Tag Archives: docs

Dark theme now available for Docs, Sheets, and Slides on Android

Quick launch summary 

We’re enhancing Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides on Android with Dark theme support. Dark theme will intelligently adjust the product interface and user-generated content in ways that can make it more usable in low-light environments and save battery life. 

Settings for Docs, Sheets, and Slides will adjust automatically when the Android system is set to use Dark theme. You can also turn dark mode on or off for Docs, Sheets, or Slides independently. If you do this, each app will always be in the selected theme regardless of the Android system settings. 

Docs, Sheets, and Slides in Dark Theme 

Getting started 

  • Admins: No action needed. 
  • End users: This feature will automatically respect the Android system settings. Dark theme can also be enabled in the Docs, Sheets, or Slides apps individually by going to Menu > Settings > Theme > Dark in each app. When using Dark theme, you can preview your current document or sheet in the Light theme using More > View in light theme. Visit our Help Center to learn more about Dark theme in Google Docs, Sheets & Slides

Choose your theme

View in light theme 

Rollout pace 


  • Available to all G Suite customers and users with personal accounts 


Spanish grammar suggestions now available in Google Docs and Gmail

Quick launch summary 

We’re expanding our advanced assistive writing features in Google Docs and Gmail to Spanish. Last year, we introduced grammar suggestions powered by neural-networks for the English language. Now, we’re using the same technology to provide grammar suggestions as you type in Spanish.

Language will be detected automatically, and even if you switch between writing in Spanish and English, we will provide the appropriate grammar suggestions. These capabilities can help you write faster, more accurately, and with more confidence.

Later this year, we’re also planning to make spelling autocorrect and Smart Compose available to Spanish language users. Keep an eye on the G Suite Updates blog to know when those features become available. Learn more about the expansion of our Spanish language assistive writing features on our Cloud Blog.

Getting started 

Rollout pace 


  • Available to G Suite Basic, G Suite Business, G Suite Essentials, G Suite Enterprise Essentials, and G Suite Enterprise customers. 
  • Not yet available to G Suite for Education, G Suite Enterprise for Education, and G Suite for Nonprofits customers, as well as users with personal Google accounts. 


New comment interface for Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides on Android

What’s changing 

We’re updating the user interface for comments and action items in the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps for Android. Some of the changes you may notice include:

  • Larger, clearer interface to make it easier to see comments and their context in a document. 
  • Shortcuts and gestures to help you quickly scroll through and respond to multiple comments. 
  • Quick access button to reply, “@” mention someone, and assign action items. 

Who’s impacted 

End users

Why it matters 

Commenting is a powerful way to collaborate on documents while remote. Comments can help you ask questions, document discussions, make sure other users see something, assign action items, and more. They’re particularly useful when working remotely, enabling multiple users to be part of discussions whenever and wherever it's convenient for them.

Getting started 

  • Admins: There is no admin control for this feature.
  • End users: This feature will be ON by default. To get started, tap on a comment when using the Docs, Sheets, or Slides app on an Android device. Use the Help Center to learn more about using comments and action items on Android

Rollout pace 


  • Available to all G Suite customers and users with personal accounts. 


New document save status and offline indicator for Docs, Sheets, and Slides

Quick launch summary 

We’re updating the interface which tells users about the file save status and whether they’re working online or offline in Google Docs editors and Drawings. The changes will help users understand where the file is saved, whether they’re connected to the network, and if the file is available to edit offline.

This is an update to the interface only - there are no changes in the underlying functionality. The changes you may notice include:

  • A new location for document save status next to the document name. 
  • More descriptive text to indicate whether a document is saved to the cloud (when online) or to the device (offline). 
  • A new way to enable offline by clicking on the document status icon. Previously, you had to go to File > Make available offline

For users in domains where admins have turned off Docs editors offline access, we will adjust the message shown to users in order to minimize confusion regarding settings controlled by their admin. 

See images below for more details.

Getting started 

The saved file indicator is now next to the document name and features more descriptive text 

You can enable offline by clicking the document status icon 

Rollout pace 


  • Available to all G Suite customers and users with personal Google Accounts. 


Google Docs assistive writing features coming to G Suite for Education and Nonprofits

Quick launch summary 

We’re making two Google Docs assistive writing features—Smart Compose and Autocorrect—available to G Suite for Education, G Suite Enterprise for Education, and G Suite for Nonprofits users.

