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Google Docs: Editing & Formatting Text

This article covers instructions for using the web version of Google Docs. Be aware that other versions, such as the mobile app, will vary in functionality.

Editing and formatting options in Google Docs are accessible from the toolbar above the document, as well as the menu bar (File, Edit, View, etc). Available options in the toolbar will depend on the selected content (text, table, image).

To add text to a Google Doc, insert the type cursor at the desired location and enter text as desired. Text formatting and style options, such as font and size, will be available in the toolbar above the document (described below).

Toolbar Options

The toolbar, which appears above the document, can be used to modify and format the appearance of the text.

1. Undo and redo the most recent edits, print, and grammar/spell check, copy the formatting of highlighted text and apply it to other text in the document.
2. Zoom level.
3. Text style, font, and size.
4. Text weight (bold, italic, underline), and color (fill, highlight).

5. Insert a link, comment, or image.
6. Text alignment and spacing.
7. Create a bulleted or numbered list. 
8. Text indentation.
9. Remove formatting.


In addition to standard text formatting options such as font and size, the style of the text can be configured as well. The text styles in Google Docs are Normal, Title, Subtitle, and Heading (1-4). We recommend using text styles to organize documents instead of manually changing the appearance of text with formatting (such as increasing the size or bolding). Using styles is quicker, easier, more consistent, and assistive technologies rely on proper styling to guide users through the content. 
  • Normal: paragraph text. This is the text style for the majority of text in most documents.
  • Title: the title of the document. This should be the top-most text, above all else.
  • Subtitle: the subtitle of the document. This could be an expansion of the document name.
  • Headings (1-4): use headings to organize the content sections. Headings can be used to establish a hierarchy of information. For example, Heading 2 can be used as a subtopic section header for content thats a step below content for Heading 1.
To change the text style, click the style drop-down from the toolbar, which is set as Normal text by default, and make a selection. Previously typed text will need to be highlighted first in order to apply a new style to it. 

To adjust the appearance of a style:
  1. Format the text as desired. 
  2. Highlight the text.
  3. Click the style drop-down, hover over a style, and click Update [style] to match.

More information about formatting text and documents in Google Docs can be found in Google support documentation.

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Keywordsfont, size, style, heading, word, document   Doc ID107547
OwnerJanelle B.GroupPacific Lutheran Univ
Created2020-12-03 10:36:12Updated2023-08-04 16:28:19
SitesPacific Lutheran University
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