Google Docs Overview Updated May 11, 2022

Google Docs

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194 'Google Docs' stories

May 2011 - May 2022


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 May 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Google Docs Stories May 11, 2021

Over the next few months, Google Docs will update how it renders documents to improve performance and consistency across different platforms. In Docs migrating to canvas-based rendering and switching away from the current HTML approach, Google is warning of an impact to Chrome extensions.

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Google Docs Stories May 7, 2021

Google Docs trends on Twitter for all the right reasons; here are some of our favorite responses

Google Docs hit the Twitter “Trending” tab overnight, and for a change, it was actually for all the right reasons, showcasing just why it’s arguably the best word processor out there.

Google Docs Stories May 4, 2021

Last year, Adobe released a Gmail Add-on for Creative Cloud for quick access and saving. An update to the Creative Cloud Add-on for Google Workspace today extends that functionality to Google Docs and Slides.

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Google Docs Stories April 12, 2021

If you’re having trouble with Google Drive services this morning, you’re not alone. Google Drive is experiencing a partial outage that’s bringing down Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for many users.

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Google Docs Stories April 5, 2021

Back in November, Google announced that Docs, Sheets, Slides, and other Workspace files will count toward storage caps. This is set to start for personal accounts on June 1, but Workspace users will be given an extension into 2022.

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Google Docs Stories March 31, 2021

Google Docs citations tool adding support for film, TV sources

Last year, Docs added a built-in citations tool, and Google is now updating the capability with more source types to join the existing five.

Google Docs Stories February 23, 2021

Google Docs getting the ability to filter comments meant ‘for you’

Commenting in Docs can get especially unwieldy when there are several participants working on a multi-part file. Google Docs is making a pair of changes to the comments experience, starting with a filter.

Google Docs Stories January 27, 2021

Multi-user document collaboration is about to get a little bit more organized with work calendars, as the latest update to Google Docs for G Suite/Workspace subscribers is a warning if a coworker is out of office when tagged by a comment.

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Google Docs Stories January 5, 2021

Google Docs adds Smart Compose, autocorrect to comments

Since Smart Compose launched in Gmail at I/O 2018, the machine learning feature has expanded to more users and other products. In Google Docs, the helpful tool, along with autocorrect, is now available when commenting.

Google Docs Stories December 10, 2020

Google is rolling out new features across Docs and other Workspace apps to increase interoperability with Word and the Microsoft Office suite. It comes as some teams might choose to use both sets of tools, while others still work with partners that don’t use cloud offerings.

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Google Docs Stories November 30, 2020

Google Docs improves importing PDFs with images, tables, and advanced formatting

Opening a PDF uploaded to Google Drive provides a basic preview. You’ve long been able to edit PDF files by selecting the “Open with Google Docs” option, and the import experience is now offering improved support.

Google Docs Stories November 24, 2020

Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for iOS add Microsoft Office editing

Following the web last year and Android in September, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for iOS can now edit Office files. 

Google Docs Stories November 11, 2020

In addition to Photos ending unlimited free backup, Google is making a change to how Docs, Sheets, Slides, and other similar files are stored. The company also announced new auto-delete polices for inactive and full accounts.

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Google Docs Stories October 28, 2020

Have you received an email about a new comment in a Google Docs or other Google Workspace file you don’t recognize? Do not click the included link, as it’s likely part of a new source of spam emails that are abusing comments in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

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Google Docs Stories October 27, 2020

Google’s editing applications can open and edit Microsoft files, with that capability recently coming to Android. When opening Office files from the Drive web client, Google will now directly open them in editing mode. 

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Google Docs Stories October 22, 2020

Google Docs surpasses 1 billion installs milestone on the Play Store

One of the best products that Google has made period, Google Docs is now celebrating a major milestone on the Play Store after surpassing 1 billion installs on Android.

Google Docs Stories October 21, 2020

After coming to Gmail, Calendar, and Drive, the Google Workspace Add-ons side panel will soon be available in Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Google today also showed off a useful Translate integration.

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Google Docs Stories October 6, 2020

As part of Google Workspace, the company is rolling out new branding for its productivity apps. Gmail — as teased last month — will be getting a new icon, with Calendar, Drive, Docs, and Meet also following over the coming weeks.

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Google Docs Stories September 8, 2020

Google Docs for Android adds Microsoft Office editing, improves line spacing

As announced last month, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for Android now support Microsoft Office editing. A related change sees Docs adjust line spacing based on the current font.

Google Docs Stories August 31, 2020

Google Docs rolling out improved braille navigation and verbalizations

Google is working to improve braille support in Docs with a handful of new features today that cover navigation and output. 

Google Docs Stories August 5, 2020

Google tries to differentiate its G Suite apps by leveraging AI to boost user productivity. It’s now bringing several key features, including Smart Compose, that first debuted on the desktop web to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for Android and iOS.

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Google Docs Stories July 16, 2020

Grammarly gets enhanced Google Docs integration w/ handy sidebar

Back in 2018, the handy writing tool Grammarly added support for Google Docs to help users everywhere ensure correct spelling and grammar regardless of their project. In the time since that integration has only matured and, now, it’s getting a big upgrade.

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