These features add to other intelligent assistive writing features, such as neural grammar correction in Gmail, which help G Suite for Education users write more quickly and efficiently. The new features were previously available to other G Suite editions, but not G Suite for Education customers. Users can choose to turn each feature on or off.

Autocorrect in Google Docs 
Autocorrect helps you compose documents quickly and with confidence. Misspelled words will automatically be corrected while typing and denoted with a grey dashed underline. As you continue typing, this dashed line will disappear. It will be available for Google Docs on the web in English. See more information on autocorrect in Docs here.

Smart Compose in Google Docs 
Smart Compose helps you compose high-quality content faster by cutting back on repetitive writing while reducing the chance of spelling and grammatical errors. It will be available for Google Docs on the web in English. See more information on Smart Compose in Docs here.
Autocorrect makes it easier to write in Google Docs 

Smart Compose helps you write more quickly and accurately 

Getting started 

Admins: There are currently no admin controls for these features. However, we plan to add an admin control for Smart Compose by the start of the 2020/2021 school year.

End users: 

Rollout pace 

  • Rapid and Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility)] starting on June 1, 2020. We expect rollout to complete by June 30, 2020. 


  • Now available to G Suite for Education, G Suite Enterprise for Education customers, and G Suite for Nonprofits customers 
  • Already available to G Suite Basic, G Suite Business, and G Suite Enterprise customers. 


New sharing dialog for Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms

What’s changing 

We’re updating the interface you use to share files from Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms on the web. This will replace the previous interface used to share files and manage members of shared drives. These changes will make it easier to share files only with specific people without expanding access beyond what’s needed.

Who’s impacted 

End users

Why it matters 

Sharing files is critical to collaboration. This is especially true now, as more workforces are remote and collaborating on files from different locations. By making it easier to share files with specific people, we hope to improve collaboration while reducing the risk of access by unwanted users. 

Additional details 

We’ve made several changes to the sharing experience. These make it easier to perform common tasks, avoid accidental permission changes, and quickly see who has access to a file. Specifically you may notice:

  • Separated, task-focused interface: The new sharing dialog highlights essential user tasks like sharing a file, changing permissions, and viewing file access. The redesign also visually separates sharing with people and groups from link-sharing. 
  • Quick “copy link” button: We’ve added a “copy link” button to make it easier to get the link without changing link permissions. 
  • Easily see current access: The new interface more clearly shows who currently has access to the item, making it easier to quickly audit and change permissions. 

The new sharing interface for Google Drive and Docs editors files 

The old sharing interface for Google Drive and Docs editors files 

Getting started 

  • Admins: This change will take place by default. There is no admin control for this feature. 
  • End users: This feature will be ON by default. Use our Help Center to learn more about how to share Google Drive files

Rollout pace 


  • Available to all G Suite and Drive Enterprise customers, as well as users with personal Google Accounts 



Announcing Season of Docs 2020

Google Open Source is delighted to announce Season of Docs 2020!

Season of Docs brings technical writers and open source projects together for a few months to work on open source documentation. 2019 was the first year of Season of Docs, bringing together open source organizations and technical writers to create 44 successful documentation projects!

Docs are key to open source success

Survey after survey show the importance of good documentation in how developers choose and use open source:
  • 72% of surveyed developers say “Established policies and documentation” is a key decision factor when choosing open source
  • 93% of surveyed developers say “Incomplete or outdated documentation is a pervasive problem” in open source
  • “Lack of documentation” was the top reason developers gave for deciding against using an open source project
Open source communities know this, and still struggle to produce good documentation. 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 onboarding new contributors.

Season of Docs brings open source projects and technical writers together with the shared goal of creating great documentation. The writers bring their expertise to the projects, and the project mentors help the technical writers learn more about open source and new technologies. Communities gain new docs contributors and technical writers gain valuable open source skills.

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, docs, and technical writing.

How does it work?

April 13 – May 4Open source organizations apply to take part in Season of Docs
May 11Google publishes the list of accepted mentoring organizations, along with their ideas for documentation projects
May 11 – July 9Technical writers choose the project they’d like to work on and submit their proposals to Season of Docs
August 10Google announces the accepted technical writer projects
August 11 – September 11Community bonding: Technical writers get to know mentors and the open source community, and refine their projects in collaboration with their mentors
September 11 – December 6Technical writers work with open source mentors on the accepted projects, and submit their work at the end of the period
January 7, 2021Google 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. Check out the timeline and FAQ, and get ready to apply!

