How to Create a Basic Document with Google Docs

Google Docs is an easy-to-use online word processor available for free for everyone with a Google Account. Let’s take a quick look at how you can create a basic document.

Open Google Docs

  1. Go to on your browser.
  2. Sign in to your Google account if you are not signed in already.
  3. Click on the small app icon (the one with nine small dots) and look for the Docs icon in the list.
  4. Click on the Docs icon.

This will take you to the Google Docs home page.

Create a new document

Click on the Blank thumbnail page with the big plus (+) icon.

If you don’t see it, look for a big round plus (+) icon in the lower right part of your screen.

Choose Document size and Margins

If you wish, you can take a look at the document size and margins before starting to work. In the menu, just go to:

File / Page Setup

You can select the paper size, page orientation and margins. Then click on OK to save the changes.

US Letter and the A4 format are the most commonly used page sizes. These are the page sizes we use all the time for standard documents we might need to print.

Enter a new text

To enter a new text, just start writing. Press Enter when you have finished the paragraph. If there are multiple text lines, just continue writing at the end of each line. The cursor will automatically jump to the new line. Only press Enter at the end of the paragraph.

How to apply some typical text formats

To use a different text format, first you will need to select the text.

In the toolbar, you can find the most commonly used formats. After selecting the text, just click on the icon that represents the text format you want to use or change:

  • Font name
  • Font size
  • Bold
  • Italic
  • Text Underline
  • Text Colour
  • Highlight colour

How to change the paragraph formats

Paragraph formatting always affects the entire paragraph. In a word processor, all text from the first character in a line to where you pressed Enter is a paragraph. A paragraph can be one line or multiple lines.

You can select one or multiple paragraphs. If you just want to change the format of one paragraph, you just need to place the cursor somewhere in this paragraph.

Then, in the toolbar, you can find icons to:

  • Change Text align (left, right, center, justify)
  • Change Line spacing and paragraph spacing
  • Create a Checklist
  • Create a Bullet list (with different levels)
  • Create a Numbered lists
  • Change Paragraph indents (increase or decrease space before text)

How to clear all formatting

You can clear all formatting with the Clear formatting icon in the toolbar. Select the text and then click on the T with a slash across. This will return the default format to the selected text.


You can use the tab key on your keyboard to place the cursor on one of the default tab stops. This is an easy way to create a simple column of short text where all the lines are aligned to the left.

You can also click on the horizontal ruler to add new left, center or right tab stops. When you press Enter at the end of the line, the new tab stops are copied to the next paragraph. In the same paragraph, you can combine the three tab stops to create columns with different alignments.

You can delete a tab stop by moving the small icon outside the ruler with the mouse.

Remember to select the paragraph before changing the tab stops.

Use tab stops instead of the spacebar to get the best result when you need to align short content on a text line.

Page Numbering

You might need to add page numbers if your document has multiple pages. In the menu, select:

Insert / Page Numbers

Then choose the position for the page number.

Print your document

To print your document, just go to the menu:

File / Print

If you use Chrome, the Chrome print function will be used. You can print the document or save it as a PDF file.

If you use another browser, you can open or download a PDF version of the document and then print the PDF file with the browser or a PDF viewer.


Google Docs is easy to use with a clean user interface. You can work with your documents from everywhere using your browser or the Google Docs app on your android, iPhone or iPad. With the free account, you also get a lot of storage space which may be enough in most cases, without needing to buy additional storage space.

Google Docs is a trademark of Google LLC.

Google and Google Docs are trademarks of Google LLC
and this blog is not endorsed by or affiliated with Google in any way.

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