You don't always have to upload files to put them in Google Drive. Integrated with Google Drive is a set of office applications, commonly known as "Google Docs", that allow you to create files right on Google Drive! This is very convenient if you're using Google Drive as part of a business, as you can create most of the documents that you need without having to leave Google Drive!
How to create a Google Doc in Google Drive
Go to drive.google.com in your web browser and log in.
Click New in the upper-left corner, and select what kind of Google office document that you want to create (move your mouse cursor over More for more options). Docs is for word documents, Sheets is for spreadsheets, Slides is for presentations, Forms is for questionnaires, Drawings is for images, and My Maps is for using Google Maps to create a custom map (see our Google Maps course).
For now, we'll go with a standard word document.
How to edit a Google Doc in Google Drive
Once you've created a Google Doc, you can type it out, just like you would with another office document program, such as Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel. Note that all of your changes are saved as you go, so you don't have to worry about losing your work.
You can click on your document's name and type in a new name for it, click the star icon to add this document to your Starred menu in Google Drive, or click the Add to Folder icon to move this document to one of your Google Drive folders (see our tutorial on Google Drive folders for instructions on how the process works) while you're still writing it. You can also click Share to set the sharing permissions for this document (see our How to Share Files in Google Drive tutorial for detailed instructions) while you're still writing it.
Now, we'll show you a couple of special editing tricks. The first is adding comments to your Google Doc, so that other people who have access to this Google Doc can read them and (potentially) act on them. First, highlight the area that you want to comment on by clicking and holding the mouse button near it, moving your mouse cursor across the area, and then releasing the mouse button. Then, click the Insert Comment button in the editing toolbar (it looks like lines of text inside a speech bubble, next to the icon that looks like a chain link).
A window will appear to the right of the area that you selected. Type in what you want to say about the area that you highlighted, and then click Comment.
To respond to a comment, click in the box below it marked "Reply" and type in your response. Then click Reply. Or, if you've dealt with the issue at hand, click the Resolve button to archive this series of comments.
The other special kind of editing that you can do is making suggestions. To do so, click the Mode drop-down menu in the upper-right corner and select Suggesting. Then, make whatever edits you want; they will appear in a different colour, and will create a window to the right of each one outlining the changes made.
In each of these windows, click the checkmark to go ahead with the edits, or click the "X" to undo them. Note, however, that you may not be able to do this if you only have the privilege to comment on the file, and not to directly edit it.
How to open a Google Doc in Google Drive
If you close a Google Doc that you made in Google Drive and need to get back to it, simply find it in Google Drive and click on it to select it. Then, click the More Actions menu (it's the one that looks like three stacked dots), move your mouse cursor over Open With, and then click on the name of the program that you used to create the Google Doc.
As a shortcut, you can also quickly click twice on the Google Doc itself.
That's our guide to creating, opening, and editing Google Docs in Google Drive!