How to create a final exam in Google Docs

I had a visitor recently ask me how to touch up the formatting on a Microsoft Word document after he converted it to Google Docs. Unfortunately, the formatting options for Docs are pretty limited. This YouTube video shows you a quick overview of how to get numbers and letter choices to align – it helped me out, maybe it will help you as you create your final exams!

Did you know about the secret menu?


Everything Matt Miller writes about on his website, tweets about from his Twitter, or speaks about from his…mouth?…is amazing, but sometimes his stuff is so good that I can’t digest it in one sitting.

Such is the case with this entry called “The ‘Secret Menu’ for Google Slides, Docs, Drawings, and More.” I used the first tip – how to save a photo that’s been placed in a Google Doc – when my journalism students submitted photos with their stories, ignoring instructions to place .jpg versions of the photos in a folder I’d shared with them. To save myself the headache of emailing 22 people (and waiting for 22 responses), I followed these instructions and snagged the photos myself. Life changing! I use the second tip constantly, am not sure how I’d use the third, and the fourth is on my to-do list for January.

He published this article in October. It’s going to take awhile to absorb all of these tips, but whew! What a great collection of ideas!


Make a screenshot…or a screencast!

noun_219154_ccI normally use Screencast-O-Matic to make screencasts (see the one I made on organizing your bookmarks bar in your Chrome browser, and there’s also a series on working with Google Docs – try this one about how to use voice comments with Google Docs!), but last week I branched out and tried Nimbus. With Nimbus, you can screenshot (the whole page? a portion of the page? whatever you want!), or you can make a quick screencast…either with sounds or without. I made the screencast from the last entry using Nimbus, just to practice…and it took me about five minutes to figure out.

Keep a running list of frequently-used comments


If you grade papers using Google Docs, keep a document of your most frequently-used comments open as you grade. You can cut and paste comments as you need them. Or you can do as I did – I shared this list of common writing errors with my students, and then referred to them by number in the comments.

If you’d like to look at your document with the paper you’re grading side by side, use a split screen extension.

Use Autocrat to move info from a Google Form to a Google Doc


This isn’t the same thing I showed you last week – which is how to take the information you collect from a Google Form and plop it into a Google Doc so that you can actually read it.

  • Autocrat is an add-on that allows you to collect any sort of data in a spreadsheet and then insert it into specific places Google Doc – automatically. Like a mail merge program might do.
  • Good for gathering data among PLT’s – or just your own class data!
  • Take a look at these links to understand more: