Google Docs

The Benefits of Using Google Docs

Google Docs is a free online word processor available to anybody with a Gmail or Google Apps account. Since student email at Saint Rose is run through Google Apps more and more students are using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides as opposed more expensive software like Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Students are also beginning to realize the benefit of Cloud based storage and services like Google Drive/Docs since it allows them to access and work on their files regardless of where they are or what device they are using.


How To Create a Google Doc

To create a Google Doc, first log into your Saint Rose student email and click on the Google Apps icon in the upper right hand corner. There are a lot of options here– to create a text document, click on Docs.

Google Apps menu

This will take you to the Docs folder in your Google Drive. From here you can either create a new Doc or scroll through all of your Docs to find an older one to edit.

If you are having trouble locating a specific Doc you’ve created previously, you can use the search bar along the top of the page to help locate it. This will search the full text of any document, so you don’t have to remember the title to find it!

Creating A New Google Doc or Opening an Old One


For this example, we are going to create a new Doc by clicking on the Blank template (as shown in the image above). In either case,  the Doc will open in the text editor, as shown below.


What a New Google Doc Looks Like

The options in the Google Docs editor are very similar to those found in Microsoft Word, although there are some minor variations. You can find more information about editing and formatting your documents with Google’s excellent official “Getting Started Guide”.



How To Download Google Docs as Other File Formats

While Google Docs is an excellent free document editor, you will likely need your file to be in different format (usually either a MS Word or PDF document) before emailing it to your instructor or submitting it on either Blackboard or Chalk & Wire.

Fortunately, Google Docs allows you to download your Doc as one of several other formats. To do so, open the Doc you need to convert, (1) click File,  (2) select Download As, and then (3) select the kind of file you need your Doc to be converted to.  

downloading as


How To Upload Word Documents to Either Store or Convert

You can also upload preexisting documents to your Google account to either store then in your Drive or to convert and edit them using Google Docs, since Google Docs and Google Drive share the same platform.


Google Drive: storage vs editing


To upload a Word document directly into Google Docs to convert and edit it, go to your Google Docs folder, (1) click on the folder icon in the upper right hand corner,  (2) select the Upload tab on the pop-up window, and then (3) drag your desired document onto the pop-up window or Select a File via the button. The document will then automatically convert into a Google Doc and open in the Google Docs Editor. 

How to upload a document from the Google Docs page


If instead all you want is to upload a document to Google Drive for cloud storage and sharing without converting it to a Google Doc (for example, if you want to preserve the original formatting or just need to save it as a backup), go to your Google Drive and drag the document in question from your computer over the browser window. When dragging your file over the window you will see the “Drop files to instantly upload them” pop-up and then after the file is dropped it will promptly appear along with the rest of the documents in your Google Drive.

How to upload a document from the Google Docs page

This method preserves the original format and file type of your document. You can double click on the document to view it. However if you decide to edit the document within Google it will be converted to a Google Doc.