Friday, April 17, 2015

How to Get Columns in a Google Doc

I can't possibly be the only one who is waiting anxiously for Google to add in the option for making columns into a Google Doc.  The good news is that there is a work around until that joyous day comes along (I really hope it comes along).

When you get to a spot in your document where you would like to use columns, insert a table instead.  A one row, two column table, or however many columns you would like to have.  To do this, click "Insert" across the top of your document and then when you mouse over "Table" you will be able to choose the desired size for your table.

Once you have inserted your table and typed your text into the columns, right click on the table and choose "Table properties" from the menu.

Then a window will pop up that gives you a few different options including line color, line size, cell color, column width, etc.  The one you want to click on is "Table border" which has a default of black.  If you click on the little drop down next to the black square under "Table border", a color panel will appear and you can change the color to white.

After you have selected white, the color panel will disappear and you can click "OK" at the bottom of the window.

Ta da!  Columns!  You may now commence your happy dance. 

Once I figured out this trick, I've never made another document using Microsoft Word.  This was the last option for me that I needed on a regular basis that Google Docs was missing.  Hopefully that option will be added in at some point, but until then tables are my go to.  

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spell Check Gone Crazy?

Ever find yourself editing a document in Google Docs and spell check goes a little crazy?  All the sudden nearly every word is underlined in red - words you know are correct!  I encountered this the other day on a file that was shared with me.  I'm one of those people that can't handle having the red underline, especially if I know it shouldn't be there.

If you see something like this, you should double check the language that is selected for your file.  That is the language the spell check is going to use to check your document.  You can check this by clicking on the "File" menu across the top of your screen, and then clicking on "Language" about halfway down the list.

Make sure that "English (United States)" is selected.  Once you do that, chances are all the little red underlines will clear and peace will be restored.  

Ahhh.  That's better, right?  I have no idea how Afrikaans got selected on my colleague's document, but I'm glad that choosing the correct language fixed the problem.  You might not run into this issue, but I bet your students might at some point.  It is easy to accidentally click on something with those little fingers on the track pad.  

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