Google Docs is one of the most popular word processors out there, so much so that I don’t even use Microsoft Word anymore. As it is a major part of my workflow, I use a lot of keyboard shortcuts that most people may not be aware of. These keyboard shortcuts will help save time. Here is a list of Google Docs shortcuts that you must know. Let’s begin.
1. Paste Without Formatting
When you paste a piece of text from the internet in a Google Docs document, it also includes the formatting. If you’ve been manually removing the formatting, there’s an easier way. Instead of using CTRL+V, simply press CTRL+SHIFT+V or CMD+SHIFT+V to paste without formatting.
Alternatively, if you just want to remove the formatting of a small piece of text, select the text and press CTRL+\ or CMD+\ to clear formatting from the selected text.
2. Reuse Formatting
When you wish to change the formatting of text such as changing font, size, color, style, etc, you need to select the text and do it manually. Turns out, you can actually just copy that formatting to any text on the doc. Simply select the text and copy the formatting by pressing CTRL+ALT+C or CMD+OPTION+C. To paste the formatting, select the text and press CTRL+ALT+V or CMD+OPTION+V.
3. Work in Compact Mode
The top and sidebars can be a little distracting and occupy space on the screen for many writers. You can free up that space by turning on the compact mode by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+F keyboard shortcut (for both PC and Mac).
4. Add Superscript Characters
Whether you’re working on your Chemistry assignment or looking to write TM over a brand name, using Superscripts Google Docs shortcuts can come in handy. Simply press CTRL+. or CMD+. to enable the superscript function. Press it again to disable it.
Additionally, you can press CTRL+, or CMD+ to enable subscripts on Google Docs.
5. Add HTML Headings to Google Docs
As I am a blogger, I frequently prepare drafts in Google Docs and then copy them to WordPress. You can actually add HTML headings to your document that would eliminate the need for manually adding headings later on. You can add H1 to H6 by pressing CTRL+ALT+ 1-6 or CMD+OPTION+ 1-6. Useful Google Docs shortcut for all sorts of writers.
6. Insert Links
If you frequently create resources with hyperlinks from around the internet, you don’t have to put the entire link as is. You can add clickable links to any text by hyperlink it. Simply select any text and press CTRL+K or CMD+K to paste the URL.
Additionally, you can open that link directly by highlighting the link and pressing ALT+ Enter or OPTION + Enter.
7. Create Lists
Most users insert numbered and bullet lists in Google Docs using the toolbar. What they don’t know is that there is a Google Docs keyboard shortcut to do this quickly. To create a numbered list, press CTRL+SHIFT+7 or CMD+SHIFT+7 and for a bullet list, press CTRL+SHIFT+7 or CMD+SHIFT+8.
8. Align Text
Press the following key combinations to align text:
- Left align: Ctrl+Shift+L or CMD+Shift+L
- Right align: Ctrl+Shift+R or CMD+Shift+ R
- Center align: Ctrl+Shift+E or CMD+Shift+E
- Justify: Ctrl+Shift+J or CMD+Shift+J
9. Word Count
When you’re trying to finish an essay and are not sure if you’ve hit the word limit yet, you can check it with this quick shortcut. Simply press CTRL+SHIFT+C or CMD+SHIFT+C and you will get the current word count on your document.
10. Start Typing with your Voice
If you use Google Docs on Chrome browser and ever get tired of mashing your fingers on the keyboards, you can use your voice to start typing. Press CTRL+SHIFT+S or CMD+SHIFT+S to begin typing with your voice.
11. Spell Check
It’s a good idea to do a spell-check after you’re finished with your work. You can do an overall grammar check by pressing CTRL+ALT+X or CMD+OPTION+X.
12. Add Footnotes
You can add footnotes to the Google Docs by pressing CTRL+ALT+F or CMD+OPTION+F.
13. Add Comments
Adding comments by clicking the button always felt unintuitive to me but fortunately, there’s a quick Google Docs keyboard shortcut that lets you add comments on the fly. Select the piece of text using Shift+arrow keys and then press CTRL+ALT+M or CMD+OPTION+M. Once you have keyed in the comment, you can press Ctrl+Enter to send the comment.
14. Show Common Keyboard Shortcuts
The list above doesn’t cover all the keyboard shortcuts, just the ones that I find most useful. If you want the complete list of keyboard shortcuts, press CTRL+/ or CMD+/ to reveal a pop-up containing a handy list.
How Do You Use Google Docs Shortcuts?
These were a few of the best Google Docs shortcuts that I use frequently. I use the keyboard extensively and using the mouse actually hinders the workflow and using the keyboard shortcuts just feels right. What do you think? Do you use a keyboard shortcut not mentioned above? Let me know on Twitter.