Google Sheets Overview Updated September 9, 2021

Google Sheets

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73 'Google Sheets' stories

September 2011 - September 2021


Spreadsheets originated from a company bought by Google in June 2005. A year later Spreadsheets launched in Google Labs as a limited test.

In October of 2012, Spreadsheets was rebranded as Sheets and made a part of the Google Drive umbrella. Like Docs, Sheets has full offline support and allows users to work without a connection. Users can collaborate and share with many other people at the same time. Powerful Android and iOS apps allow users to access and work on files on the go.

Google Sheets Stories September 9

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 Sheets Stories June 2

Google Sheets adds dedicated sidebar to review all comments

Google is making it easier to review, reply, and resolve comments in Sheets with a new consolidated sidebar that matches the one already available in Docs.

Google Sheets Stories May 26

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 Sheets Stories May 18

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 Sheets Stories April 12

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 Sheets 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 Sheets 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 Sheets 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 Sheets 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 Sheets 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 Sheets Stories July 6, 2020

For over a year now, Google has been bringing dark mode to its Android apps to go with Android 10’s dark theme toggle. Today, they’re launching a long-awaited and much needed dark mode to the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps for Android, to make your work easier on the eyes.

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Google Sheets Stories June 30, 2020

Google’s goal with G Suite is to leverage AI to boost user productivity, with Smart Compose in Gmail and Docs being prime examples. Google Sheets is gaining similar features this year with Smart Fill and Smart Cleanup.

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Google Sheets Stories June 17, 2020

While Drive for Android gained a dark theme last April, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides have been notable holdouts. Night-friendly modes for these apps are coming and will likely also apply to the document view.

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Google Sheets Stories June 9, 2020

After tweaking the search bar, Google is rolling out a more substantial update to Docs, Sheets, and Slides for Android. The UI for commenting has been redesigned to be more mobile-friendly.

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Google Sheets Stories May 27, 2020

G Suite’s productivity apps are seeing a pair of updates on Android and the web today. On the latter platform, there’s a Google Docs “document status” indicator, while the mobile apps pick up a new search field.

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Google Sheets Stories April 28, 2020

Google Drive and the G Suite family of productive apps often get small, iterative refreshes. The latest update today is more notable and sees a big redesign of the sharing UI that focuses on ease of use.

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Google Sheets Stories March 12, 2020

Google Sheets is now gaining a new feature that allows you to filter and sort cells by text color and fill (background) color.

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Google Sheets Stories October 8, 2019

Google tweaks editor UIs for Docs, Sheets, and Slides on Android

While Drive was one of the first Google apps to adopt the Material Theme, Docs, Sheets, and Slides followed later on the web and mobile. The latest set of updates brings Material Theme tweaks to the productivity app’s editor interfaces on Android.

Google Sheets Stories August 13, 2019

Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides add reading speed-optimized ‘Lexend’ fonts

Google’s productivity apps are gaining a series of fonts “aimed at improving reading speed.” Meant particularly for educators and students, the Lexend font family is available today in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

Google Sheets Stories August 9, 2019

Google Drive on the web was one of the very first services to get the Material Theme treatment in 2018, with the Android and iOS clients following this April. The homepages for Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides were updated in February, with a similar Google Material Theme revamp now available for the Android apps.

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Google Sheets Stories August 1, 2019

Beyond data entry and formulas, Google Sheets has long featured graphing capabilities. Earlier this year, the G Suite app added more tools for “enhanced reporting,” and today Google announced Themes, Slicers, and Scorecard charts to make Sheets more interactive.

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Google Sheets Stories July 9, 2019

One longstanding complaint among Google users on the web is how being logged in with both personal and G Suite accounts results in a confusing file launch process. Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides will now display a prominent prompt about what account you’re signed in with.

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Google Sheets Stories April 19, 2019

Google Sheets adds further enhanced tools for spreadsheet formatting

Google Docs continues to encroach upon Microsoft Excel territory with the addition of many stalwart Excel functions and features. Announced today, the update includes new tweaks to Google Sheets and enhanced formatting functions for images, charts, and Pivot tables.

Google Sheets Stories April 11, 2019

Activity dashboard in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides adds sharing history, comment stats

Last year, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides introduced an Activity dashboard to provide stats and easily see who has viewed a document. The three G Suite apps are now adding sharing history and comment analytics.

