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Using Google Docs

Google Docs gives you and your students the capability to collaboratively create, share, and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations without the need to purchase Microsoft Office. Your "files" are stored online in your Google account.  It provides an excellent vehicle for collaborative writing, as well as eliminating issues associated with having multiple versions of the same document.

A quick start guide is available from Google here. Google also noted:

Here's what you can do with documents:

  • Upload Word documents, OpenOffice, RTF, HTML or text (or create documents from scratch).
  • Use a simple WYSIWYG editor to format your documents, spell-check them, etc.
  • Invite others (by e-mail address) to edit or view your documents and spreadsheets.
  • Edit documents online with whomever you choose.
  • View your documents' and spreadsheets' revision history and roll back to any version.
  • Publish documents online to the world, as Web pages or post documents to your blog.
  • Download documents to your desktop as Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF, HTML or zip.
  • Email your documents out as attachments.

Here's what you can do with spreadsheets:

  • Import and export of .xls, .csv, .txt and .ods formatted data (and export functionality for .pdf and html).
  • Enjoy intuitive navigation and editing, like any traditional document or spreadsheet.
  • Use formatting and formula editing in spreadsheets so you can calculate results and make your data look the way you want it.
  • Chat in real time with others who are editing your spreadsheet.
  • Embed a spreadsheet, or a piece of a spreadsheet, in your blog or website.

Here's what you can do with presentations:

  • Share and edit presentations with your friends and coworkers.
  • Import existing presentations in .ppt and .pps file types.
  • Export your presentations using the Save as PDF and Save as PPT features from the File menu.
  • Edit your presentations using our simple WYSIWYG editor.
  • Insert images and videos, and format your slides to fit your preferences.
  • Allow real-time viewing of presentations, online, from separate remote locations.
  • Publish and embed your presentations in a website, allowing access to a wide audience.

7 Things You Should Know About Collaborative Editing

Virginia Commonwealth University  |  Center for Teaching Excellence
Last updated: 09/22/2009
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