By simply checking a box in Google Docs settings, you can benefit from nifty typing and formatting shortcuts.
You may or may not be aware of a useful trick that can make composing things like bulleted lists or text formatting in Google Docs easier. It can also be used in Google Slides and Google Drawings.
Enabling Markdown in Google Docs will recognize certain symbols and format your document as you type. Markdown is a huge popular lightweight markup language and smart typesetting tool.
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For example, if you type tm, Markdown will automatically correct to ™ . Other examples include (c) to ©; r) to ®; – at -; 1/2 to 1/2 and ==> to ⇒. With Markdown enabled, you’ll need to spend less time searching Google for computer shortcuts for these symbols. (Let’s face it, they’re very easy to forget.)
Enabling Markdown in Google Docs and other Google apps is very easy. Once you’ve created your new file in Google Docs, Slides, or Drawings, click “Tools” in the menu bar at the top of the screen, then click “Preferences.” This will prompt a context menu to appear and you’ll want to check the “automatically detect Markdown” box.
This means you can now use Markdown when composing your documents. The smart composition feature can save you time and hassle when typing reports and other documents for work. You can use Markdown to automatically generate headings, italics, bold text, links, bullets, and checkboxes in your slides and documents.
Markdown for Google is available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers. It is also available for users with personal Google accounts. You will, however, need to manually activate the tool to use it as it is not automatically activated.
Markdown was created by John Gruber in 2004. It is supported by several websites, including Reddit, GitHub, and other desktop and web applications.
If you’re looking for more detailed instructions on using Markdown in Google Docs, you can access the resources in the Google Help Center. Then, if you have time, it may be good to play with these shortcuts so that they stick in your memory.
It’s worth noting, if you’re already familiar with Markdown, that Google Docs doesn’t support all of its shortcuts. It simply converts Markdown into its own formatting.
A major drawback is that Markdown for Google Docs will not convert text that has been pasted into a document from another source. It also cannot be used to insert images, which may bother people who like to make their presentations visual.
That said, Markdown isn’t the only tool Google has added to Docs to improve the user experience. Earlier this year Google introduced new updates that allow you to collaborate more effectively with your colleagues on document composition.
Thanks to the updates, Docs users can now get auto-generated summaries of the document they are working on as well as view their documents in a pageless format. They may also benefit from what Google calls smart bullets, or embedded bullets that allow you to pull information from Google Maps or Gmail into documents to make them more informative.
These bullets are somewhat similar to Markdown shortcuts in that you just need to type something – for example, the @ symbol to prompt a drop-down menu with your Gmail contacts to appear.
Smart bullets are designed to benefit those who work in teams in particular, while Markdown capabilities will be more beneficial for workers who type alone.
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