Google Sheets Stories February 26, 2019

Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides homepages updated with Material Theme tweaks

For most users, Google Drive is their primary homepage when interacting with the web suite of productivity apps. However, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides on the web also have dedicated homepages, with all three recently gaining Material Theme tweaks.

Google Sheets Stories January 15, 2019

Google Drive was one of the first web apps to adopt the Google Material Theme last May and now a similar redesign is rolling out to the core Docs, Sheets, and Slides productivity services on the web, as well as Google Sites.

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Google Sheets Stories October 29, 2018

Activity dashboard in Google Docs, Sheets, & Slides updated w/ Google Material Theme

Earlier this year, Google introduced an Activity dashboard in Docs, Sheets, and Slides that allowed users to easily keep track of file history. Like Google Drive, it’s now gaining the Google Material Theme with a redesigned interface on the web.

Google Sheets Stories June 1, 2018

How to celebrate Pride with Google Sheets’ hidden Easter egg

A while back, Google added an Easter egg to Sheets that adds a rainbow theme to the entire spreadsheet. Here’s how to use the Pride-themed Easter egg in Google Sheets.

Google Sheets Stories December 6, 2017

Google Sheets adds pivot tables, suggested formula tools powered by machine learning

Google’s work with machine learning is impressive for a number of reasons, but its most practical uses often come in places you wouldn’t expect. Today, Google is revealing new tools in Sheets made possible by machine learning.

Google Sheets Stories November 8, 2017

Copied Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides can soon include comments, suggestions

Following a very useful tweak to the image picker earlier this week, Google Drive is getting another small, but noticeable feature. Copying a document will soon include the option to bring over the original file’s comments and suggestions.

Google Sheets Stories June 1, 2017

Google Drive is full of powerful tools, and Sheets is one that many rely on as an alternative to Microsoft Excel. Today, Google is debuting several new features for Sheets that are bound to become incredibly useful to its users.

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Google Sheets Stories April 18, 2016

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In 2013, Google Drive addressed one of the biggest advantages of Microsoft Office: offline access and editing. With this feature enabled, Docs, Slides, and Sheets effectively becomes a native application. An update starting today will allow users to select specific files to store and edit without an internet connection.

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Google Sheets Stories March 24, 2016

You can now change themes, filters & layouts in updated Google Sheets and Slides for iOS

Google is updating its Google Sheets and Slides apps for iOS today with new features that allow changing themes, filters and layouts on the fly from within the mobile apps.

For Google Sheets, the update brings the ability to view and change existing filters applied to a spreadsheet.

Google Sheets Stories March 15, 2016

Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, & Slides will soon let you set expiration dates for document access

Google is adding the ability to set expiration dates for access to documents across Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides apps. The idea is that you can limit a contributor’s access to a  document for a specific time period, which Google points out will come in handy for companies and organizations that often share files with third-parties temporarily:

Google Sheets Stories March 8, 2016

Google Docs apps add much-needed iPad Pro support, but still lack iOS 9 multitasking

Google is on a roll lately with readying its iOS apps for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro announced last September and released last November.

Google’s YouTube app gained native resolution two weeks ago, but lacked iOS 9 multitasking features like Split View and Picture-in-Picture, then yesterday we saw Google Photos update with iPad Pro support in an update that actually includes Split View and Slide Over features.

Now it’s the Google Docs apps turn, at least to start, as the latest version of Google Docs for iOS adds native resolution support for the iPad Pro.

Google Sheets Stories March 2, 2016

Google Docs, Sheets, & Slides get new templates on web & mobile

Google is today adding new templates to the initial selection it first rolled out to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides back in September of last year.

Google Sheets Stories December 15, 2015

Google-Drive-update-nov-2015

In September, to coincide with the beginning of the school year, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides added the ability to use a template to start a document. Previously restricted to the web, an update rolling out starting today adds the same ability to Android and iOS apps.

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Google Sheets Stories November 13, 2015

Updates arrive for Google Docs & Sheets for Android, Drive on the web

Google is rolling out updates this week for Google Docs and Sheets for Android as well as Google Drive on the web, the company announced in two separate blog posts today.

For Sheets, the update brings the ability to “add new and reply to existing comments,” while the updated Google Docs for Android app gets the ability to see suggestions and comments when in the app’s Print Layout view. “resolve, close, accept, or reject those comments and suggestions—making it simpler to move between their desktop and mobile devices.”

