Wednesday, August 6, 2008

GoogleDocs: Spellcheck and Word Count

Google Documents is a great system for creating documents that you can access online from any computer. Fast, easy - and free!

To get started, you need a Google account (for example, a Gmail address). If you don't have a Google account, it just takes a few seconds to set one up. You can either get a Gmail address, or get a Google account based on any email address you want to use.

Create new document. When you log on to Google Documents, you will have the option of creating a new document (or spreadsheet, or presentation, etc.)

By default, your document is untitled. You can give it a title by clicking where it says Untitled and typing the title you want in the dialog box that opens up:

You can type as in a regular word processor. If you will be cutting-and-pasting what you type into a blog or other web-based program, don't do any formatting here. Just type your text.

Spellcheck. When you are ready to spellcheck, you will find the spellcheck icon is at the right-hand end of the toolbar, or you can choose Check Spelling from the Tools menu:

Any words that are not correct English spelling will be highlighted in yellow.

When you correct the spelling, the yellow highlight will disappear. To get hints about the spelling, LEFT mouse click on the highlighted word. You will see some possible corrections, and you will also have the option to add the word to the spellcheck dictionary.

When you are done making any correctins you want to make, just click the Spellcheck icon again to turn off any of the yellow highlighting that is still left on the page.

Word count. To do a word count, select Word Count from the Tools menu.

There will be a variety of statistics displayed, with simple word count being the first item:

To close the Word Count box, just click on the small X in the upper right-hand corner.

Save your work. Google Docs has an auto-save feature, but you can also choose to Save your work, or Save & Close, at any time, using the buttons in the upper right-hand corner of the page:

So, while you are typing, auto-save will be saving your work periodically, but you can use Save & Close to make sure you save the latest version of your document when you are done working. You can then access your document any time from any computer using a web browser, simply by logging in to Google Documents on that computer. Very handy for people on the go!

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