Google Drive keeps getting small incremental improvements on the Web and on mobile platforms to enhance the experience for anyone who uses it regularly or semi-regularly to create, edit, and share files. The team has just announced two such small changes that, for now, are coming to Google Drive on the Web.
First, search is getting easier and cross app. Whether you're in Docs, Sheets, or Slides, typing a new search term will not only look for a document of the corresponding type, but across all of your Drive. This will make the experience more consistent if you're editing a couple of related documents and presentations for example and don't what to manually hop over from Docs to Slides to work on the file. Read More
If there's one place that Google Docs is a market leader, it's where it comes to collaboration. A web app was a natural place to build on the familiar commenting features from Microsoft Word and make them work in real time and without formal software requirements. On the other hand, we don't normally think about spreadsheets in those terms. With the latest updates to Sheets, though, Google is bringing comments to Android and the web.
I know I haven't even thought much about the need for this kind of feature in a spreadsheet app, but in hindsight it makes plenty of sense. Read More
Updates to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides tend to travel in groups. They're timid that way. Few of them are bold enough to jump out at you directly. But taken together, they're worth a look.
Sheets brings the bulk of the changes. Google's spreadsheet app will now show you more content when you zoom in and out of a spreadsheet. The toolbars will disappear and reappear as needed. And while you're taking a look at things, you can now view filters that were created on the web.
Then once you start tweaking a document, Sheets' paste special option will also let you copy content and paste only associated values, formula, data validation, and other formatting. Read More
Uh oh. Many users signing into Google Drive on the web are running into a little setback. The site loads, but that's it. Instead of a list of files, we're seeing a loading wheel that spins forever. Read More
Google is keeping up its fast pace of updates to its office productivity apps, this time with meaningful improvements to both Slides and Sheets for Android. Building on existing presentation abilities, Slides gets notification forward/back toggles as well as an option to watch your audience while presenting to a Hangouts call. Sheets now gives Android users the option to easily edit charts, which were basically view-only previously.
Here's a before and after look at the lockscreen notification that Sheets displays while you present on a second screen/Hangouts call.
Without those toggles on the notification, you'll be forced to choose to either keep your phone unlocked while presenting or constantly enter your login password/fingerprint/etc. Read More
Anyone who has to pore over data on a regular basis knows that it's a best practice to look at some graphs, run basic descriptive statistics, and just generally play around to make sure you aren't missing anything obvious and to assure yourself that there are no mistakes in data entry. This can get really repetitive and sometimes corners get cut. Google is trying to make it easier for you as they have automated the process in Sheets for Android and the web.
All you have to do in the Android app is tap "Explore" in the overflow menu. After that, you'll be presented with a series of charts with summary information to let you know what Google thought you would find interesting. Read More
If you have opened a Google document, spreadsheet, or presentation in a web browser on your mobile device in the past week, you may have noticed that Google is rolling out a new look.
The updated interface is simpler, and the changes are consistent across all three services. An action bar stretches across the top that lets you go back or start editing. The title of the document sits in the center. In most cases the bar is gray, but it turns dark when viewing slides.
Google is taking this time to phase out the ability to edit Docs files on the web. Read More
In a series of upcoming updates to Google's Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps, users will be able to have easier access to one of the most basic editing capabilities: changing the file name. Whereas before you would only change the document's title by saving, it's accessible via hamburger menu now.
Left: old menu, middle and right: new menu and rename dialog
Slide the menu in from the right, tap on the area that says "TestDoc.docx" or whatever you're working with, and you'll see the dialog box on the far right that allows you to edit. Pretty simple and streamlines a pretty fundamental feature. Read More
Google has unveiled several handy new features for Sheets, their Excel competitor that quite honestly needs all the help it can get. The goodies include enhancements to core functions in addition to collaboration. One of these involves being able to apply sharing permissions to specific parts of the spreadsheet, rather than the entire file.
With the new functionality, I can highlight a cell or set of cells and then right click, tap on "protect cells," and then alter the access rights to them. You may share your document with someone but not necessarily expect them to make major alterations. Read More