Tag Archives: docs

Collaborating to protect nearly anonymous animals

When you have a lot of people working in a Google Doc it can look like a zoo, with anonymous animals popping into your document to write (or howl, bark or moo) their feedback. Today, 13 new animals—like the african wild dog, grey reef shark and cheetah—are joining the pack. Though they may be excellent collaborators, they also need our help.

It’s Endangered Species Day, and we’re teaming up with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Netflix's “Our Planet” to raise awareness around animals that are at risk.

Google Cloud WWF Netflix.png

According to WWF, wildlife populations have dwindled by 60 percent in less than five decades. And with nearly 50 species threatened with extinction today, technology has a role to play in preventing endangerment.

With artificial intelligence (AI), advanced analytics and apps that speed up collaboration, Google is helping companies like WWF in their work to save our precious planets’ species. Here are some of the ways.

  • Curating wildlife data quickly. A big part of increasing conservation efforts is having access to reliable data about the animals that are threatened. To help, WWF and Google have joined a number of other partners to create the Wildlife Insights platform, a way for people to share wildlife camera trap images. Using AI, the species are automatically identified, so that conservationists can act quicker to help recover global wildlife populations.
  • Predicting wildlife trade trends. Using Google search queries and known web page content, Google can help organizations like WWF predict wildlife trade trends similar to how we can help see flu outbreaks coming. This way, we can help prevent a wildlife trafficking crisis quicker.
  • Collaborating globally with people who can help. Using G Suite, which includes productivity and collaboration apps like Docs and Slides, Google Cloud, WWF and Netflix partnered together to draft materials and share information quickly to help raise awareness for Endangered Species Day (not to mention, cut back on paper).

What you can do to help
Conservation can seem like a big, hairy problem that’s best left to the experts to solve. But there are small changes we can make right now in our everyday lives. When we all collaborate together to make these changes, they can make a big difference.

Check out this Slides presentation to find out more about how together, we can help our friends. You can also take direct action to help protect our planet on the “Our Planet” website.

Collaborating to protect nearly anonymous animals

When you have a lot of people working in a Google Doc it can look like a zoo, with anonymous animals popping into your document to write (or howl, bark or moo) their feedback. Today, 13 new animals—like the african wild dog, grey reef shark and cheetah—are joining the pack. Though they may be excellent collaborators, they also need our help.

It’s Endangered Species Day, and we’re teaming up with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Netflix's “Our Planet” to raise awareness around animals that are at risk.

Google Cloud WWF Netflix.png

According to WWF, wildlife populations have dwindled by 60 percent in less than five decades. And with nearly 50 species threatened with extinction today, technology has a role to play in preventing endangerment.

With artificial intelligence (AI), advanced analytics and apps that speed up collaboration, Google is helping companies like WWF in their work to save our precious planets’ species. Here are some of the ways.

  • Curating wildlife data quickly. A big part of increasing conservation efforts is having access to reliable data about the animals that are threatened. To help, WWF and Google have joined a number of other partners to create the Wildlife Insights platform, a way for people to share wildlife camera trap images. Using AI, the species are automatically identified, so that conservationists can act quicker to help recover global wildlife populations.
  • Predicting wildlife trade trends. Using Google search queries and known web page content, Google can help organizations like WWF predict wildlife trade trends similar to how we can help see flu outbreaks coming. This way, we can help prevent a wildlife trafficking crisis quicker.
  • Collaborating globally with people who can help. Using G Suite, which includes productivity and collaboration apps like Docs and Slides, Google Cloud, WWF and Netflix partnered together to draft materials and share information quickly to help raise awareness for Endangered Species Day (not to mention, cut back on paper).

What you can do to help
Conservation can seem like a big, hairy problem that’s best left to the experts to solve. But there are small changes we can make right now in our everyday lives. When we all collaborate together to make these changes, they can make a big difference.

Check out this Slides presentation to find out more about how together, we can help our friends. You can also take direct action to help protect our planet on the “Our Planet” website.

