At Cloud Next 2019 last July, Google announced grammar suggestions for Google Docs in early beta. Google is today rolling out the web feature to paid G Suite Basic, Business, and Enterprise customers.

Compared to spelling and grammar check, which Google Docs introduced seven years ago, grammar suggestions in the web app leverage machine translation techniques to help catch “tricky grammatical errors.”

“Affect” versus “effect,” “there” versus “their,” or even more complicated rules like how to use prepositions correctly or the right verb tense, are examples of errors that grammar suggestions can help you catch.

Errors will be underlined with a squiggly blue line that you can right-click to see and accept the correction. Google is also rolling out a revamped “Spelling and grammar” menu that appears in the top-right corner. Users will be able to quickly accept/ignore suggestions, and move between identified errors. It is accessible in the right-click menu for an error, while users can also head to the “Tools” menu > “Review more suggestions.”

Google Docs AI grammar suggestions

This first-party feature built right into Docs obviates the need for third-party extensions and apps. Grammar suggestions work by using machine translation to “build a model that can incorporate the complexity and nuances of grammar correction.” Google also worked with “linguists to decipher the rules for the machine translation model.”

In doing so, machine translation techniques can catch a range of different corrections, from simple grammatical rules such as how to use “a” versus “an” in a sentence, to more complex grammatical concepts such as how to use subordinate clauses correctly.

It will begin rolling out by default on March 5, 2019 for G Suite Basic, G Suite Business, and G Suite Enterprise. This feature is not yet available for free accounts, or G Suite for Education, G Suite Enterprise for Education, and G Suite for Nonprofits.

Just yesterday, the company announced wider availability for “Intelligent search” in Google Drive. Google is heavily leveraging machine learning in G Suite to help boost end-user productivity.

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Abner Li

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