Google Docs Overview Updated March 21, 2023

Google Docs

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216 'Google Docs' stories

May 2011 - March 2023

Google Docs originated from web-based word processor Writely. The app would lay the groundwork for such common features as collaborative text editing. Eventually acquired by Google, it was made available to all Google Apps users in February of 2007.

The marquee feature of Docs is the ability to collaborate with a wide number of people online. Controls help determine who can see, comment, and edit documents. In its current form, Docs is an HTML5 app that runs on most modern browsers and even has support for rudimentary viewing on mobile. Its Android and iOS apps are quite powerful and gives users access to the same web functionality.

On Chrome, Docs works offline and allows users to work without an internet connection and have changes synced backed up to the cloud. An Add-ons feature allows third-party developers to add extra functionality like a thesaurus and a bibliography creator.

Google Docs Stories March 21

Google Docs rolling out more customizable table of contents

Following its big Material You redesign, Google Docs is adding more customization options for tables of contents, as well as better formatting options for all other tables.

Google Docs Stories March 17

Material You is now available for Google Drive’s web app

In February, Google announced that its expansion of Material You would finally expand to Google Drive and its various tools on the web. Now, that rollout is happening widely.

Google Docs Stories March 14

Google Workspace announcing its first wave of AI products and features, including generative AI similar to ChatGPT being integrated directly into Google Docs.

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Google Docs Stories March 13

Almost a month before Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania hit theaters, a Google Doc appeared on Reddit with what appeared to be the full dialogue of the film. Marvel has now subpoenaed Google and Reddit to help find the leaker.

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Google Docs Stories March 6

Formally announced last month, the Material You inspired redesigns of Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides on the web are beginning to appear for some Workspace customers.

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Google Docs Stories February 23

Google Docs adding stopwatch, Calendar template, and other Smart Chips  

Google Docs is adding a bunch of new features to Smart Canvas, which aims to boost integration between apps, like a stopwatch and Calendar template.

While the mobile Workspace apps were quickly updated alongside Android 12’s Pixel launch in fall of 2021, it took much longer for Material Design 3 to arrive on the web. Following the Gmail redesign last year, Material You is coming next to Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

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Google Docs Stories February 3

Google is making a small but profound usability tweak by adding an eyedropper tool to the color picker in Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings.

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Google Docs Stories January 9

Google Docs has offered voice typing on the web since 2015, and the input method is now set to pick up “enhancements” that will also improve automatic captions in Google Slides.

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Google Docs Stories December 20, 2022

Google’s biggest apps already feature the main elements of Material You but additional aspects are now making their way through, with Docs, Sheets, and Slides using the new toggle design.

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Google Docs Stories December 14, 2022

Google’s latest Smart canvas feature for Docs is code blocks that let you more easily format and display code.

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Google Docs Stories November 25, 2022

Gmail for web getting improved and more contextual search results

Improved Gmail search is an evergreen user request, and Google last introduced better search suggestions courtesy of updated ML models. Gmail is now using recent searches to improve results in the web app.

Google Docs Stories September 16, 2022

Google Docs: How to adjust and change your margins or use Pageless mode

Google Docs is great for all different types of uses, though the default setup isn’t for everyone. This guide will quickly take you through changing the margins so you can adjust the Google Doc to your liking.

Google Docs Stories August 29, 2022

Google Docs now has an easy way to add emoji

Earlier this year, Docs on the web introduced emoji reactions and Google is now making it very simple to insert emoji as you’re writing. 

Google Docs Stories August 17, 2022

Google Docs checklists can now be assigned and appear in Google Tasks

Enterprise Workspace users can now assign checklists in Google Docs and have them appear in their or a coworker’s Google Tasks list.

Google Docs Stories August 16, 2022

Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides now offer individual control over accessibility settings

Google products are generally well-equipped when it comes to accessibility tools, but Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are now picking up an enhancement to their existing tools.

Google Docs Stories July 25, 2022

At I/O 2022, Google announced that over 20 first-party apps would be optimized for tablets. We’ve already seen a handful of launches since May, and Google Drive, Docs/Sheets/Slides, and Keep are now set to receive updates that improve multitasking on Android tablets. 

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Google Docs Stories July 19, 2022

In addition to comments, Google Docs will soon alert you to content additions and removals with edit notifications. 

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Google Docs Stories June 30, 2022

Google Workspace Individual was announced a year ago as an upgrade for one-person businesses that have been using accounts to run their companies. Subscribers will soon get access to eSignature support in Google Docs.

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Google Docs Stories June 29, 2022

How to use Google Docs new ‘Pageless’ feature

We live in the cloud. That’s just how things are now. Pages are being printed less often and most of our work is done online and shared with others through programs like Google Drive. To embrace that shift, Google Docs has added a feature called “Pageless” editing. Here’s how it works.

Google Docs Stories June 10, 2022

Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc. is rolling out a new share prompt UI on the web that the company touts as being “simpler.”

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Google Docs Stories May 25, 2022

The latest change to Google Docs lets you select multiple passages of text and take bulk actions (delete, copy, paste, etc.) simultaneously to greatly speed up formatting.

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Google Docs Stories May 11, 2022

Similar to last year, Google Workspace has a presence at I/O 2022 and used it to announce features across Meet and Chat, as well as Docs.

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Google Docs Stories May 4, 2022

Google Docs and Sheets getting native integration with SAP S/4HANA Cloud

At today’s virtual Workspace Summit, Google announced an expanded partnership with enterprise software giant SAP that sees Docs and Sheets integrate with S/4HANA Cloud.

Google Docs Stories May 2, 2022

Smart canvas is Google’s push to boost integrations between its family of Workspace apps. In Google Docs, dropdown chips and table templates are the latest additions meant to boost productivity.

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Google Docs Stories April 26, 2022

Google is updating the toolbar menus that appear in the Docs web client with a focus on making it “easier to locate the most commonly used features.” 

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Google Docs Stories April 12, 2022

As announced at the end of last month, Google Meet is now built into Docs, Sheets, and Slides with a prominent new button that’s rolling out from today.

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Google Docs Stories April 5, 2022

When editing another person’s document, Google today lets you leave a comment or suggest edits. Google Docs on the web will soon support emoji reactions as a “less formal alternative to comments to express your opinions.”

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Google Docs Stories March 31, 2022

In addition to Smart Compose, grammar corrections, and spelling autocorrect, Google Docs is now rolling out writing suggestions that feature a purple underline to help with tone, style, and word choice.

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When G Suite was rebranded to Google Workspace in 2020, the company teased that Meet was coming to Docs, Sheets, and Slides. That Google Meet integration is now coming along with desktop web Picture-in-Picture (PiP), in-call reactions and more.

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Google Docs Stories March 29, 2022

Google Docs getting expanded Markdown support and auto-detection on the web

Markdown is a “lightweight markup language for applying formatting using plain text.” Google Docs already recognizes some Markdown syntax, and is now expanding its support.

Google Docs Stories March 15, 2022

As previewed in February, Google Docs on the web is getting a rather nifty template for drafting emails that features Gmail integration. This is part of Google’s @-menu and Smart Canvas push.

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Google Docs Stories February 15, 2022

One of the first major announcements at I/O 2021 was Google’s initiative to offer a more integrated and interactive Workspace experience. The latest “Smart canvas” features are now here, including AI summaries in Google Docs.

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Google Docs Stories January 24, 2022

Google Docs now lets you create ‘Confidential,’ ‘Draft,’ and other text watermarks

Back in September, Google added support for uploading image watermarks in Docs and is now making it easy to create your own background text identifiers.

Google Docs Stories December 17, 2021

According to Merriam-Webster — yes, I’m purposefully being cliche, the em dash can be used to separate extra information in place of a comma, colon, or parenthesis. Google Docs will now autocorrect for the em dash (—), but it’s using the wrong default shortcut.

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Google Docs Stories December 14, 2021

In the media landscape, newsletters are currently very popular among journalists and other writers that want a direct audience, as well as business. Most are using Substack, with Google’s Area 120 experimenting on a very interesting tool called Museletter that leverages Docs/Drive for distribution.

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Google Docs Stories December 7, 2021

Google Docs making it easier to customize and edit tables

While Google Workspace offers Sheets, people still use Docs to create inline tables. Google is now letting you better create and customize tables in the Docs web app with a handful of upgrades.

Google Docs Stories November 8, 2021

In 2019, Google started testing a review and approval system for Docs, Sheets, and Slides. After the two-year beta period, “formal document approvals” are now rolling out to Workspace users.

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Google Docs Stories October 20, 2021

Google Docs getting universal @ menu for inserting content, ‘Add page break before’

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.

Google Docs Stories October 5, 2021

Following the big Android app update that brought a Material You redesign and new widgets, Google Calendar is adding a nifty shortcut on the web to create meeting notes.

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Google Docs Stories September 27, 2021

Google Docs getting wider comment boxes, background watermark support

The Google Docs web client is adding support for background watermarks, while comment boxes in the sidebar are getting wider to let you read more feedback per line.

Google Docs Stories September 9, 2021

Following the Gmail redesign last week, Google today showed off Material You for the key Workspace apps on Android 12. This includes Google Calendar, Drive, Docs, Gmail, Meet, Sheets, and Slides.

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Google Docs Stories August 24, 2021

Google bringing Smart Reply suggestions to comments in Docs

After launching in Gmail, Smart Reply has expanded to more and more Google products. Google Docs already has Smart Compose, and it’s now adding Smart Reply suggestions when commenting.

Google Docs Stories June 14, 2021

In addition to Gmail, Meet, and other Workspace announcements today, Google Docs and Drive will soon get Client-side encryption where “customer data is indecipherable to Google.”

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Google Docs Stories June 2, 2021

Google Docs and Slides pick up 60 new fonts, including JetBrains Mono, Comic Neue

Google Fonts is a catalog of over 1,000 free licensed font families and, most recently, icons. New additions to that library have now made their way into Google Docs and Slides.

Google Docs Stories May 26, 2021

At I/O 2021, Google announced several “Smart canvas” features that will better integrate the company’s various productivity apps. The ability to present from Docs, Sheets, and Slides directly to Google Meet is now rolling out.

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Google Docs Stories May 24, 2021

Google Docs now supports positioning images behind or in front of text

Last week, Google announced “Smart Canvas” as a set of features to boost the interconnectedness of Docs and other Workspace apps. Google Docs is now getting a low-hanging capability to “position an image in front of or behind text.”

Google Docs Stories May 18, 2021

In unveiling “Smart canvas” at I/O 2021, Google called it the “next big step” in the future of work. The goal is to create a more integrated and interactive Workspace experience, especially in Google Docs.

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