Tag Archives: Google Sheets

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

Remove or select a custom color for chart borders in Google Sheets

Quick launch summary 

You now have more options for customizing chart borders in Google Sheets. Currently, the default border for a chart is dark gray — now, you can change the border to a custom color or remove the border:

  • Double click on any chart to open the Chart editor and select the Customize tab. 
  • Under Chart style, you can select a border color or select “None” to remove the border. 

The default border is shown on the left, customization options shown on the right. 


We hope this new feature helps you better customize your Sheets.

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

View the edit history of a cell in Sheets

What’s changing 

“Show edit history” is a new feature in Sheets that will help you easily see the edit history of a cell, including who made the last edit, when that edit was made, and the cell’s previous value.


Who’s impacted 

End users

Why you’d use it 

Tracking edits made by collaborators is important for keeping information accurate and understanding why specific changes were made and by whom. This is especially critical when there are several collaborators working in a sheet.

Previously, you would need to open up Version History and manually look through past versions of a sheet to determine who changed a cell and when. With Show edit history, you can quickly surface the edit history of a cell: who edited, when, and the previous value.

How to get started 


  • Admins: No action required. 
  • End users: To start using Show edit history: 
    • Right click on any cell and select “Show edit history” from the dropdown menu. 
    • A dialogue box will appear that will show you: 
      • The user who last made a direct edit in the cell 
      • A timestamp of the edit 
      • The previous value and current value of the cell 
      • Arrow keys in the top right corner which toggle back and forth between edits 

Additional details 

The following changes are considered previous edits to a cell:

  • Adding, editing, or removing content — like changing the value of a cell from “3” to “5”
  • Changing a formula — like changing “=A1+B1” to “=A1+C5” 
  • Adding, editing, or removing a link from a cell 
Note: Some changes may not show up in the edit history. Some examples are:

  • Added or deleted rows and columns 
  • Changes to the cell’s format 
  • Changes made by formulas 

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

View the edit history of a cell in Sheets

What’s changing 

“Show edit history” is a new feature in Sheets that will help you easily see the edit history of a cell, including who made the last edit, when that edit was made, and the cell’s previous value.


Who’s impacted 

End users

Why you’d use it 

Tracking edits made by collaborators is important for keeping information accurate and understanding why specific changes were made and by whom. This is especially critical when there are several collaborators working in a sheet.

Previously, you would need to open up Version History and manually look through past versions of a sheet to determine who changed a cell and when. With Show edit history, you can quickly surface the edit history of a cell: who edited, when, and the previous value.

How to get started 


  • Admins: No action required. 
  • End users: To start using Show edit history: 
    • Right click on any cell and select “Show edit history” from the dropdown menu. 
    • A dialogue box will appear that will show you: 
      • The user who last made a direct edit in the cell 
      • A timestamp of the edit 
      • The previous value and current value of the cell 
      • Arrow keys in the top right corner which toggle back and forth between edits 

Additional details 

The following changes are considered previous edits to a cell:

  • Adding, editing, or removing content — like changing the value of a cell from “3” to “5”
  • Changing a formula — like changing “=A1+B1” to “=A1+C5” 
  • Adding, editing, or removing a link from a cell 
Note: Some changes may not show up in the edit history. Some examples are:

  • Added or deleted rows and columns 
  • Changes to the cell’s format 
  • Changes made by formulas 

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!

Three new features to format and work with data in Sheets

What’s changing 

We’re introducing three new features that will help you clean up and work with your data in Sheets. These features are: 

  • Remove duplicates 
  • Trim whitespace 
  • Compatible spreadsheet shortcuts 

Who’s impacted 

End users

Why you’d use them 

Remove duplicates: 
A highly requested feature, you can use this tool to easily remove duplicate values from your sheet, saving you time by eliminating the need to write an app script or manually remove duplicate data.



Trim whitespace: 
Sometimes when you add data to a sheet, it may not be the format you need. Now, you can easily keep your sheet standardized by using the trim whitespace feature to remove any leading, trailing, or excessive whitespace from a cell or array of data.



Compatible keyboard shortcuts: 
You can now use popular keyboard shortcuts from other spreadsheets in Sheets. These familiar shortcuts will make navigating and working with data in Sheets quicker for users.



How to get started 

Admins: No action required.
End users:
  • To remove duplicates from a range of data: 
    • Select range of data in your sheet 
    • From the toolbar, select Data > Remove duplicates. In the dialogue box, you’ll see your selected range of data. 
    • Select Remove duplicates. You’ll see an additional dialogue box that details how many duplicates were removed from your dataset.
  • To trim whitespaces: 
    • Select a cell or range of data that contains whitespace on your sheet 
    • From the toolbar, select Data > Trim whitespace 
    • You’ll then see a dialogue box that details how many cells whitespace was removed from. 
  • To enable compatible keyboard shortcuts: 
    • Users can access keyboard shortcuts by going to Help > Keyboard shortcuts
      • From here, you can see a list of keyboard shortcuts and their corresponding commands. Note that compatible shortcuts will be denoted with an info icon. 
      • At the bottom, you can enable compatible spreadsheet shortcuts. 
      • You can click “View compatible shortcuts” at the bottom right to see a complete list of all newly available shortcuts. 

Additional details 

The remove duplicates and trim whitespaces features will be supported in Apps Script, macro recording, and one platform APIs in early June 2019.