By Erin McKean, Google Open Source

Even without internet at home, students can keep learning

If your school is operating virtually as a result of COVID-19, you may be wondering how to continue teaching students who don’t have access to the internet at home, or who only have low-bandwidth access. Fortunately, there are many ways to keep Chromebooks and G Suite up and running even when online access is slow or unavailable. We’ve pulled together ideas for educators and school IT teams who want to encourage all students to keep learning, regardless of their online access. 

For edtech and IT teams: The basics of enabling offline access

Using Chromebooks and G Suite without Wi-Fi or low connectivity is relatively easy, but you may want to enlist your EdTech and IT teams to set up offline access for everyone. Here are the key steps in the process, along with useful Google support links. 

Keep in mind that people need to go through this process while they still have online access. Consider taking a few minutes to guide students and staff through the process while they’re on school Wi-Fi networks.

Step 1: To help students, teachers and staff work in G Suite offline, the first step is to enable offline access for all users. Your IT or EdTech team can do this from G Suite’s admin console using these instructions for managed devices; in the Features and Applications section of the Admin console, administrators can click “Allow users to enable offline access.” 

Step 2: G Suite users also need to download the Google Docs Offline extension for Chrome Browser, which will allow them to use Google Docs, Sheets, Drive and Slides without online access. 

Step 3: Finally, people should turn on offline access for the G Suite applications they’d like to use before they go offline. Share these instructions for opening G Suite files offline. It’s a good idea to ask students to test that offline access is working properly; help them turn off W-iFi access and try to access a G Suite file. Students can download notes from Slides, Docs, and more, and download the lectures from Classroom and Drive to watch later if they do not have internet at home.

For teachers: Things to do offline

Remind students that even if they don’t have Wi-Fi access away from school, there’s a lot that they can do with their Chromebooks:

For edtech and IT teams: Chrome extensions that work offline

Encourage students to use Chrome extensions that help them do classwork while offline--and ask your edtech or IT team to push out the extensions to all G Suite and Chromebook users. Search theChromebook App Hub or the Chrome Web Store using the “runs offline” option to find useful extensions, or start with Screencastify for recording and editing videos and Soundtrap for recording and saving audio files. 

Tips from teachers

Teachers are already brainstorming creative ways to help students without home online access continue their studies:

Create a “file upload” feature in Google Forms:Eric Lawson, director of technology at Maine’s York School Department, shared that you can create a Google Form directly from Google Classroom. One of the question options in Google Forms is to create a “file upload.” This allows for students to work on podcasts, videos, journals, infographics, etc. and simply submit them to their teacher through a form. On a day where students may not have internet access, they can still work on their project offline on their Chromebooks at home and then submit the file when they have access.

Offer mobile hotspot access:At Grain Valley Schools in Missouri, Kyle Pace, director of technology, plans to remind students that they can check out mobile hotspot devices from the school’s libraries--just as they’d check out books.

If you use Google Classroom and want to make sure students can view assignments offline, follow this YouTube tutorial from Stewart Lee, technology integration coordinator with Anderson School District 3 in South Carolina.

Google Docs unveils one writer’s creative process to the world

When Viviana Rivero set out to write her short story “Just do it!” she decided to experiment with her process. Instead of writing alone and revealing her work to readers later, she invited thousands of people to watch her write—and comment on her writing—in real-time with Google Docs.

More than 10,000 people watched the Argentinian writer’s story come to life in real time as she wrote it. We sat down with Rivero to learn more about how she incorporated technology into her creative process, and how it changed the final product.

Tell us about using Google Docs to publicly write your story.

Believe it or not, this was my first time using Google Docs. First, I created a new document and selected “comment-only” in the share permissions. Next, I hosted a few “live sessions” where I wrote a short story in the document and invited readers  to watch and comment. To my surprise, thousands of people contributed! The short story from this session became a part of a printed book called “Zafiros en la Piel” (“Sapphires on the skin”). The book’s back cover even has a QR code that takes the reader to the story on Google Docs, bringing these worlds together. 

What was it like to write in front of other people?

It was a challenging thing to do. Usually, when a writer creates a story, they don’t find out what the reader thinks until afterward, and even then, there’s no way of gauging how people react the moment they read the words. It was different and exciting because it allowed me to see their reactions as they had them.

Did  your story change as a result of readers’ comments?

Yes! There’s a character in the story who talks with his dog. People fell in love with the dog—they wrote so many comments about it. I decided to make the dog more important to the story and gave him and his owner more dialogue.

Did using Google Docs affect your creative process?

