Author Archives: Jane Smith

Get more control over chart data labels in Google Sheets

We’re adding new features to help the charts you create in Google Sheets better represent the data they contain. These features include showing total data labels for stacked charts and controlling where data labels are placed.

Show totals in stacked charts
You can now add total data labels in stacked charts, which show the sum of all content in a data set.



Choose the alignment of your data labels
You can also choose where data labels will go on charts. The options you have vary based on what type of chart you’re using.

For column and bar charts, the data label placement options are:

  • Auto - Sheets will try to pick the best location
  • Center - In the middle of the column
  • Inside end - At the end of the column
  • Inside base - At the base of the column
  • Outside end - Past the end of the column


For line, point, and area charts, the placement options are:

  • Auto - Sheets will try to pick the best location
  • Center - over the middle of the plot point
  • Left - to the left of the plot point
  • Right - to the right of the plot point
  • Above - above the plot point
  • Below - below the plot point


Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to Rapid Release, with Scheduled Release coming in two weeks

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Edit a chart in Sheets

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Session length controls for domains using SAML

In March, we introduced a setting that allows G Suite Business, Enterprise, and Education admins to specify the duration of web sessions for Google services (e.g. four hours, seven days, or infinite). At the time, this setting only applied to domains where Google was responsible for the login (i.e. where Google was the Identity Provider). We’re now extending the reach of this setting and making it applicable in domains that federate to another Identity Provider (IdP) using SAML.


Note that these settings apply to all desktop web sessions, as well as some mobile browser sessions. Native mobile apps, like Gmail for Android and iOS, aren’t impacted by these settings.

Removing session-based cookies on May 7th, 2018

In the past, in order to give more control over session lengths to a G Suite customer’s preferred IdP, we set cookies for sessions created by federating to another IdP via SAML as transient, or session-based. These cookies were intended to expire whenever the browser was closed, meaning the user would be redirected to their primary IdP whenever they reopened the browser and visited a Google site.

Over time, however, this behavior has become increasingly inconsistent across browsers. We believe that G Suite admins are better served by explicit session length controls, like the ones we just launched. Unlike session cookies, these controls are respected regardless of the user’s browser.

With this in mind, we’ll be removing session-based cookies for G Suite customers who federate to another IdP via SAML on May 7th, 2018. Please consider setting a custom session length for your organization if your workflows depend on it.

Replicating previous behavior

If it’s critical to replicate the previous behavior, where all sessions expired when a browser was closed, you can change the browser settings on impacted machines to delete all Google cookies when the browser is exited. Instructions to configure this on Chrome can be found here. To deploy this policy on multiple machines, use Chrome policies to configure session-only cookies for [*.]google.com.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to G Suite Business, Enterprise, and Education editions only

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
Admins only

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Set up session length for Google services

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New in Google Slides: linking in Docs, guides and rulers, and improved commenting

Today we’re introducing several features in Google Slides on the web that will make it easier to create, collaborate on, and share presentations. Read on for more information.

Insert slides from Google Slides into Google Docs

You can now insert a slide from a Google Slides presentation directly into Google Docs. If you want, you can then link that slide in Docs to its source presentation in Slides and sync any changes with just one click—similar to the way you can insert and link charts from Google Sheets. This should save you from doing duplicative work and ensure that the content in your documents is always up to date.

Use our Help Center to learn how to insert and link slides in Docs.


Design your slides with precision using new guides and rulers

You can now add guide lines for consistent placement and alignment throughout a presentation. These guides will show on all slides in a presentation, and text and objects will snap to a guide to ensure they’re aligned.

We’ve also created a new visual ruler, which gives you fine-grained control over the alignment of text, lists, objects, and guides. Indentation markers in the ruler can help you control the alignment of text or bullets within objects.

Use our Help Center to find out how to use guides and rulers in Slides.


Comment on text within individual objects

You can now comment on specific text within an object, such as a text box, on a slide. Previously, you could only comment on the whole object or the whole slide. We hope that this extra control over what you’re commenting on will make it easier to collaborate on presentations.

