Text Basics

Spell check and suggested spelling

By default, Google Docs will automatically check for misspelled words and make suggested spellings. Words with spelling suggestions are underlined in red.

A word with spelling suggestions

To use suggested spelling:

  1. Right-click an underlined word. A drop-down menu with suggested spellings for the misspelled word will appear. Select the correct spelling from the list.
    The spelling suggestions menu
  2. The correct spelling will appear in place of the misspelled word in the document.
    A corrected spelling

Occasionally, Google Docs will suggest spellings for a word it does not recognize, like the name of a person or a company. If you are certain of the spelling, you can add the word to the dictionary. Once you add a word to the dictionary, Google Docs will keep the spelling of the word.

Adding a word to the dictionary

Using find and replace

When you're working with longer documents, it can be difficult and time consuming to locate a specific word or phrase within the document. Google Docs can automatically search your document using the find feature, and it even allows you to change words or phrases using the replace feature.

To find text:

  1. Click Edit, then select Find and replace.
    Selecting Find and replace
  2. The Find and replace dialog box will appear.
  3. Type the text you want to find in the Find field. The number of times the word appears in the text will appear in the Find field, and each appearance will be highlighted throughout the document.
    Finding text in a document
  4. If the word appears more than once, you can click the Prev and Next arrows to jump to the next appearance. When the word is selected, the highlight will darken and pulsate briefly.
    Selecting an occurrence of text
  5. Click X to close the dialog box.
    Closing the Find and replace dialog box

To replace text:

  1. Click Edit, then select Find and replace. The Find and replace dialog box will appear.
  2. Type the text you want to find in the Find field. Type the text you want to replace it with in the Replace with field.
  3. Click Next or Prev and then Replace to replace text. If you want to replace all occurrences of the text within the document, click Replace all.
    Replacing text in a document


  1. Open our example file. Make sure you're signed in to Google, then click File > Make a copy.
  2. Delete the last sentence of the third paragraph of the letter. Hint: The sentence begins with At the close of the evening.
  3. Use cut and paste or drag and drop to move the second paragraph of the letter below the third. Hint: The second paragraph starts with As you may know.
  4. Insert the symbol ® next to the word iPads. Hint: You can find this symbol under the Miscellaneous category.
  5. Use Find and Replace to replace all occurrences of the word donation with gift.
  6. Run a spell check to make sure all words are spelled correctly. Ignore the word Alliope.
  7. When you're finished, your document should look something like this:
    Text Basics Example