Google Docs is Google's Web-based content generation software suite. Designed to be compatible with the Microsoft Office suite of software programs, Google Docs allows users to create, upload and download documents with .doc, .pdf, .xls, .ppt, .bmp and .jpg file extensions for use on personal computers. Alternately, Google Docs files can be kept in Google's cloud, where they can be accessed wherever the user has an Internet connection. Google Docs also offers a variety of templates, which you can use to generate or convert content for use in e-book readers and software programs.
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When looking for a template for use with e-book content, make sure you search only "Document templates." Document templates are stored and can be downloaded as DOC files, which are compatible with Microsoft Word for Mac and PC, Notepad and TextEdit. DOC files also can be converted to Microsoft's LIT e-book format, which is compatible with Microsoft's Reader software. LIT files can be converted to the popular EPUB and MOBI e-book formats for use on e-readers such as the Barnes & Noble Nook and Amazon Kindle.
What to Look for in a Template
Look for templates that have minimal ornamentation and decoration, not those that use tables and other Microsoft Word-specific formatting functions. Formatting changes and excessive ornamentation can interfere with e-book file formats. Converting word processing files to e-book file formats uses optical character recognition, or OCR, technology, which "reads" the text of a file without paying attention to format changes or the existence of tables. Select a Document template that makes use of page numbers, section breaks, chapter headings, and a table of contents to generate a file format appropriate for use with e-readers and e-book. Legal document templates are adaptable and can be suitable for this purpose.
What to Avoid in a Template
Avoid templates that are not designed for use with Microsoft Word and other common word processors and text editors. Spreadsheet, presentation, forms and drawings templates are incompatible with the project of developing or converting e-book because of their file formats.
Using PDF Files in Google Docs
Google Docs also can upload and read PDF files, which can be opened and edited on a personal computer or Mac using the Adobe Acrobat Reader or Preview programs. Many e-readers can open PDF e-book files, including Calibre's e-reader software, the Amazon Kindle and the Nook. PDF e-book files also preserve the formatting of a book in the case of e-book that have been scanned from hard copies.
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