Since I wrote my last piece on Google Docs, Google’s developers have been hard at work on adding new features. This brings me back to my original assessment that Docs is going to be a mainstream business application for use with Chromium. The strategy is very sound, as web based apps and mobile computing continue to make huge strides. All one has to do is look at the sales Apple APPS store has been making to know what I mean. The bonus is that Google Docs works with any browser and many mobile devices, and it’s free. So without further ado here are some of the neat new features Google has added since my last post.
Maximize Screen Space
One of the issues that Google has addressed is the amount of wasted screen space, especially on mobile devices and netbooks. Google has added a feature that allows the user to hide this and streamline the interface. By clicking View -> Compact Controls, Docs gets rid of the white space. By clicking View -> Hide Controls, Docs hides the menu and toolbar.
Drag and Drop
Google Docs now has a Drag and Drop feature. This allows the user to simply drag anything on to the file upload area and use Docs to store practically any type of file. In the case of Microsoft Word Documents, it automatically converts them the Google Docs format. In addition to that take any image you want in a document, drag it to the cursor position, and viola it’s inserted in the document.
Google has added a number of new fonts to Docs. Google docs now sports Calibri, Consolas, and Cambria fonts found in both Windows Vista and Windows 7. A new cursive style font named Corsiva, as well as Droid font for use on Android mobile phones. Google boasts of more fonts to come.
Redesigned Chart Features
Google has been working hard to give the user more chart options, as well as better looking charts. They have added several new styles of charts, improved graphics and overhauled the chart editor. They have added a feature where the chart can be viewed independent of the document, and that changes made to one are reflected in the other. I find the new features to be much more user friendly.
Video Playback Enhancements
Now any video file that you send to your Google Docs space can be played back from within the browser. This is a vast improvement over having to download the file to view it. The interface seems to work similar to an embedded YouTube video.
Google Docs drawing app has added the ability to keep images linked using line connectors. This makes creating certain object and organizational charts a bit easier.
This time saving feature is something that I love. Type (C) it becomes ©, or 1/2 becomes ½. Saves you from having to use all those nasty ALT codes. You can also create and save your own autocorrects by using Tools-> Preferences and entering it in the list.
A nice feature that allows you to go back through old revisions and view all previous document states. Simply click File-> See Revision History.
Upcoming New Features:
On the rumor board are feature such as a full fledged media player, Export Google Docs to 3rd party apps, and Sync services.
I hope you have found this information useful (or at least entertaining). As always we would love some feedback.
To try Google Docs click below: