The latest update to Google Docs makes official the “universal @ menu” that’s part of Workspace’s “Smart canvas” initiative. Meanwhile, there will be a new “Add page break before” option.

In the past, @-mentioning a person in documents would show (if populated by admins) their location, job title, and other contact information. At I/O 2021 in May, Google expanded that capability to add interactive “smart chips.” This includes recommended files (which can be previewed inline) and find scheduled meetings.

Now, we’ve added a universal insertion menu to easily add things like tables and images, in addition to smart chips, directly in Google Docs. 

In all, you now see People, Templates, Files, Lists, and Media:

Simply type “@”, and you’ll see a list of recommended files, people, meetings, as well as different content elements and formats to insert into your work. You can also search all available components. 

This universal @ menu is now rolling out to Docs and will be available to all Google Workspace customers.

Meanwhile, “Add page break before” lets you have paragraphs always open on a new page to retain Microsoft Word’s “Page break before” option when importing/exporting documents. Go to Format > Line & paragraph spacing > “Add page break before” to set. 

This is particularly useful if you want certain paragraph styles to always create a new page such as titles, subtitles, or headings.

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Abner Li

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