Adding a code block to a Google Docs document can be a bit tricky since there isn’t a direct button for it. However, with a few simple steps, you can format your text to look like a code block. This quick overview will show you how to do it, so let’s get coding!
Step by Step Tutorial: Entering a Google Docs Code Block
Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand why you might want to add a code block to your document. Code blocks are useful for displaying code snippets in a clear, organized way that differentiates them from the rest of your text.
Step 1: Open your Google Docs document
Open the document you want to add the code block to.
Opening your document is straightforward. Just go to Google Docs, find the document in your list, and click on it to open.
Step 2: Select the text you want to turn into a code block
Highlight the text that you’ll be converting into a code block.
Make sure you’ve got everything you need selected – all the text that needs the code block formatting.
Step 3: Click on “Format” in the top menu
Find the “Format” option in the menu bar at the top of your Google Docs interface.
This is where all the text formatting options are located, including what you’ll need to create a code block.
Step 4: Hover over “Paragraph styles” then “Normal text”
After clicking “Format”, you’ll see a drop-down menu. Hover over “Paragraph styles” and another menu will appear. Move your cursor over “Normal text”.
Paragraph styles give you different options for formatting whole chunks of text in your document.
Step 5: Select “Heading 4”
In the expanded menu under “Normal text”, you’ll find “Heading 4”. Click on it.
Why “Heading 4”? Because it’s generally not commonly used, so you can repurpose it for your code block.
Step 6: Format “Heading 4” to resemble a code block
With your text still highlighted, go back to “Format”, then “Paragraph styles”, hover over “Heading 4”, and click on “Update ‘Heading 4’ to match”.
This will apply the “Heading 4” styling to your selected text. But we’re not done yet!
Step 7: Change the font style and background color
Now, with “Heading 4” applied, change the font to a monospace font like ‘Courier New’ and update the background color to something that resembles a code block, like light grey.
You can change the font style by clicking on the font drop-down menu on the toolbar, and the background color by clicking the highlighter pen icon.
After you complete these steps, your text should now be formatted to look like a code block. It’ll stand out from the rest of your document, making it clear that the text is a snippet of code.
Tips for Entering a Google Docs Code Block
- Make sure you pick a font that’s easy to read and commonly associated with coding, like ‘Courier New’ or ‘Consolas’.
- Use a background color that’s easy on the eyes and offers a good contrast with the text color.
- If you’re pasting code from somewhere else, ensure that the indentation and line breaks are preserved when you paste it into Google Docs.
- Consider adding a border around your code block for an even more distinct look.
- Remember that you can reuse the “Heading 4” style for all your code blocks in the same document to maintain consistency.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I add syntax highlighting to my code block in Google Docs?
No, Google Docs doesn’t support syntax highlighting natively. You’ll need to add color manually if you want to differentiate parts of your code.
Is there a keyboard shortcut to format a code block?
There isn’t a specific shortcut for code blocks, but you can use built-in shortcuts to quickly apply heading styles and other formatting options.
Can I use this method for other programming languages?
Absolutely! This method isn’t language-specific, so you can use it for any programming or scripting language you need to display.
Will the code block be preserved if I download the document as a PDF?
Yes, the formatting you apply in Google Docs will carry over if you download the document as a PDF.
Can I automate code blocks with Google Docs scripts?
Yes, if you’re comfortable with scripting, you can create a Google Docs script to automate the process of formatting code blocks.
- Open your Google Docs document.
- Select the text you want to format as a code block.
- Click on “Format” in the top menu.
- Hover over “Paragraph styles” then “Normal text”.
- Select “Heading 4”.
- Format “Heading 4” to match your code block.
- Change the font style and background color.
Entering a code block in Google Docs may seem like a daunting task at first, but with the right steps, it’s quite simple. It’s all about getting creative with the tools you have available. Remember, the goal is to make your code easy to read and distinguishable from the rest of your text. By following the tutorial above, you can smoothly integrate code snippets into your Google Docs, making your technical documents more professional and easier to understand. Whether you’re a coder, a teacher, or just someone who loves organizing information clearly, mastering the art of adding a code block to Google Docs is a skill that will undoubtedly come in handy. Happy coding, and remember, a well-formatted document is a well-received document!
Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.
His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.