For more information on working in Slides, please visit the Help Center.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to Rapid Release, with Scheduled Release coming in two weeks

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Link a chart, table, or slides to Google Docs or Slides
Help Center: Insert and arrange text, shapes, diagrams, and lines
Help Center: Add a bulleted or numbered list

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G Suite Enterprise for Education is Now Available

(Cross-posted from The Keyword)


Since launching G Suite for Education, we’ve heard a common request from colleges, universities and large school districts: the need for more advanced tools to meet their complex technology needs. In January, we announced G Suite Enterprise for Education, a new edition of G Suite for Education that offers additional enterprise-grade capabilities designed for large institutions and customized for education. Starting today, G Suite Enterprise for Education is generally available to educational institutions in the United States, and is coming to more countries soon.

Additionally, new tools—such as Data Loss Prevention (DLP), security key management and enforcement, and Gmail S/MIME—will start rolling out to all G Suite for Education users over the next few months. G Suite for Education, a suite of tools used by 80M teachers and students, has been and will remain free for schools and we’ll continue to add new features to that edition at no additional cost.


New security features added to free version of G Suite for Education



Admins can expect increased security and greater controls with new tools that are being made available over the next few months to the free version of G Suite for Education:

  1. Gmail and Drive Data Loss Prevention (DLP) lets admins prohibit users from sharing sensitive content with people outside their institutions. It checks for sensitive content like personal student information or preset keywords, and alerts admins so they can intervene.
  2. Hosted Gmail S/MIME offers schools an additional line of defense to protect sensitive emails. With this tool, institutions have the option to digitally sign and encrypt emails. In addition, it also adds verifiable account-level signatures authentication to better protect against email spoofing. It’s easy to manage for administrators and seamless for users.
  3. Security key management and enforcement offers an additional layer of security for user accounts by requiring a physical key. Admins can now require faculty, staff and students to use physical keys that use cryptography as a part of 2-step verification when signing into G Suite.
  4. Admins can control session length for users accessing Google services like Gmail and Drive, which means that users will be automatically logged out after a specified amount of time. If specific groups of users require certain session lengths, admins can apply different web session duration settings to different groups.


Enterprise-grade tools for educational institutions



For educational institutions with administrative needs similar to businesses, G Suite Enterprise for Education offers robust tools customized for education. Here’s what users can expect:

Advance your institution with advanced controls

The Security Center in G Suite Enterprise for Education gives organizations more visibility and control over security. To prevent institutions from potential threats, we’re arming IT admins with actionable insights to protect sensitive data against attacks. With security center tools, IT departments gain insights into how data may be exposed with external file sharing, can see phishing messages targeting users within their organization, and access metrics to demonstrate the organization’s security effectiveness.

With Advanced Mobile Device Management (MDM), universities and institutions have scaled control over devices in their domain. Using customizable MDM rules, admins can automate mobile device management tasks, like approving all Android devices that enroll for management at the start of a new school year. Once the rules are in place, pre-specified events trigger actions like sending notification emails to administrators, blocking or approving a device, or even wiping account data from devices if its lost by a student. And with Mobile Audit, admins can see a report of device activities, including device policy compliance.



Enhanced analytics and search capabilities

Cloud Search is coming to G Suite Enterprise for Education soon, and with it, institutions will benefit from a unified search experience across G Suite—powered by machine intelligence. This tool helps educators and students stay on top of schedules, documents and emails, and can even suggest files that need attention. By searching through everything from a lecture presentation to the school corporate directory, users can spend less time searching for information and more time focusing on teaching and learning.

Gmail logs in BigQuery allow institutions to run sophisticated custom queries, conduct deep analysis and build custom dashboards. Gmail logs contain valuable information that can help administrators diagnose issues. The integration with BigQuery makes it easier for administrators to analyze the logs and unlock insights to help they run their organizations.