Google also highlighted improvements to editing charts in the Sheets app on Android:

…if a user a selects a single cell and inserts a chart, we’ll automatically expand that data selection to include the immediately surrounding cells. This will make it easier for users to create robust charts with relevant information. In addition, when an employee creates a new chart, they’ll now see three recommended chart types, which we’ll suggest based on the data they’ve selected.

And lastly for Sheets, users will start to notice the 400 new fonts Google began rolling out to Sheets on the web this week.

As for Google Drive, the web app gets improved organization with new smarter sorting in the app’s ‘Recent’ view:

The new sorting experience removes the existing sorting dropdown options (‘Last modified,’ ‘Last modified by me,’ and ‘Last opened by me’) and replaces them with a dynamically-generated view based on the actions of the person using Drive. Items will continue to be segmented into time-based sections (‘Today,’ ‘Earlier this week,’ etc), and will now indicate whether each item was opened, modified, or uploaded by the user directly in the UI. The smarter sorting ensures that items acted upon by the user are more likely to be shown than items acted upon by other collaborators.

The updated Google Sheets and Docs apps are rolling out now.

Google Sheets Stories October 28, 2015

Google-Keep-drawing

Google is today rolling out updates to its Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Keep apps that add a handful of new features for Android users.

First up, the Sheets app now allows users to view more content on the screen by automatically hiding “toolbars and headers so that you can see more of your content on the screen at one time.” And you’ll notice the toolbars and headers reappear when you sign to scroll up or zoom out.

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Google Sheets Stories October 9, 2015

Google Drive outage

Update: Google says all services are restored!

Seeing Google Drive and other services unresponsive this afternoon? Rest assured that it’s not just you. Google has acknowledged the service disruption on its app status page with this message posted within the hour:

We’re investigating reports of an issue with Google Drive. We will provide more information shortly.

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Google Sheets Stories September 16, 2015

Earlier this year, Google Slides on Android was updated with support for presenting slide shows over both the Chromecast and Apple TV and today the company is expanding on that capability and making it easier for presenters to stay engaged with the audience. With today’s update, presenters can now control their slide shows directly from the lock screen of their Android device.

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Google Sheets Stories September 2, 2015

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Update: Two other minor updates targeted to business customers have also been included. Text inside a Sheets cell can now be partially formatted, rather than formatting all the text to one font style (i.e. italics), and Google’s fonts are preserved when opening a Docs or Sheets file in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.

Google has today pushed a bunch of new features and general improvements to its Docs suite of web-based productivity apps. It’s the beginning of the school year so it’s no surprise that the company’s post on the changes is targeted towards teachers, but anyone using Docs will benefit.

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Google Sheets Stories August 20, 2015

Google Docs & Sheets for Android learn a few new useful tricks

Update: This post has been updated to include an APKMirror link to the Docs update which includes Print Layout.

Google Docs and Sheets, two of products that make up Google’s suite of online productivity tools, have received some small updates on Android that will come in handy for mobile warriors (sorry, had to say it).

Let’s start with Docs. Now from the overflow menu of a document you’ll find a new Print Layout option that, when selected, will show you a fully paginated (each page labeled with its order in the document), read-only version of your document. This is what your document will look like printed on paper. Print Layout will continue to update in real-time as collaborators make changes. The ability to edit from within the Print Layout view will come in the future.

The other new updates today come for Google Sheets. The first is a new “intuitive keyboard functionality.” Now when you tap a cell in a Sheets spreadsheet, either the alphabetic or numeric will open depending on which type of characters are in the cell. Tap a cell with only numbers in it, Sheets will open the numeric keypad so you don’t have to make another tap to switch to it. Nice touch.

The final update to hit Sheets is autofill. As you can see in the GIF above, autofill makes it easy to complete a pattern without the tedium of going cell-by-cell and doing it yourself. Select the data you want to repeat and drag to the cells you’d like to repeat it in, and Sheets will fill in the cells using the pattern of your selected data.

The latter two updates for Sheets can be found in the latest update to the app for Android in Google Play, while an APK download of Docs including Print Layout can be found on APKMirror.

Google Sheets Stories July 27, 2015

Google axes editing of Docs on mobile web, presenting install banners for multiple file types

Google Drive for the mobile web has always restricted editing to just Docs files — attempting to edit Sheets or Slides files required downloading the Google Drive app for iOS or Android. That changes today. No, you won’t be able to edit Sheets or Slides files now, but rather Google is also killing off the editing capabilities in Docs for mobile web.

