview

Installing the Google Docs app

The Docs dashboard

Working in your Documents List

Creating new docs

Accessing Google Docs directly from your home screen

Mobile Docs in the classroom

Minimum requirements for mobile Google Docs

Depending on the mobile device and Operating System you're using, you might be able to access, view, or edit your Google documents, spreadsheets, presentations, as well as files uploaded to Google Docs.

Viewing

You can view documents, spreadsheets, presentations and drawings on most phones that support HTML. We also support viewing other file types through Google Docs on your mobile device.

Editing

You can edit Google documents and spreadsheets if you're using one of these devices and Operating Systems:

Mobile editing for Google Docs is supported in 34 languages. You can set your language from your Documents settings on a desktop computer (not from your mobile device).

Accessing and creating Google Docs on your mobile device

Overview

You can access your Google docs on specific mobile devices. To get started, point your mobile browser to https://docs.google.com.

Here's what you can do from the mobile Docs list:

When you open a doc or certain files, you'll be able to view it only. If you'd like to make changes to a doc, you'll need to press the Edit button at the top of the document. Learn more about editing a Google document on your mobile device.

Creating new documents

You can create new spreadsheets and documents from your mobile device. Just follow these steps:

  1. Touch the icon on the far right of the toolbar above your Docs list.
  2. From the menu, select the type of doc you want to create.
  3. Type your title.
  4. Touch the Create button.

Share docs on the go

To get started, go to docs.google.com from your supported device’s browser. Press Sort to organize the list of docs visible in the mobile browser, or press Narrow by to specify the subset of docs you’d like to see.

To share from your mobile docs list, select one or more documents, press the Share button, and select Share, Get the link to share for public or unlisted docs, or Email as attachment. Sharing a doc in your mobile browser works the same way as it does on the desktop.

Editing and collaborating on documents with a mobile device

Start editing a document on a mobile device

You can edit your Google document on specific mobile devices.

To get started, simply open the document you’d like to edit from your mobile Docs list.

Then, press the Edit button that appears on the toolbar at the top of the document, and start editing your document. Read more about working with text in documents on a mobile device.

Collaborating in documents on a mobile device

On a mobile device, you can collaborate with others simultaneously -- whether they’re using a computer or another mobile device.

On your mobile device

As changes are made, your document is kept up to date. You can keep an eye on the status of changes from the menu above the editing space.

This view shows you  if and when a collaborator last made changes.

Your document will automatically refresh as your collaborator makes changes, but you can also press the Refresh button on the menu bar.

Similarly, when you’ve made changes, they are automatically saved to your document as you add them.

But you can also save by pressing the Save button.

On your computer

When you're working in the desktop version of Google documents, you can also continue to collaborate with people who may be using a mobile device to access a document.

However, unlike other desktop collaborators, you will not see mobile collaborators in the chat window. Also, when mobile collaborators add text, you will not see the presence of their cursor, though their text will be added in real-time.

The other collaborative components of Google documents, such as revision history, will function as usual.

Working with text in documents on a mobile device

About text formatting

When you edit the text of a document on your mobile device, you’ll notice that even complex formatting is preserved:

These formatting options won't change when you edit on your mobile device:

Web fonts are not currently supported in the mobile version of Google documents. But web fonts will be preserved when you open your document on your computer.

Editing text

To edit or add text, simply touch the part of the document you want to change, and the mobile device’s keyboard appears.

Because Google documents preserves your formatting, you can add more items to a list you created while working on your computer. Depending on the phone you have, you also might be able to enter text by speaking.

Copying, pasting, and selecting

You can use the editing tools available on your mobile device for selecting, copying and pasting text when editing your Google documents. For example, you can copy and paste text from Google documents into another phone application and viceversa.

Editing a spreadsheet on a mobile device

You can view and edit your Google spreadsheets from a supported mobile device.

When you access a spreadsheet from a mobile device, we'll show it to you in mobile view. From here you can edit particular cells by selecting the Edit link for the relevant row.

If you're on an iPad, you can also edit a spreadsheet in desktop view, as you would on a desktop computer. To do this, simply touch the Go to spreadsheet view link at the top of the page. You'll see this link only when you open a spreadsheet from an iPad.

