Google Docs & Drive: Small New Features Make a Big Difference

docsGoogle continues to enhance the Google Apps suite with updates to Google Docs and Drive.

In Google Docs:

  • A new spell checker runs in real-time.  Marking misspelled words, the checker lets you review spelling via a traditional style tool, see spelling suggestions as you type, and setup automatic correction.   You can learn more here.
  • New presets for numbered and bullet lists provide more formatting options in Documents.  You can now also change the color, size, and style of individual bullets, as well as customize your own bullet styles.  See this Google+ post for an animated demo.

google driveIn Google Drive, the current release (1.11) of Google Drive for Mac or PC includes two new features:

  • On Windows, you can now have shortcuts to Documents, Sheets, and Slides on the desktop or in the Start Menu — making it easier to use Google Docs as a primary (or strong secondary) productivity suite.
  • You may now also select where your Google Drive sync folder is located and choose your own name for the folder.

While major in scope, these updates reflect Google’s process of continuous improvement based on user feedback and requests.  These changes improve ease of use and the end user experience.

Infinity Plus One

Last week, Google made a huge announcement about the Google Docs service under Google Apps Premier Edition.  To summarize:

  • Users can now upload documents of ANY TYPE to Google Docs
    • If you upload a file that can convert to Google Docs, you have the option to convert or to maintain the native format
    • Documents you convert still have size and format/feature limitations
    • Documents you do not convert remain in their native format and may be up to 250MB in size
  • More Space
    • You now have unlimited storage space for documents in Google Docs format (Document, Spreadsheet, Presentation, Forms)
    • Storage for documents kept in native format has been increased from 500MB to 1GB
  • Even More Space
    • You will be able to purchase more space
    • While rumors abound about the cost, Google has not released final pricing and has not provided resellers with the ability to add more space for their customers … yet.

The impact of these changes amazing.  Google Docs can now be used as a virtual file server.  Over the next few weeks, we will be evaluating tools that leverage these new capabilities and will post our findings here.

Better Drawing Tools in Google Docs

Google has added several new drawing tool features to Documents, Spreadsheets, and Presentations, including:

  • Custom shapes and lines: Use the new ‘Polyline’ tool to create custom shapes, close shapes, fill them and reposition points
  • Snap to Guides: Helps you align shapes with the canvas and other shapes when dragging and resizing
  • Draw multiple lines:  Start drawing a new line immediately after finishing a line, without having to re-select the line type

These enhancements are included in all versions of Google Apps.

OffiSync Intro and Training

See the features of OffiSync Premium first-hand.  Learn how to use OffiSync to save, share, and collaborate using Google Docs and Google Site from a toolbar within Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.

When:  Friday 11/13/2009 — 1:00 PM ET

Click Here to Register

Click Here to Learn More

OffiSync works with

  • MS Office 2003, 2007, and 201o
  • Google Apps Premier, Education, and Standard Editions
  • Google Site and Google Docs

OffiSync Launches

If you follow our blog posts, you have heard us mention OffiSync.

OffiSync is an add-on for MS Office that lets user save,  share and collaborate via Google Docs and Google Sites from within Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

OffiSync lets users keep working with their familiar office suite applications while taking advantage of the collaboration features of Google Apps (all versions).  The add-on also minimizes user concerns about functional differences with Google Documents, Spreadsheets, and Presentations.

Learn more here.