Schools and universities using Google Apps for Education are no doubt huge fans of Google Docs. After all, with Google Docs teachers can share course materials and invite comments, collaboration and even corrections with students or their peers. Students can work on group projects more effectively, sharing information in one place.

Google Docs, however, isn’t always easy to navigate. Below are two “teacher-approved” hacks for Google Apps for Edu - specifically, for Google Docs.

1. Google Docs Bookmarks

A Google Docs bookmark works just like an anchor tag on a web page. Simply highlight any text (or even a blank space) you want to make easy to find, then open the Insert menu and select Bookmark. You’ll see a little blue bookmark icon appear in the left margin, denoting where a reader will be brought if this bookmark is selected. Next, head to the top of your document (or anywhere you want to make it easy to skip to the bookmark from) and select Insert | Link.

Now, below the open field where you’d normally specify a URL, you can select from any of the bookmarks you’ve created. Choose one and the bookmark link is formed. Clicking a bookmark link brings the reader to the spot in the document you’ve bookmarked.

Best of all, the bookmarked URL can be shared with anyone who can access the Google Doc, so when the reader opens the document they are immediately taken to the bookmarked section.

2. Automated Table of Contents

While bookmarks are powerful, extremely long Google Documents demand a more robust, less tedious navigation solution: Automated Table of Contents. So long as you employed Google Docs’ heading styles (which you can customize) to format your document, a self-organizing and self-updating table of of contents is just a click away.

Just select Insert and then Table of Contents to place a ToC anywhere in your document (we recommend somewhere near the beginning) and Google Docs will generate a ToC with a bookmark link to the beginning of any section denoted by a Heading style. Any time you update the structure of the document, just select the Update Now option on the Table of Contents and the ToC will modify itself to match your new layout.

Need more Google Apps Hacks in your life to ensure your school runs as smoothly as possible? Check out our latest eBook “3 Teacher-Approved Google Apps Hacks for Education” and get your learn on!