When editing a spreadsheet on an iPad, you can edit the contents of a cell from the formula bar.

As mobile and tablet browsers aren't yet as robust as desktop browsers, editing spreadsheets on these devices tends to be slightly slower than on a regular desktop computers.

Viewing files on your mobile device

Viewing files from within Google Docs

Now that you can upload any file into Google Docs, it's easier than ever to view your files from within Google Docs on your mobile device.

If you're using Docs from an Android or Apple device, you can view the following file types: pdf, ppt, doc and docx. You don't need to download the file, and you can easily scroll through the doc and zoom in and out in the viewer.

To view one of these files on your device, you can sign in to Google Docs at http://docs.google.com. Here, you'll see your Docs list:

After selecting the file you want to open, you'll see a preview, like this:

From this view, you can browse through the multiple pages of your file by clicking the arrow keys in the toolbar above the document. You can also zoom in and out of the preview, using the magnifying glass buttons, also in the toolbar.

Mobile and Desktop views for documents on a mobile device

When you open a document from your mobile device, you'll access the Mobile view by default. However, you can switch to the Desktop view at any time by clicking Desktop at the bottom of the screen.

If you’re working on an iPad, you may want to switch to the Desktop view to change the font or color of your text, for example. Certain tasks like this aren't available when you use the Mobile view. To select text, place one finger at each end of the region you want to select.

However, there are some minor limitations when using the Desktop view on your iPad: you can't right-click, zoom, or copy and paste between Google documents and other applications.

Printing Google Docs from your mobile device

You can print your Google documents and spreadsheets from your mobile device using Google Cloud Print.

Setting up Cloud Print on your mobile device

Before you begin, be sure you have set up your printer to work with Google Cloud Print.

When you use Google Cloud print from your mobile device, your document or spreadsheet will be printed with your printer's default settings.

Printing a document or spreadsheet

Be sure you're using a supported device, and navigate to docs.google.com from your device. To print a spreadsheet, press the Print... link at the top of your spreadsheet. To print a document, press the drop-down menu to the left of the Edit button, and mark the Print option.

Next, follow the instructions on the screen to select the printer you'd like to send your document or spreadsheet to.

Using the Google Docs app on your Android device

Overview

Google Docs is available as an app on your Android device. With this app, you can access and edit your docs without having to use your browser.

The app also seamlessly integrates with other features on your Android phone. Here are some things you can do with the Google Docs app on your Android:

Installing the Google Docs app

To get started, make sure you're using an Android device version 2.1 or higher. Follow these steps to install the Google Docs app on your Android device:

  1. Open the Android Marketplace.
  2. Find and install the application called Docs.
  3. On your phone's home screen, click the Google Docs app icon .

The Docs dashboard

When the Docs app loads, you'll see the dashboard screen.

From here, you can access different views of your Documents List:

If you touch the More button, you'll be able to filter your Documents List by text, spreadsheets, or presentations.

Once you've selected a Documents List view on the dashboard, you can filter your documents even more using the blue menu bar above the list of docs. You can swipe left or right on the document list or tap the labels on the menu bar to switch between All Items, Owned by Me, Starred, and Home.

Working in your Documents List

In addition to sorting and filtering your docs, you can do the following tasks from your Documents List:

Creating new docs

Follow these steps to create a new document or spreadsheet:

  1. Press the Create a document button  in the top right of the app.
  2. Select the type of document you'd like to create:

When you create a document using the Document from photo option, your Android device's camera can convert a photo to a text document using OCR.

Accessing Google Docs directly from your home screen

The Docs app includes a widget that you can place on your device's home screen. Press the Menu button on your home screen and touch Add. Next, select Widgets and then Docs. The widget will appear on your device's home screen.

This is what you can do from the Docs widget:

Mobile Docs in the classroom

Mobile docs are a great way for students to collaborate on the go. With a smartphone with a cellular or wifi connection, students can collaborate on documents and spreadsheets with other students and the teacher. Some ways students can use mobile Google Docs: