Tag Archives: Google Docs

Display the word count as you type in Google Docs

Quick launch summary

Users often need to see the word count in the documents they write. Instead of going to Tools > Word Count each time you want to view this information, now, you can simply select Tools > Word count > Display word count while typing to continuously display it in the lower left corner of your doc:




We’ve heard that displaying this information is helpful to users working on docs that require minimum or maximum word count.

If you click on the word count box, you can also view more information, like the page count, character count (with and without spaces). To see the word count of a specific section of text, simply highlight that section in your doc. To learn more, see our Help Center.

Availability

Rollout details
G Suite editions
  • Available to all G Suite editions
On/off by default?
  • This feature will be available by default and can be accessed by going to Tools > Word count > Display word count in Google Docs.

Stay up to date with G Suite launches

Improving real-time collaboration in Google Docs for assistive technology users

Quick launch summary 

It’s now easier for users of assistive technologies, like screen readers and Braille displays, to keep track of real-time updates made by collaborators in a document. With live edits, you can view a periodically updated summary of collaborator changes in a convenient sidebar. In Google Docs we believe that collaboration works best when it works for everyone.

New edits made by collaborators appear in the live edits sidebar.


To see live edits, open the Accessibility settings by going to Tools > Accessibility settings and check “Turn on screen reader support.” Then, select “Show live edits” from the Accessibility menu. To learn more, see this article in our Help Center.

Helpful links

Availability

Rollout details

G Suite editions
  • Available to all G Suite editions.

On/off by default? 
  • This feature will be available by default and can be enabled in the settings of Google Docs.


Stay up to date with G Suite launches

New fonts intended to help improve reading speed now available in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

Quick launch summary

The Google Fonts team has teamed up with Thomas Jockin to create a series of fonts that are aimed at improving reading speed. To learn more about the research behind this initiative, see here for more details.



These fonts take into account typographical factors, such as size and spacing, that the font developers hope will improve reading speed. This can be particularly helpful for educators who want to leverage new tools that can improve reading among their students, especially those who are sensitive to visual crowding.

We now offer eight different Lexend font families that have varied widths and spacing, so users can choose the font style that’s best for their reading speed.

To access these fonts in Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides:

  • From the Font menu in the toolbar, select “More fonts”.
  • Then, search for Lexend and select the fonts to add them to your saved fonts. These will now appear in the “My fonts” list and in the Font menu in the toolbar. 

Availability

Rollout details

  • These fonts are already available to both Rapid and Scheduled domains.

G Suite editions

  • Available to all G Suite editions

On/off by default?

  • These fonts will be available by default.


Stay up to date with G Suite launches

More controls and customizations for headers and footers in Google Docs

Quick launch summary 

We’re giving you more options to control and customize headers and footers in Google Docs. 

Previously, you could set a single header or single footer for your entire document, with an option to make it different on the first page only. Now you can also define a specific header or footer for each section of your document, or use different headers and footers on odd and even page numbers.

To use different headers or footers per page, see this article in the Help Center. 

Helpful links 



Availability 

Rollout details


G Suite editions

  • Available to all G Suite editions 

On/off by default? 

  • This feature will be ON by default.


Stay up to date with G Suite launches

Improving active account awareness when opening files with multiple sign-ins

Quick launch summary 

We’re making it easier for you to identify which Google account is active when opening and contributing to Docs, Sheets, and Slides files.

When you’re logged into multiple accounts, like switching between your work and personal accounts, it can sometimes be confusing to determine which account is active when opening and collaborating on a Doc, Sheet, or Slide. We’re introducing a new dialogue that better indicates which account is active, and gives you the option to quickly change accounts.

This will help eliminate confusion and ensure you’re using the correct account when contributing to content.


Availability 

Rollout details 


G Suite editions 

  • Available to all G Suite editions 

On/off by default? 

  • This feature will be ON by default. 

Stay up to date with G Suite launches

Request and review formal document approvals with a new beta

What’s changing 

We’re launching a new beta that allows you to request and review formal approvals on Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This feature gives you a direct way to get binding approvals on a file, and to see who’s approved them.



To learn more about this beta and to apply, see here.

Who’s impacted 

Admins and end users

Why you’d use it 

With this beta, you can easily request approval on specific files from a single or multiple reviewers. Once you add a reviewer to a file, they’ll receive a notification via email.

You’ll also have the option to specify a due date when requesting an approval. As the due date approaches, reviewers will receive reminders via email that their approval is needed. Reviewers will also receive reminders if their approval is past due.

For a single reviewer, the file is automatically approved or rejected once the reviewer makes their choice. For multiple reviewers, the file gets approved once all reviewers have selected “approve” and rejected once any reviewer selects “reject.”

 If you need to add additional reviewers to a request, you can do so as long as an approval is still pending. In addition, editors and pending reviewers can choose to re-assign a review request to a more appropriate party.

How to get started 

  • Admins: To apply for the Google Drive Approvals beta, see here
  • End users: 
    • Once this feature is enabled for your domain, to request an approval: 
      • In Google Drive, right-click the file you want to get approved and select “Approvals” from the list of options. 
      •  If you have the file open in preview mode, this option is also available in the actions listed in the three-dot drop-down menu. 
  • To approve or reject a file: 
    • If your approval is requested on a document, you’ll receive a notification email and can take action within Gmail: 
      • You can approve or reject the document in the preview pane, and add comments.
      • From Drive, you can see a pending request for approval in the action items associated with a file, or by right-clicking and choosing “View approvals.” 

Additional details 

Once you send a file for review, the content of the file cannot be modified, including leaving and resolving comments within the document. Only comments regarding the approval itself can be added.
Only editors can unlock the file, in which case the review request is cancelled. Reviews can be requested again once all revisions are made.