The change makes total sense, if for consistency at the very least. But Google says it’s because the Drive native mobile app is “easier to use and offers more robust functionality.” Native apps typically have more access to the hardware and system-level software capabilities of the devices they’re installed on than web apps, and since they are downloaded directly onto the device, much of the boilerplate user interface doesn’t have to be loaded from the Internet each time the user goes to use them.

From now on, when a Drive user opens a Docs, Sheets, or Slides document from the mobile web, they’ll be presented with one of Google’s new app install banners that make it easy to launch or download the native app, and then be taken directly to the file they were initially viewing in the browser. Tapping the pencil icon in the top right will also trigger the banner to appear.

The user interface across the mobile web viewers for the three aforementioned editing tools have also been cleaned up to create a more consistent experience, which is nice.

Google Sheets Stories July 9, 2015

Google Docs, Sheets, & Slides for Android get improved editing, collaboration features

Google is rolling out updates today for its Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps for Android, bringing a few improvements to editing and collaboration features in the process.

First up, Google will now offer quick access to editing titles for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations directly from the app’s overflow menu in the top right corner of the UI across all three apps (as pictured above).

In addition, the Google Slides Android app gains the ability to switch layouts of existing slides: individuals can now change the layout of an existing slide to one of several predefined layouts, allowing them to update presentations on mobile more effectively.

Lastly, the Docs app get improved collaboration features for those using the Office Compatibility Mode:

People can now reply to comments when working in Office Compatibility Mode in the Docs app. In addition, when in OCM, suggestions and comments now appear in the Comments panel in the order they were made—rather than as all comments first and all suggestions second.

All three app updates should be arriving on Google Play for Android users sometime today.

Google Sheets Stories June 30, 2015

You can now publish Google Sheets documents to the web in 5 new formats

After making a spreadsheet in Google Sheets, you can make your content publicly visible through the app’s “Publish to the web” tool. As Google announced on the Google Apps updates blog today, this feature now supports publishing to five new formats. On top of being able to choose Web page, you can now publish in Comma-separated values (.csv), Tab-separate values (.tsv), PDF document (.pdf), Microsoft Excel (.xlsx), and OpenDocument spreadsheet (.ods).

Today’s launch allows people to publish spreadsheets in five additional formats—as comma-separated values (.csv), tab-separated values (.tsv), a PDF document (.pdf), a Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet (.xlsx), or an OpenDocument spreadsheet (.ods). The URL generated, when opened in a browser, will automatically download the spreadsheet in the chosen format (spreadsheets in these additional formats cannot be embedded).

To see the new options, head over to a Google Sheets document and click “File,” and then “Publish to the web…” The feature should be available over at the Google Sheets website right now.

Google Sheets Stories June 22, 2015

Google Docs now supports more image types when converting Microsoft Office files

Google has announced today that it is expanding the types of images it supports when converting Microsoft Office files to Google Docs. Previously, supported image file types included JPEG, PNG, EMF, and WMF. Now, a greater number of less common image types are also supported. Google Docs can now convert larger images, more file formats (specifically including TIFF), and images with color profiles other than RGB.

Starting today, larger images, images in less common formats (like TIFF), and images with non-RGB color profiles (like CMYK), can also be imported to and exported from the Google Docs editors on the web successfully. Check out the Help Center for more information on converting files in Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

This is a useful update if you commonly find that your Microsoft Office documents aren’t being properly converted when moving them to Google Docs — or, likewise, when you’re exporting them to use in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. You can head over to the Google Apps blog to read the original post, and Google sends you to the Help Center if you need more information about importing and exporting documents.

Google Sheets Stories June 15, 2015

Google Sheets web app updated with new features, filters, and more

Google is updating its Google Sheets spreadsheet app on the web today with a few new features and improvements. First up, the updated app now includes new customization options for charts including the ability to add data labels as well as shapes to denote data points including stars, triangles, and pentagons.

Some of the other new features arriving today include a preview for formula results in real-time when typing, the ability to filter rows and columns by “greater than” and “text contains”, and an option to add calculated fields “to pivot tables when you want to apply formulas to pivot table data.”

Google adds that you’ll also now be able to “Use the GETPIVOTDATA function to more easily retrieve data from your pivot table.”

Lastly, Google has a new option to present a customized warning message to collaborators that attempt to edit something they shouldn’t (pictured below):

You can check out the updated Google Sheets web app now.

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