Google Docs Viewer for PDF, PPT, and TIFF Files

You can now view and embed online documents in your browser without downloading and using an application.

Google Docs Viewer allows you to view certain files online. Enter the URL of a PDF, Powerpoint or TIFF document in the Viewer and we’ll display it directly in the browser with no download required.

Get the details here

Getting Docs Out of Google Docs … and More

When considering cloud computing, one of the questions we often here is “How can I get my data out if I decide to change services?”.

Over the past few months, Google has confirmed its commitment to ensuring data portability. This week, they delivered on this promise with export capabilities that let you export multiple files into a zip file.

As part of the release, the documents screen will identify new documents and indicate those that have been updated by collaborators since your last view/edit session.

Google Sites API Opens Up New Capabilities

There’s now a new Google Sites Data API in Labs that allows client applications to access, publish and modify content within a Google Site. With this new API, Google Apps administrators can:
  • Retrieve, create, modify, move, and delete pages, comments, attachments and other content.
  • Review the revision history across the Site.
  • Monitor all, add, modify and delete activity for a Site.
  • Upload/download attachments and files.
  • Create customized gadgets for your users.

The API also enables the development of new integration tools, like OffiSync.

More Consistency Across Google Docs

One of the legitimate criticisms of Google Docs has been that the menu options and user interfaces differ between Documents, Spreadsheets, and Presentations.

Just released, Google has updated Google Docs to minimize the differences between the apps.

Learn more and see the updated menu bars here.

Setting up Push Mail for iPhone and Windows Mobile Devices

Push mail is now supported on iPhone and Windows Mobile devices using Google Sync.

Learn how to access the new features here.

Improved Sharing and Publishing Controls for Google Docs

Users of the Premier and Education Editions now have improved controls over access controls and publishing for Google Docs. Administrators can now determine if users are allowed to publish documents, spreadsheets, and presentations to the Internet.

Get the details on how to manage the settings here.

If You Love Your Site, Set it Free

When managing permissions in Google Sites, you can make others owners, collaborators, or viewers. You now have the ability to remove yourself completely from site permissions. As such, you can fully hand over ownership to others.

Get the scoop here.

Directory Sync and Suspended Users

Directory Sync allows mid-size and larger organizations to manage Google Apps user accounts through Active Directory or other LDAP servers on the internal network.

The latest Google Apps Directory Sync version (1.6.7) now supports suspend user functionality and other new use cases to make deployment easier such as:

  • The ability to sync users as suspended from LDAP
  • The ability to suspend a user in Apps, when the user is deleted from LDAP
More info is available here.

Flowchart Shapes and Text Formatting in Google Charts

If you work with drawings in Google Docs, you will be pleased to learn that you now have more flowchart shapes and the ability to format multi-line text boxes. While not revolutionary, these incremental changes improve usability.

Learn more here

Major Enhancements to Google Forms

Google Forms have always been a convenient easy way to gather simple information, but have lacked some of the features found in commercial survey tools. We are happy to share that this is changing. With several recent rounds of updates, Google Forms have are maturing.

The first round of enhancements include:

  • A new Grid question type
  • Support for bi-directional languages
  • Improved formatting of statistics and better formatting of charts for each question type
  • The ability to pre-populate responses in form fields using URL parameters
  • The ability to create forms which require sign-in to access

To learn more about how to use these features, click here.