Edit Documents in Google Docs on Your iPad Quickly and Simply

Stay mobile with Google Docs and Google Drive

Scientist using a digital tablet
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Google's free word processor, Google Docs, can be used on the iPad in conjunction with Google Drive to give you mobile capability. Use the iPad to create and edit Google Docs files anywhere you have internet access. Your files are stored on Google Drive where they can be shared with others. You can use Safari to pull up the internet version of Google Drive to view your documents, but if you want to edit them, you need to download the Google Docs app.

Viewing Google Drive Documents Online

If you only need to read or view documents, you can:

  1. Open the Safari web browser app.
  2. Type drive.google.com in the browser address bar to access your documents in Google Drive. (If you type docs.google.com, the website prompts you to download the app.)
  3. Tap the thumbnail image of any document to open and view it.

After you open a document, you can print it or email it. However, if you want to edit the document, you'll need to download the Google Docs app for iPad. 

If you know that your iPad is going to be offline at some point, you can take advantage of the Google Docs app feature that lets you mark documents for access while offline.

Note: Google also offers an iPad app for Google Drive. 

Using the Google Docs App

The Google Docs app simplifies the editing process. Using the app, you can create and open documents and view and edit recent files on the iPad. Download the free app from the App Store and log in to your Google account. Scroll through and tap any of the thumbnail documents to open them.

When you open a document, a bar appears at the bottom of the document listing your permissions for the document. The comment may say "View Only" or "Comment Only" or you may see a pencil icon in the bottom corner, which indicates you can edit the article.

Tap the menu icon in the upper right corner to open an information panel for the document. Depending on your permissions, which are listed at the top of the panel, you may be able to Find and Replace, Share or mark the document for access offline. Additional information includes word count, print preview, and document details.

How to Share a Google Docs File

To share one of the files you've uploaded to your Google Drive with others:

  1. Open the file in Google Docs.
  2. Tap the More icon, which resembles three horizontal dots to the right of the document's name.
  3. Select Share & Export.
  4. Tap the Add people icon.
  5. Type the email addresses of each person you want to share the document within the field provided. Include a message for the email.
  6. Select each person's permissions by tapping the pencil icon next to a name and selecting Edit, Comment, or View. If you decide not to share the document, tap the More icon at the top of the Add people screen and select Skip sending notifications
  7. Tap the Send icon.