Introducing Season of Docs

Google Open Source is delighted to announce Season of Docs, a new program which fosters the open source contributions of technical writers.

Season of Docs brings technical writers and open source projects together for a few months to work on open source documentation. 2019 is the first time we’re running this exciting new program.

Join us in making a substantive contribution to open source software development around the world.

Fostering collaboration between open source projects and technical writers

The Open Source Survey showed that documentation is highly valued in open source communities, yet there’s little good documentation out there. Why? Because creating documentation is hard. But...

There are people who know how to do docs well. Technical writers know how to structure a documentation site so that people can find and understand the content. They know how to write docs that fit the needs of their audience. Technical writers can also help optimize a community’s processes for open source contribution and on-boarding new contributors.

During Season of Docs, technical writers will spend a few months working closely with open source communities. Each writer works with their chosen open source project. The writers bring their expertise to the projects’ documentation while at the same time learning about open source and new technologies.

Mentors from participating open source organizations share knowledge of their communities’ processes and tools. Together the technical writers and mentors build a new doc set, improve the structure of the existing docs, develop a much-needed tutorial, or improve contribution processes and guides. See more ideas for technical writing projects.

By working together in Season of Docs we raise awareness of open source, of docs, and of technical writing.

How does it work?

  • April 2-23: Open source organizations apply to take part in Season of Docs
  • April 30: Google publishes the list of accepted mentoring organizations, along with their ideas for documentation projects
  • April 30 - June 28: Technical writers choose the project they’d like to work on and submit their proposals to Season of Docs 
  • July 30: Google announces the accepted technical writer projects
  • August 1 - September 1: Community bonding: Technical writers get to know mentors and the open source community, and refine their projects in collaboration with their mentors
  • September 2 - November 29: Technical writers work with open source mentors on the accepted projects, and submit their work at the end of the period
  • December 10: Google publishes the list of  successfully-completed projects.
See the timeline for details, including the provision for projects that run longer than three months.

Join us

Explore the Season of Docs website at g.co/seasonofdocs to learn more about participating in the program. Use our logo and other promotional resources to spread the word. Examine the timeline, check out the FAQ, and get ready to apply!

By Sarah Maddox, Google Technical Writer and Andrew Chen, Google Open Source

Version control to Major Tom—keeping track of work in G Suite

How many times have you worked in a document only to realize halfway through that you’re editing an outdated version? Beyond being frustrating, this can cause confusion and slow down your project. One of the great things about working in cloud-native tools like G Suite is that everything is automatically saved. You never have to worry if you’re working on the most up-to-date version of a document because your apps do that for you.

But for the times that you need to go back and see changes, it’s simple. Go to File > Version history > See version history and view a complete list of changes to your document in one place. You can restore previous versions of a document there, too.

Another trick is to simply click the text at the top of your navigation bar that says “last edit was…” or “all changes saved” in Google Docs. If you hover over that text, it will actually tell you what the last change to the document was and who made it. Or if you’re returning to a document, you can click “See new changes” and the Doc will highlight edits that have been made since your last visit.

Read on for more tips on how to keep track of work in G Suite.

Take it a step further

Beyond viewing versions, there are other cool things you can do to keep track of work in G Suite. You can:

1. Make copies of specific versions

This is great for sharing “before” and “after” versions of your work with your boss. You can make copies of specific versions within version history. Click the three dot icon next to your selected version and choose “make a copy” to have a second record.

make copies.gif

2. Name specific versions of your work. 

In version history, you can keep track of your work by naming individual versions in your list. Because all of your changes are saved in the cloud, it’s easy to go back and change version names instead of having ten different versions of a “Final” document floating in email threads. Bonus points for creative names!

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3. See who’s viewed your work and when. 

If you’ve ever wondered who specifically has looked at your work, there’s a way for you to view activity within Google Docs, Sheets or Slides. Those folks who use paid versions can go to Tools > Activity dashboard and see detail about the number of people reviewing their document, who specifically has reviewed and viewership trends. If you want to get there quicker, you can use this keyboard shortcut to see the activity dashboard: Ctrl + Alt/Option + T, then click Z.