Collaborate. Coordinate. Communicate.

Advanced capabilities in Hangouts Meet improve internal and external collaboration, allowing for meetings with up to 50 participants and recordings saved to Google Drive. With these communication tools, instructors can save lecture and lesson recordings straight to Drive and collaborate from anywhere.

Since announcing G Suite Enterprise for Education in January, we've opted to make the U.S. dial-in feature in Meet available to all business and education customers, and will be rolling it out in the coming months. This lets users join meetings via phone from anywhere, without worrying about poor Wi-Fi connections. With G Suite Enterprise for Education, Meet dial-in is available in dozens of countries, allowing educators to easily connect if their institution has a footprint around the globe.

Get G Suite Enterprise for Education for your institution

If you’re interested in purchasing individual licenses, G Suite Enterprise for Education is $4/user/month for faculty and staff, and $4/user/month for students. If you’re purchasing licenses for all faculty and staff in 2018, we’re offering a special introductory price of $2/user/month for faculty and staff, and free for eligible students. Renewals at the introductory price will be honored for 3 years. Learn more about pricing, renewals, and features for this edition on our Help Center.

For help choosing the edition that’s right for your institution, explore what’s included with G Suite Enterprise Education and fill out an interest form to be contacted by a partner.

Receive Google prompts on iOS devices via the Gmail app

In 2017, we made Google prompt the primary choice for G Suite users turning on two-step verification for the first time. Back then, we noted that users with iOS devices would need to install the Google app in order to use the feature. Today, we’re making it possible for users with iOS devices to receive prompts via their Gmail app as well. This should encourage more people to use Google prompt, which is an easier and more secure method of authenticating an account.


Note that if users have both the Google and Gmail app installed on their iOS device, they’ll see prompts from Gmail.

For more information, visit the Help Center.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Sign in faster with 2-Step Verification phone prompts

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Allow users to install any app on their managed Android devices

Until now, G Suite users with company-owned Android devices and those with work profiles could only install mobile apps that had been specifically whitelisted by their admin. In some organizations, however, such restrictions weren’t critical, and whitelisting required unnecessary time and effort. That’s why, going forward, we’re giving admins the option to allow their users to install any app in the managed Google Play store on Android devices that are corporate-owned or have work profiles.

Admins can select this option in the Admin console under Device management > App Management > Manage apps for Android devices.


If an admin selects “Allow all apps,” he or she can still whitelist specific apps. These whitelisted apps will appear on the managed Google Play homepage, but users will be able to find any app using the search tool.


For more information, visit the Help Center.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
Admins only

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Manage apps on mobile devices


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Add custom links to the navigation bar in the new Google Sites

The navigation bar is how users get around a website, and it helps them find important resources quickly. The new Google Sites automatically creates an intuitive navigation bar that links to content within your site, but there may be times when you want to create your own links that go somewhere else. That’s why we’re adding a new feature where you can link to any URL from the navigation bar.

You can use this new custom link creator to add an item in the navigation bar that goes to:
  • Your company’s social media profile or homepage.
  • Your company’s HCM tool.
  • Another Google Site with different access permissions.
  • Your team’s project tracker.
  • Your team’s Drive folder.
  • Any other website. 

Use our Help Center to find out how to add a custom link in the new Google Sites.


Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to Rapid Release, with Scheduled Release coming in two weeks

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact: 
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Add, delete, & organize pages


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Think macro: record actions in Google Sheets to skip repetitive work

(Cross-posted from The Keyword)

Since their debut nearly 40 years ago, spreadsheets have remained core to how businesses get work done. From analyzing quarterly revenue to updating product inventory, spreadsheets are critical to helping companies gather and share data to inform quicker decisions—but what else can you do if they’re in the cloud?

We’ve been focused on making Google Sheets better for businesses for this reason, which is why we’ve recently added new features to help teams analyze and visualize their data. Today we’re adding more updates to Sheets, including a way to record macros in the cloud to automate repetitive tasks, as well as more formatting options. Check it out.

