If you’ve switched over from Microsoft Office to Google Docs, you’ve probably noticed there’s just one problem: creating a new document takes far too many steps. Here’s how to create new documents with single click—or even a shortcut key.
Note: you can use these shortcuts to create Documents, Spreadsheets, and Presentations,
but we’ve not yet figured out how to make a shortcut for a new Drawing. If you figure that out, please let us know. Thanks to Ed, we even have the shortcut for a new Drawing.
Create a Windows Shortcut
Start by clicking anywhere on the desktop, and choosing New -> Shortcut from the context menu.
Now you’ll want to paste in the full URL for creating a new document in Google Docs, Spreadsheets, or Presentations into the Location box, and then give it an appropriate name. If you’re using standard Google Docs, you’ll be using one of the following URLs:
If you’re using Google Apps, you’ll want to use one of these URLs, replacing YOURDOMAIN with the actual name of your domain—you’ll probably notice that these URLs have HTTPS, which you can choose to use, or not.
Make sure that you’ve created the shortcuts that you want, and named them correctly, so we can add some nice icons.
Assign an Appropriate Icon and a Hotkey
To change the shortcut, just right-click on it and use Properties from the context menu, then flip over to the Web Document tab if you’re not already there. From here, you can customize the shortcut key to something that you’d like, and assign a different icon.
If you want some good icons that match, you can download this set of Google Docs icons from Softpedia, which will make your resulting shortcuts look like this:
It’s important to note that if you want the shortcut keys to work for these shortcuts, you’ll need to either have the shortcut on your desktop or in the Start Menu—the hotkeys just don’t work elsewhere.
Creating a Web Browser Shortcut
If you’re already in your web browser and have Google Docs open, you can just use the drop-down menu to create new shortcuts—but personally I find this quite tedious, especially since I rarely have the Docs screen open already. This means to create new document I’ve got to sign into Docs, and then wait for that page to load, and then click the drop-down menu, and then wait for another page to load.
Instead of all that, you can simply drag one of the following shortcuts up to your Bookmarks bar—if you’re using regular Google Docs, at least, and not Google Apps.
If you’re using Google Apps, you can create a new bookmark, using one of the URLs from earlier.
If you are using Firefox, you could have entered an alternate keyword as well, to create new documents using the location bar, but Google Chrome users don’t have that option in the bookmarks system. What you’ll have to do instead is right-click on the location bar and go to Edit Search Engines.
From there, you can add in a new “search engine”, but instead, just use the URL to create a new Google Document. This way you can simply enter the keyword into the location bar, and it’ll create a new document.
If you’re wondering why the last screenshot is different… yes, I started writing this article on Windows and then switched over to my MacBook Air so I could watch the football game in the other room.
Programmer by day, geek by night, The Geek, also known as Lowell Heddings, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 11/22/10