4. Set up notifications to see when changes are made in Sheets. 

If you’re working in a spreadsheet to track a project, you may want to see regular updates for when changes are made. You can set up notifications to alert you of changes immediately after someone changes data in a cell. Select Tools > Notification rules and choose the settings you prefer.

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Don’t let version issues slow down your work. Use these tips to maneuver past mix-ups.

A new guide for integrating Google Shopping ads using Google APIs

Good news for developers planning to integrate Google Shopping ads! We have just released a brand new guide explaining how to automate the delivery of Google Shopping on behalf of merchants using Google APIs.

The Shopping Automation Guide covers the steps required to set up new merchants using a combination of the Content API for Shopping and AdWords API. It describes how you can fully automate certain tasks that would otherwise be performed manually using the Merchant Center and AdWords websites.

The guide is for developers interested in feed management, campaign management, or full automation workflow that includes both. The workflows provide detailed explanations of how the different APIs can be used for each stage of the user journey. You can follow the workflow step by step or navigate straight to the article you require using the side panel.

Head over to the developer pages to get started! If you have any questions or need help, please contact us on the relevant forums: If you have any feedback on the guide, please use the “Send Feedback” link at the top right of each page.

We also appreciate any feedback on your experience using the guide. If you would like to share it, please complete this survey.

G Suite Pro Tips: how to sync one spreadsheet to another in Google Sheets

When it comes to analyzing data at work, we often have to pull information from several different sources in order to see the big picture. But if you need to manage product inventory or report on quarterly sales figures, spending time flipping between spreadsheets or manually copying and pasting data into one place can take up too much time. There’s a better option.

With G Suite—Google’s suite of cloud-based collaboration and productivity apps—there are a ton of ways you can skip repetitive tasks, including in Google Sheets.

Today, we’re kicking off a tips series to help you become a G Suite pro—starting with how to combine data from one spreadsheet into another. Check it out.

G Suite Pro Tips: syncing one spreadsheet to another

Combining data from two Google Sheets in four steps

With Sheets, it’s easy to combine data into one spreadsheet to create a single source of truth.

Step 1: Identify the spreadsheets you want to combine.

Pull up the two spreadsheets that you’d like to import data between. You should have the original spreadsheet (Ex: “Sales Revenue”) and the one you want to add information into (Ex: “Product Inventory”).

Step 2: Grab two things from the original sheet.

You need two pieces of information from the original spreadsheet in order to move the data: the spreadsheet URL and the range of cells where you want to pull the data from. In this example, our original spreadsheet’s name is “Sales Revenue.”

First, highlight and copy the full spreadsheet URL from the original spreadsheet (Note: you can also use the spreadsheet “key,” which is a code hidden inside the URL between the “d/” and “/edit.” It looks like a jumbled mix of letters and numbers.).

G Suite Pro Tips: image 1

Next, before you switch to the new spreadsheet, make sure to note the range of cells where you want to pull the data from in the original spreadsheet. For example, A:1 to C:10.

Step 3: Use a Google Sheets function to port your data over.

Now we use the IMPORTRANGE function. First, click into the new spreadsheet where you’d like to add data into. In this example, it’s named “Product Inventory.” Insert columns or rows into the spreadsheet where you want to put data.

Next, type =IMPORTRANGE in the cell (you can choose to use all caps or not, it doesn’t matter.). The function will then ask you for three things:

  1. The URL of the original spreadsheet (or the spreadsheet key, both options work.)
  2. The name of the specific tab in your spreadsheet that you’re pulling information out of
  3. The range of cells for data you need

It will look similar to this:

=IMPORTRANGE(“https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RNez4bhTMt_evAdHrFOBHeBgk1l5HAWVTb43EKpYHR8/edit#gid=0,””Sales Revenue by Quarter!A1:C10”)

It’s important to note that you have to use the specific name of the tab in the sheet in the formula. So for this example, the name of the original spreadsheet housing multiple datasets is called “Sales Revenue,” but the name of the specific tab with our data in it is called “Sales Revenue by Quarter.” We want to use the specific tab’s name to avoid our function breaking in the future when new sheets or tabs are created.