Helpful links 



Availability 

G Suite editions 

  • Available to G Suite Business, G Suite Enterprise, G Suite for Education, G Suite Enterprise for Education, and G Suite for Nonprofits 
  • Not available for G Suite Basic 

On/off by default? 


Stay up to date with G Suite launches

See changes in Google Docs over time with Compare Documents

What’s changing 

It’s now easier to compare two Google docs. This feature will show you the differences between the docs as “Suggested Edits” in a new document.


Who’s impacted 

End users


Why you’d use it 

This feature makes it easy to see changes between two docs over time. For instance, educators can use this tool to compare essays and track revisions, saving them time when grading.

On the other hand, business users can use this tool during contract negotiations to see what terms have changed throughout the negotiation process and to compare the final version of the doc to the initial version.


How to get started 


  • Admins: No action required. 
  • End users: To compare Docs: 
    • Open any Google Doc — this will become your ‘base’ document. 
    • From the toolbar, select Tools > Compare Documents
      • In the dialogue, click on Choose document to select the second Google Doc to compare against. 
      • In the “Attribute differences to field”, enter the name of the user who will be labelled as the author of the suggested edits in the comparison output file. 
    • Select Compare



A new document will be generated that shows all existing suggested edits from both docs as accepted. Users will be able to see the differences between both documents as suggested edits labeled with the name defined in the Attribute differences to field.


Additional details 

Doc owners and those with edit access can use this feature to compare documents.

Helpful links 



Availability 

Rollout details 


G Suite editions 


  • Available to all G Suite Editions 

On/off by default? 


  • This feature will be ON by default

Stay up to date with G Suite launches

See changes in Google Docs over time with Compare Documents

What’s changing 

It’s now easier to compare two Google docs. This feature will show you the differences between the docs as “Suggested Edits” in a new document.


Who’s impacted 

End users


Why you’d use it 

This feature makes it easy to see changes between two docs over time. For instance, educators can use this tool to compare essays and track revisions, saving them time when grading.

On the other hand, business users can use this tool during contract negotiations to see what terms have changed throughout the negotiation process and to compare the final version of the doc to the initial version.


How to get started 


  • Admins: No action required. 
  • End users: To compare Docs: 
    • Open any Google Doc — this will become your ‘base’ document. 
    • From the toolbar, select Tools > Compare Documents
      • In the dialogue, click on Choose document to select the second Google Doc to compare against. 
      • In the “Attribute differences to field”, enter the name of the user who will be labelled as the author of the suggested edits in the comparison output file. 
    • Select Compare



A new document will be generated that shows all existing suggested edits from both docs as accepted. Users will be able to see the differences between both documents as suggested edits labeled with the name defined in the Attribute differences to field.


Additional details 

Doc owners and those with edit access can use this feature to compare documents.

Helpful links 



Availability 

Rollout details 


G Suite editions 


  • Available to all G Suite Editions 

On/off by default? 


  • This feature will be ON by default

Stay up to date with G Suite launches

Mail merge with the Google Docs API

Posted by Wesley Chun, Developer Advocate, Google Cloud

Students and working professionals use Google Docs every day to help enhance their productivity and collaboration. The ability to easily share a document and simultaneously edit it together are some of our users' favorite product features. However, many small businesses, corporations, and educational institutions often find themselves needing to automatically generate a wide variety of documents, ranging from form letters to customer invoices, legal paperwork, news feeds, data processing error logs, and internally-generated documents for the corporate CMS (content management system).

Mail merge is the process of taking a master template document along with a data source and "merging" them together. This process makes multiple copies of the master template file and customizes each copy with corresponding data of distinct records from the source. These copies can then be "mailed," whether by postal service or electronically. Using mail merge to produce these copies at volume without human labor has long been a killer app since word processors and databases were invented, and now, you can do it in the cloud with G Suite APIs!

While the Document Service in Google Apps Script has enabled the creation of Google Docs scripts and Docs Add-ons like GFormit (for Google Forms automation), use of Document Service requires developers to operate within the Apps Script ecosystem, possibly a non-starter for more custom development environments. Programmatic access to Google Docs via an HTTP-based REST API wasn't possible until the launch of the Google Docs API earlier this year. This release has now made building custom mail merge applications easier than ever!

Today's technical overview video walks developers through the concept and flow of mail merge operations using the Docs, Sheets, Drive, and Gmail APIs. Armed with this knowledge, developers can dig deeper and access a fully-working sample application (Python), or just skip it and go straight to its open source repo. We invite you to check out the Docs API documentation as well as the API overview page for more information including Quickstart samples in a variety of languages. We hope these resources enable you to develop your own custom mail merge solution in no time!

Two new formatting tools available in Docs

Quick launch summary 

We’re introducing two new features in Google Docs that will help you format your work:

Insert section breaks and view section breaks in Docs
You can now insert a next page or continuous section break in Google Docs by going to Insert > Break. From here, you can select next or continuous. Note both types of breaks will start at the place of your cursor location.

To easily view where section breaks are located in your document, you can use the new show section breaks tool by going to View > Show section breaks. When Show selection breaks is enabled, you’ll see a blue dotted line where each section break is located.



Adjust margins per section 
It’s now possible to use the ruler to adjust the left and right margins by section. Previously, it was only possible to adjust the margins for the entire document.

If you don’t make a selection, the ruler will adjust the margins for the section that corresponds to the cursor location. Or, you can highlight multiple sections of your doc to be adjusted.

You can also adjust margins per-section by going to File > Page Setup.

Availability

Rollout details


G Suite editions

  • Available for all G Suite editions.

On/off by default?

  • This features will be ON by default.

Stay up to date with G Suite launches