Helpful links 

Keyboard shortcuts for Google Docs. 
Split text, remove duplicates, or trim whitespace in Sheets.
Separate cell text into columns. 

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

Work anywhere with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides in new offline mode

What’s changing 

It’s now possible for users to work on Docs, Sheets, and Slides files when your device is offline or have a bad internet connection within Google Drive. You can also preview which files are available offline with a new offline preview mode.

Right click on Docs, Sheets, and Slides files from within Google Drive to make those files available offline.

You can preview which files are available offline using the Offline preview mode

Who’s impacted 

Admins and end users.

Why you’d use it 

We know it’s important for users to access and work on their files while traveling or when there’s low connectivity. With offline mode, it’s now possible to create, edit, and comment on Docs, Sheets, or Slides files. Any changes made to files while offline will then sync in Drive once the user is connected again.

How to get started 

  • Admins: Admins can enable this feature for all or some users:
    • To let users enable offline access (recommended), go to Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs.
    • To enable offline access for specific devices, see this article in our Help Center.
    • Note: The default for this feature is that all users can enable offline access on any device they sign into, but it is not enabled automatically except on Chromebooks 
  • End users: To work with your files while offline, you’ll need to enable offline access in your Drive settings:
    • From Google Drive, click the gear icon at the top right corner, select Settings > General and select Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings files to this computer so that you can edit offline.
    • Once offline access is enabled, a checkmark icon will appear in the top right next to Settings (gear icon) and Support (question mark). When you click this icon, you can find the offline preview toggle. 



Additional details 

To make files available offline in Google Drive, right click on any file and toggle Available offline from the menu while connected.

When offline access is enabled, Google Drive also automatically and intelligently makes a certain number of Google Docs/Sheets/Slides files available offline based on how recently you accessed them. You can preview which files are already available offline automatically using the offline preview mode. You can also mark a file available offline -- so that it always remains available offline -- while in offline preview mode, as long as you are connected.

Helpful links 

Availability 

Rollout details 
  • Rapid Release domains: Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility) starting on April 24, 2019 
  • Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on May 21, 2019. 
G Suite editions 
  • Available to all G Suite editions.
On/off by default? 
  • This feature will be ON by default for users who already have offline enabled.
Stay up to date with G Suite launches

Work with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides in Dropbox with a new beta

What’s changing 

This Dropbox beta will allow Dropbox users to work with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides directly in Dropbox.

G Suite admins with a Dropbox Business subscription for their organization can find more details and apply for the beta here.

Who’s impacted 

Admins and end users.

Why you’d use it 

When users are signed in to both their Google and Dropbox accounts, they can create and store Docs, Sheets, and Slides files in any Dropbox folder, alongside traditional files. You’ll be able to:

  • Create and edit web-based files: 
    • You can start a shared Docs, Sheets, or Slides file right from dropbox.com or from apps on Windows and Mac, and have it stored in Dropbox. When you open files, you’ll be taken straight to familiar Google editors within Dropbox.
    • You can also open .docx, .xlsx, or .pptx files from Dropbox in Docs, Sheets, or Slides, and save them back to Dropbox in their original format. 


Create Docs, Sheets, and Slides from within Dropbox Web UI

  • Share Files and manage access: 
    • Adding a Docs, Sheets, or Slides file to a shared Dropbox folder will automatically grant members access. You can also share files on a one-off basis without adding it to a shared folder by inviting people from Dropbox or creating a shareable link. 


    • Whether sharing files directly from Dropbox or with a link, you can set edit or view-only access. You’ll also have the option to set permissions to team only when sharing within your organization or anyone when sharing files outside your organization.


Dropbox sharing modal overlaid on Slides presentation 



  • Search your files: Docs, Sheets, and Slides files will show up when searching in Dropbox, including results from the content within your Docs, Sheets, and Slides in addition to file names. 


  • Collaborate: You’ll be notified of any comments or edits made on your Docs, Sheets, and Slides files in your Dropbox notifications, so you can easily stay on top of what’s happening with your files. 

We hope this feature will streamline workflows by reducing the time spent switching between multiple tools helping you use data more effectively.

How to get started 



Additional details 

Dropbox users on desktop, web, and mobile can view, comment, search, move, copy, and delete files. Note that mobile users will not be able to edit files.

Helpful links 

For more details and how to apply for the beta, see here.

Availability 

G Suite editions 

  • Available to all G Suite editions.

Stay up to date with G Suite launches

More collaboration insights in the Activity dashboard

This announcement was made at Google Cloud Next ‘19 in San Francisco. Check out Next OnAir to tune into the livestream or watch session recordings following the event.

Quick Launch Summary 

We’re introducing two new features to the Activity dashboard in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides:

Sharing history
Sharing history provides users with granular visibility into how your document is being shared with others across your organization and elsewhere. You’ll now see who shared access with who and what level editing access they’ve been granted.



Comment trend 
Comment trend will help users visualize the conversations in a particular document, showing the number of comments, suggestions, and replies created per day. A graph will display the number of new comment threads, replies, and unresolved comments over the lifetime of a document.



These updates add more context to the Activity dashboard, a feature we launched last year to help users see who’s viewed a particular document and viewer trends. These additions will further flesh out the Activity dashboard, making it a centralized hub where document owners and editors can see how other collaborators are engaging with their 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