Reading and writing can be lonely activities. While my creative process wasn’t necessarily altered (I already had the general idea for the story), the way in which we experienced the story changed. Docs helped bring the writer and reader together. These two things that are usually done in isolation were shared. It made the process much more enriching.

It also meant I showed everything that happens behind the scenes. For example, I don’t use punctuation when I write at first, just to make it faster. I typically put accents, periods and commas in after the story is written. At first I felt vulnerable because I didn’t want people to see unpolished work, but in the end, I think the readers appreciated seeing how a writer works. 

Were there any interesting results from the experiment?

I was surprised by the amount of new readers who participated. I expected many people to be fans already, but there were many new readers who joined the live sessions by chance. Since writing the story, we’ve seen a 170 percent increase in sales of the paper book. It was also awarded a Bronze Lion at the Cannes Lions Film Festival. 

Do you suggest other authors try using Google Docs and inviting readers to watch their process?

Many of my writer friends ask what it was like to write in front of thousands of people, something not many of them would dare to do. I tell them: Stories are something that will never die, and the way we tell them will continue to evolve. Before paper existed, people shared stories with their voices. And even if paper ceases to exist, the storyteller will remain, because people love stories. 

Being able to interact with readers so closely motivated me; I hope to be able to do it again someday.

Google Assignments, your new grading companion

Instructors lose valuable time doing cumbersome tasks: writing the same comment on multiple essays, returning piles of paper assignments, and battling copy machine jams. These frustrations are most often felt by instructors with the highest teaching workloads and the least time. For the last five years, we’ve been building tools—like Classroom and Quizzes in Google Forms—to address these challenges. Now you can take advantage of these tools if you use a traditional Learning Management System (LMS). 

Assignments brings together the capabilities of Google Docs, Drive and Search into a new tool for collecting and grading student work. It helps you save time with streamlined assignment workflows, ensure student work is authentic with originality reports, and give constructive feedback with comment banks. You can use Assignments as a standalone tool and a companion to your LMS (no setup required!) or your school admin can integrate it with your LMS. Sign up today to try Assignments.

If you're one of the 40 million people using Classroom: you've got the best of Assignments already baked in, including our new originality reports. For everyone else, Assignments gives you access to these features as a compliment to your school’s LMS. 

Assignments is your tireless grading companion

Using an LMS can create more work than it saves: students turn in all kinds of files, you have to download and re-upload student files one-by-one, and what if students can keep editing after they already turned in their work? Assignments handles all this for you.

Assignments streamlines the creation and management of coursework, and tackles some of your biggest frustrations:

  • Stop typing the same feedback over and over by using a comment bank, and never worry about pressing the “save” button again

  • Check student work for originality and automatically lock work once it’s turned in

  • Assign files with the option to send each student a copy (no more copy machines!)

  • Grade assignments for an entire class with a student switcher and rubrics, and review any file type without leaving your grading interface

  • Comment and leave suggestions on student work with Google Docs

Grade in Google Assignments

Instructors and students can attach anything to assignments: Docs or Word files for papers, spreadsheets for data analysis, slides for presentations, sites for digital portfolios or final projects, Colab notebooks for programming exercises, and much more. 

Create assignments with Google Assignments

Help students turn in their best work with originality reports

With originality reports in Assignments, you can check student work for missed citations and possible plagiarism without interrupting your grading workflow. When students turn in a document, Assignments will check students’ text against hundreds of billions of web pages and tens of millions of books. 

If you enable originality reports on an assignment, students can also check their work for authenticity (a limited number of times) to correct issues, turn in their best work, and save instructors time grading. Since both you and your students can see originality reports, they’re designed to help you teach your students about authenticity and academic integrity. 

Analyze student work with originality reports

Getting started with Assignments

Starting today, you can sign up to get access to Assignments when it becomes available in a few weeks. Assignments will be available for free as part of G Suite for Education and can be used by instructors alongside or integrated with an LMS. 

Instructors can use Assignments even if your school has an LMS. There’s no setup required, all you need is to sign up and have a school-issued Google account. 

Admins can turn on access to Assignments within your LMS. Assignments is available as an LTI tool, which provides a more integrated experience and enables roster syncing and grade transmission to your LMS gradebook. Assignments is an improved and expanded version of Course Kit, so if you’re already in the Course Kit beta, you’ll automatically have access to Assignments. 

If you use Canvas, we’ve worked with their team to complement the Assignments LTI tool with a set of additional features that make Docs and Drive work seamlessly across all Canvas assignments. 

Source: Drive