Working with Text Files

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 13, 2014)

Drive allows you to store all sorts of files so they can be accessed by you or others from almost anywhere. For instance, you might have a number of simple text files that you want to store in Drive. Once they are uploaded, you can easily manipulate them like you would other files.

What you can't do, however, is edit the text files. When you click on a text file stored in Drive, you'll see the contents of the file displayed in a file viewer, but you cannot edit that content.

How, then, can the text-file content be used? The easiest way is to open it in Drive (which displays the content in the viewer) and then select the content you want to use. Just click at the start of the content and drag the mouse to the end of the content. (If you want to select all the content in the file, press the Ctrl+A shortcut.) You can then press Ctrl+C to copy the selected content to the Clipboard.

Now switch over to a different program, such as Docs or Sheets. Position the insertion point where you want the text-file content to be placed, and then press Ctrl+V. This pastes the information into the document and you can then edit it as desired.

Once pasted into the document or spreadsheet, you may need to "clean up" the text a bit. This is particularly true if you used Ctrl+A to select the entire text file. (Ctrl+A also selects any other information displayed in the viewer, such as page number indicators.)

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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