Oh and another trick: don’t forget to add the exclamation point (!) before the data range. That’s important, too.

Step 4: Import your data.

After you’ve added your IMPORTRANGE formula, you can click enter.

If it’s the first time you’ve imported data from that particular spreadsheet, a pop-up might appear. Don’t worry! This security check makes sure you’re okay with granting any collaborators on this spreadsheet access to data that lives in another spreadsheet. It will ask you to “Allow access” when you see the #REF in your cell. Go ahead and click yes.

Voilà! Your data will appear in the new spreadsheet.

Focus on work that’s important

Google Sheets has more than 400 functions you can use to help speed up work. To learn more about how cloud-based tools like Sheets can help businesses uncover insights quicker—and, as a result, encourage employees to spend time on strategic work—check out this post.

New ways to help teams work faster and smarter with G Suite

Today’s workplace is vastly different than it was 30 years ago. It used to be that a business could rely on a single team in a single location to get things done. These days, business is more diverse, dynamic and distributed than ever before. Decisions have to be made fast, teams need to align quickly and time can’t be wasted on repetitive, manual tasks. Consequently, companies that rely on decades-old, legacy work systems may find they aren’t agile enough to compete and stay relevant.

Imagine that your team needs to close a major sales deal. Stakeholders in multiple locations have to be consulted on the strategy. Customer needs have to be identified, a winning pitch must be drafted and the entire team must align on the right pricing approach—all before the end of the quarter.

G Suite makes this possible. It transforms the way teams collaborate, with intelligent tools that help them solve problems faster and focus their time on work that matters. Today, we’re announcing new, intelligent updates to G Suite to give businesses even more ways to manage projects—like closing a sales deal or bringing a new product to market—from one place.

Use a new, centralized platform to stay aligned on projects and make decisions quicker.

Available today, Hangouts Chat makes it easy to collaborate efficiently so teams can make faster decisions. With team chat rooms and threaded conversations, powerful search functionality and intelligent bots that connect workflows and speed up tasks (even with 3rd party apps), you can work on projects from one spot—like opening a new store location or launching an advertising campaign. Chat has deep integrations with other G Suite apps like Google Drive, Calendar and Hangouts Meet, and built-in security to meet retention, eDiscovery and regulatory/compliance needs for enterprises. Read more about Hangouts Chat or learn how you can build your own bots.

Spend less time setting up meetings and more time accomplishing goals.

We want to make it simple to manage meetings, which is why we’ve built tools to help you surface conference room information and find times to meet. In the coming months, Calendar will use artificial intelligence to automatically suggest rooms for you to book. And because they’ll be optimized for each attendee based on their building and floor location, previous booking history, audio/video equipment needs and room capacity requirements, you can feel confident that you’re booking the right space for your team to be productive.

ARS - GIF

Solve problems face-to-face with teammates over video, right away.

Sometimes it’s best to jump into an online meeting face-to-face with colleagues so you don’t hold up progress. Now, your team can quickly transition from a conversation in Chat and join a Hangouts Meet video conferencing meeting with just a few clicks.

Spend less time searching for the right documents and more time crafting ideas.

Today, we’re bringing Quick Access to Docs to help teams focus their time on work that matters (similar to Quick Access in Drive). Quick Access uses artificial intelligence to suggest relevant files based on signals like Drive activity and information in your documents, so you can work with the most up-to-date information and create new material quickly. Let’s say your global marketing team needs a central project plan; the team can start a Doc and use Quick Access in the Explore panel to find information from related files and add it into the plan quickly.

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To stay relevant, businesses must transform how they operate. Try today’s updates in G Suite and empower your teams to work better together.

