If you've been having issues with weird text formatting or just generally been unable to edit Google Docs or Slides for the last day or two, turns out that's A Thing. While we initially didn't know the precise cause or why it's only happening right now, Google Drive Product Manager Remy Burger is pointing at recent changes some adblockers have implemented — so disabling content blockers on Drive, Docs, Slides, and Co. might fix the problem for you.

Burger details that the problem stems from changes to AdBlock's and EasyList's blocklists, which are used by most if not all adblockers. That's also why Google can't or won't do anything to fix the issue — it's been introduced by adblockers and is to be corrected by them. Thankfully, AdBlock has already issued a statement saying it will resolve the problem shortly, so you might not have to wait for a proper fix for too long.

We've seen a smattering of reports regarding the issue for the last day or so, seemingly affecting both Google Docs and Slides, and cropping up at venues such as Reddit and Twitter. We aren't sure if it affects any other Google Workspace services.

At least one of us on the AP staff has also run into it, and it can manifest in a few different ways. In the "mildest" cases, text simply starts to wrap itself beneath other elements on the page in a way that obscures it. In more extreme cases, text can be overlaid on top of itself zalgo-style,

Above: Text wrapping below other elements incorrectly in Docs. Below: Full-on zalgo in Slides. Both images via Reddit.

It may vary, but in some cases, I'm told that the issue even prevents document editing entirely. It also isn't happening to everyone — some folks on Chromebooks are running into the issue, others on Windows are having problems, and not everyone running an ad blocker is having trouble.

The issue has since been tied to a filter list implemented by some adblockers, and it could simply be that change hasn't hit everyone yet. The current solution is to either exempt or "pause" the page from ad-blocking, or disable the ad-blocking extension entirely.

In some cases, those affected may think that adblock is disabled for a given domain, but double-check for that specific page if you are still experiencing the problem. If you're navigating there from docs.new, for example, it may not match the rules you have in place. And if you've only added drive.google.com to your allowlist, you might have to add docs.google.com, too.

A support thread at the Docs Editors Help site also has a few other workarounds. Extensions other than adblockers that modify page content could also cause the issue, so you may also want to try disabling all of your extensions if other solutions don't work. If all else fails, you can also try a different browser — most of those that run into problems indicate it's Chrome-only.

Lastly, I feel the need to point out: If you're using an adblocker, consider disabling it for sites like ours. It's how most of the internet and the places you enjoy reading or watching content from make a living, and without them, we wouldn't be able to exist (though we try very hard not to go overboard with ours).

Google and AdBlock statements

Article updated with a statements from Google Drive Product Manager Remy Burger and AdBlock.