July 2, 2008

How to Edit Google Docs Offline

Google Docs lets you create, edit and store documents online that you can access from any computer. But what if you want to access and edit your Google Docs when you aren't online, like when you are on a plane? Installing the free Google Gears plug-in allows you to do this. Google Gears works on Windows and Apple computers.

1. Go to docs.google.com and sign in to your account.

2. When you are viewing the list of your documents, click on the word "Offline," which is in the upper right corner of the page, next to your e-mail address.

3. When prompted, click "Get Google Gears now" and when another Web page pops up, click "Install Gears." Follow the steps to finish the installation. Once Google Gears is installed and activated, your documents will automatically be synchronized and stored on your computer. This may take a few minutes.

4. To access your documents when you are not online, open up your Web browser and go to docs.google.com. Make sure you use the same computer and Web browser that you used to install Google Gears.

5. While working offline, your changes will automatically be saved. The next time you are connected to the Internet, sign in to Google Docs using the same computer and browser to have your offline changes synchronized with your online documents. Once everything has been synchronized, you'll be able to access your updated documents on any computer connected to the Internet.

While working offline, you can also view spreadsheets and presentations created in Google Docs but you can't edit them.