Record macros in Sheets, skip mundane tasks

We want to help companies automate work by approaching macros differently: cloud-first. Starting today, you can record macros in Sheets. Let’s say you need to format new data imports or build the same chart across multiple sheets of quarterly data. Repeating the same steps manually can take hours, but the Sheets macro recorder lets you record those actions and play them back on command without having to write any code.


Here’s how it works: when you record a macro, Sheets converts the macro actions into an Apps Script automatically. If you want to update your macro, you can simply edit the script directly instead of having to re-record the macro from scratch. You can also write your own Apps Script functions and import them as new macros.

The best part about Sheets macros is that they’re built for use in cloud-based files, which means that teams can run macros at the same time that others are working in the sheet without interrupting them. For example, a finance team having a budget meeting can run macros while reviewing the same spreadsheet. It also means that coworkers or clients won’t be forced to download sensitive files to use your macros. Since your Sheets files are in the cloud, you can keep tighter controls over who can view and re-share your data.

More updates to Sheets

You may have noticed that over the past few years we’ve put effort toward building Sheets features to help businesses view, analyze and share their data more easily. This includes adding new chart types (waterfall and 3D), ways to embed charts while keeping data up-to-date in Docs and Slides (even if you move files), more functions (up to 400+ now), additional formatting, print options and more. 

Today, we’re adding even routinely requested features, including the ability to add printing page breaks, custom paper sizes, more options for row and column grouping and a way to add checkboxes in cells. We’ve also made it possible for you to group your data by time frame (like week, month or year) when you create pivot tables.

Speaking of pivot tables, our engineering team has also been hard at work bringing the power of Google’s artificial intelligence into Sheets to help teams know what their data knows. You might have noticed that we recently added intelligent pivot tables in Sheets to help analyze and find new insights, no matter how skilled you are at data analytics.


Companies like Whirlpool Corporation and Sanmina are using Sheets for more collaborative data analysis. These latest additions are designed to make Sheets a go-to resource for businesses and will begin to roll out today. Learn more about Sheets on our Learning Center.



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Additional details on new macro recorder and formatting options in Google Sheets

In our earlier post, we provided an overview of some of the ways we’re making Google Sheets better for business. This included several new feature announcements. This post will provide some more specific feature and rollout information that may be useful to G Suite admins.

Record macros in Sheets
To help save your team time when completing repetitive tasks, you can record macros in Sheets. When you record a macro, it’s saved as an Apps Script that you can run in the cloud whenever you need to perform the task. You can also edit the script to change it, or import existing Apps Scripts as new macros. See the previous post for more details, or the Help Center for the specific how-tos.

Group rows and columns in a spreadsheet
There’s a new option to group rows or columns in Sheets. This makes it easier to collapse or expand several rows and columns at once to customize your view. See the Help Center for more on how to manage rows, columns, and cells.


Add checkboxes to a list in Sheets
You can turn a list of items into a checklist with the new checkbox feature. See the Help Center to learn how to add and use checkboxes.


Improved date-based pivot tables
We’re making it easier to work with dates in pivot tables by adding an option to create groupings by time and date, including hour, day, month, quarter, year, and more. See the Help Center to learn how to add and use pivot tables.


Better spreadsheet printing
We’re adding new features to make it easier to print spreadsheets. Specifically, you can specify custom paper sizes and set custom page breaks. This makes it easier to get the right content from a spreadsheet on a printed page. See the Help Center for more about how to print from Google Sheets.


Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to Rapid Release, with Scheduled Release coming in 4 weeks

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility); rollout to Scheduled Release domains will only start after rollout to Rapid Release domains is complete.

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
The Keyword: Think macro: record actions in Google Sheets to skip repetitive work
Help Center: Automate tasks in Google Sheets
Help Center: Customize a pivot table
Help Center: Print from Google Sheets
Help Center: Edit rows, columns, and cells in a spreadsheet
Help Center: Add and use checkboxes



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