Work hacks from G Suite: onboard new employees like a boss

We’ve talked about how corporate training can positively impact employee engagement. The same is true for efficient onboarding. The faster new employees are onboarded, the faster they  feel they’re part of the team and can contribute to your company’s mission.

Here are a few tips to help you onboard new employees without a hitch.

1. Set up an onboarding checklist, save to Team Drives

Google Keep work hacks

To help new employees get up-to-speed quickly, create centralized resources like an onboard checklist or company backgrounder in Google Keep or Docs.

Your new team member can track to-dos by listing out key tasks in Keep. Create a note in Keep and select “Show checkboxes” in the three dots menu. Type in to-dos like “set up HR benefits,” “outline goals” or “meet with Anish about process.”

Pro-tip: Keep integrates directly into Docs. If you’re in Keep, pick a specific note, click the three dots menu and select “Copy to Google Doc.” Or if you’re in Docs, drag-and-drop your note over from Keep.

You can also prepare a more detailed company background for your teammate in Docs. List upcoming projects, assign action items or include other reference material like key contacts. Once you’ve created these resources, be sure to save them to your Team Drives so that the “newbie” knows where to find or upload files for team use.

2. Create an onboarding portal with Google Sites


Now that you’ve created individual resources for an employee, create a mini-onboarding portal in Sites to house them. What’s great about Sites is that you don’t have to be handy with code to build a website—you can spin one up quickly without design, programming or IT resources. Sites also syncs with your favorite G Suite apps, like Drive and Calendar.

Sites GIF

3. Request access to IT systems and equipment using Forms

Sometimes it can take a while to get access to the tools we need to do our jobs, but G Suite apps can help you get around the lag. Help your IT department set up equipment and system access on day one using Forms and Sheets.

If you’re a manager or work in the human resources department, try using Forms to submit requests to IT before a new employee starts. Create a form for equipment and access needs, like computers (shameless plug: Chromebooks), keyboards, phones or IT system permissions. The IT team can then import requests from Forms into Sheets and keep track of needs in real-time.

GIF 3 work hacks

4. Introduce new employees to the team with Google+

G+ work hacks

During your first few days on the job, it’s hard to remember all of the new names and faces. Try setting up a welcome community on Google+ to help your newbie get to know the team.

To get started, go into G+ and click Communities > Yours > Create a Community. Enter the name of the community you want to create and manage who can see the community in your settings. Click “done,” invite people to join your community and started posting.


Employees are a company’s greatest asset. Try these tips to make new folks feel engaged and productive right from the start, or learn more at the G Suite Learning Center or the Google Cloud Transformation Gallery.

Work hacks from G Suite: onboard new employees like a boss

We’ve talked about how corporate training can positively impact employee engagement. The same is true for efficient onboarding. The faster new employees are onboarded, the faster they  feel they’re part of the team and can contribute to your company’s mission.

Here are a few tips to help you onboard new employees without a hitch.

1. Set up an onboarding checklist, save to Team Drives

Google Keep work hacks

To help new employees get up-to-speed quickly, create centralized resources like an onboard checklist or company backgrounder in Google Keep or Docs.

Your new team member can track to-dos by listing out key tasks in Keep. Create a note in Keep and select “Show checkboxes” in the three dots menu. Type in to-dos like “set up HR benefits,” “outline goals” or “meet with Anish about process.”

Pro-tip: Keep integrates directly into Docs. If you’re in Keep, pick a specific note, click the three dots menu and select “Copy to Google Doc.” Or if you’re in Docs, drag-and-drop your note over from Keep.

You can also prepare a more detailed company background for your teammate in Docs. List upcoming projects, assign action items or include other reference material like key contacts. Once you’ve created these resources, be sure to save them to your Team Drives so that the “newbie” knows where to find or upload files for team use.

