Wow. I had no idea people disliked Gdocs so much. On my home computer, I have Office 2012 Professional but I actually prefer Gdocs because it does away with a lot of useless bells and whistles. I also write in multiple locations so Drive is incredibly useful. But thanks anyway. Sorry about the confusion, I didn't know where else to ask a formatting question.
This (the forum) is the correct place to ask these questions, but since it deals with writing, I'd put it in the "Author's Area", rather than the "Editing/Review" Area, since formatting has nothing to do with editing.
As for Google Docs, I'm mostly pissed at how Google, and Google Docs by extension, treats authors. In the case I referred to, a single user got upset about a story and registered a complaint. As a result of that single complaint, Google deleted the entire account, not allowing any protestation of innocence and the author lost months of work. After all, if the information is available from anywhere, why bother backing it up?
I'm also bothered about Google's selling your data. I've had enough trouble with Google marketing my comments to trust them on this. I got adds for rent-a-cars in cities I've never visited, simply because I researched story locations, and you can bet--if you mention medical conditions in a story--that Google will sell that information to medical companies.
In short, talking about Google online is like mentioning Amazon. Authors tend to have strong opinions about their livelihood, so while Amazon and Google offer new options, they also threaten much of what keeps booksellers afloat. Make of it what you will, but these companies also threaten much of what authors hold dear (like privacy and the ability to hold keep their information secure).
But separating Google from Google Docs, I understand the attraction of 'cloud computing', but Gdocs just has too many issues. While it doesn't have 'all the bells and whistles', there are also multiple areas where it just falls apart (as you've discovered). There other is their lack of "Review" features for editors to make corrections to an existing story. Sure, it's easy for them to access the story, but they can't make it up in any manner other than color coding the edits, which fails miserably when adding or removing commas.
I do not use Word's ctl/i to make it italics. I actually put the HTML tags before and after it. Then when I submit the story to the Wizard it converts it to SOL's format.
That works when posting to SOL, but not when creating books for publication.
I prefer to format as I'm writing, rather than doing it all in a separate pass, simply because I prefer seeing what the reader sees. But either method works.