Using Answer Tables in Google Docs

A few weeks ago, I posted a little hack that I like to use for making student answers in Google Docs easier to find.  You can see that post here.  Multiple people reminded me of a practice that many elementary educators love using:

Instead of just pre-formatting the answer space, actually create an answer table.  This makes it less likely that students accidentally mess up the pre-existing content in the doc and makes their answers easier to find.  This is a great practice when assigning these Docs as Make a Copy for Each Student in Google Classroom.

There are 3 different ways to do this.  I’ll show each in the GIF below and then go over them in some additional detail below the GIF.

Tables in Docs for Answers

More details on what you see in the GIF below . . .

  1. Add a 1×1 table for the answer. This is certainly the easiest way to do it, but unfortunately Google Docs forces tables, no matter how narrow, into a new line.  So, your answers will always be below the questions.
  2. Add a 1×2 table for the question & the answerThis is an improvement, because it allows you to keep the answers and questions side-by-side.  The downside is that it would be repetitious if you had lots of questions or prompts.
  3. Add a multiple-row table for multiple questions. Now you’ve got multiple answers right next to their answers.  Perfect!

One last tip: If you like options 2 & 3, but you don’t like seeing the question in the table, you can handle it like this:

  1. Highlight all of the question cells.
  2. Click the dropdown in the top right of the topmost cell.
  3. Select the option that highlights all of the boundaries in that column.
  4. Change the boundaries to 0-point thickness (or make them white).
  5. Highlight all of the answer cells.
  6. Click the dropdown in the top right of the topmost cell.
  7. Select the option that highlights all of the boundaries in that column.
  8. Change the boundaries to 1-point thickness (or make them black).

Published by

Jake Miller

Jake is a Google for Education Certified Trainer and is the Lead Technology Integration Specialist for Brady Middle School in Ohio's Orange City Schools. In the past he taught STEM, Science & Math in Stow-Munroe Falls, Ohio, where he was also a leader in the district's Technology Leadership Team and a co-advisor for the middle school's STEM Club. He has been an educator since 2003. His Bachelor's Degree is in middle-level education (math/science) from the University of Akron and his Master's Degree is in Instructional Technology from Kent State University. He has enjoyed providing more than 100 professional development opportunities at conferences and school districts across the state of Ohio. He is very involved in Twitter (@JakeMillerTech) and provides regular pointers for educators with his #GAFETip tweets.