2. Create an onboarding portal with Google Sites


Now that you’ve created individual resources for an employee, create a mini-onboarding portal in Sites to house them. What’s great about Sites is that you don’t have to be handy with code to build a website—you can spin one up quickly without design, programming or IT resources. Sites also syncs with your favorite G Suite apps, like Drive and Calendar.

Sites GIF

3. Request access to IT systems and equipment using Forms

Sometimes it can take a while to get access to the tools we need to do our jobs, but G Suite apps can help you get around the lag. Help your IT department set up equipment and system access on day one using Forms and Sheets.

If you’re a manager or work in the human resources department, try using Forms to submit requests to IT before a new employee starts. Create a form for equipment and access needs, like computers (shameless plug: Chromebooks), keyboards, phones or IT system permissions. The IT team can then import requests from Forms into Sheets and keep track of needs in real-time.

GIF 3 work hacks

4. Introduce new employees to the team with Google+

G+ work hacks

During your first few days on the job, it’s hard to remember all of the new names and faces. Try setting up a welcome community on Google+ to help your newbie get to know the team.

To get started, go into G+ and click Communities > Yours > Create a Community. Enter the name of the community you want to create and manage who can see the community in your settings. Click “done,” invite people to join your community and started posting.


Employees are a company’s greatest asset. Try these tips to make new folks feel engaged and productive right from the start, or learn more at the G Suite Learning Center or the Google Cloud Transformation Gallery.

Source: Google Cloud


Work hacks from G Suite: onboard new employees like a boss

We’ve talked about how corporate training can positively impact employee engagement. The same is true for efficient onboarding. The faster new employees are onboarded, the faster they  feel they’re part of the team and can contribute to your company’s mission.

Here are a few tips to help you onboard new employees without a hitch.

1. Set up an onboarding checklist, save to Team Drives

Google Keep work hacks

To help new employees get up-to-speed quickly, create centralized resources like an onboard checklist or company backgrounder in Google Keep or Docs.

Your new team member can track to-dos by listing out key tasks in Keep. Create a note in Keep and select “Show checkboxes” in the three dots menu. Type in to-dos like “set up HR benefits,” “outline goals” or “meet with Anish about process.”

Pro-tip: Keep integrates directly into Docs. If you’re in Keep, pick a specific note, click the three dots menu and select “Copy to Google Doc.” Or if you’re in Docs, drag-and-drop your note over from Keep.

You can also prepare a more detailed company background for your teammate in Docs. List upcoming projects, assign action items or include other reference material like key contacts. Once you’ve created these resources, be sure to save them to your Team Drives so that the “newbie” knows where to find or upload files for team use.

2. Create an onboarding portal with Google Sites


Now that you’ve created individual resources for an employee, create a mini-onboarding portal in Sites to house them. What’s great about Sites is that you don’t have to be handy with code to build a website—you can spin one up quickly without design, programming or IT resources. Sites also syncs with your favorite G Suite apps, like Drive and Calendar.

Sites GIF

3. Request access to IT systems and equipment using Forms

Sometimes it can take a while to get access to the tools we need to do our jobs, but G Suite apps can help you get around the lag. Help your IT department set up equipment and system access on day one using Forms and Sheets.

If you’re a manager or work in the human resources department, try using Forms to submit requests to IT before a new employee starts. Create a form for equipment and access needs, like computers (shameless plug: Chromebooks), keyboards, phones or IT system permissions. The IT team can then import requests from Forms into Sheets and keep track of needs in real-time.

GIF 3 work hacks

4. Introduce new employees to the team with Google+

G+ work hacks

During your first few days on the job, it’s hard to remember all of the new names and faces. Try setting up a welcome community on Google+ to help your newbie get to know the team.

To get started, go into G+ and click Communities > Yours > Create a Community. Enter the name of the community you want to create and manage who can see the community in your settings. Click “done,” invite people to join your community and started posting.


Employees are a company’s greatest asset. Try these tips to make new folks feel engaged and productive right from the start, or learn more at the G Suite Learning Center or the Google Cloud Transformation Gallery.

Source: Drive