Google first launched Google Docs and Google Sheets 15 years ago as part of Google Workspace. Now, Google has just announced some enhancements to Google Workspace, including Smart Canvas, that will help “build the future of work.”
The enhancements improve the usability of Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, and make it easier for you to collaborate with people through files and meetings within Google Workspace. The new features are rolling out today and will remain available until the end of the year.
You can already tag or at-mention (@ -mention) other people in documents, which use a smart chip to show you a short piece of additional information about a person, such as their job title, location, and contact information. With this update, new smart chips can be inserted into your work and used to see a list of recommended people, files and meetings.
Both mobile and desktop collaborators can browse these linked links, people, or files without having to change apps, tabs, or contexts. The feature will be available now in Docs and Sheets sometime in the coming months.
Team Connection Features
Google has added a number of features that make it easier for remote and widespread teams to collaborate on important documents at the same time. You can create a to-do list of tasks in Docs and assign individual items to other people. You will then see a list of action items in Google Tasks.
You can also measure your teammates’ response to things as you collaborate, thanks to new emoji responses in Docs. In addition, new table templates are coming to Documents soon. The topic voting template allows your team to vote on topics and collect feedback, and the project tracker tables make it easy to record project milestones and statuses in real time.
Smarter meeting note templates can automatically import all kinds of relevant information from a Calendar invitation, such as smart cards for meeting members and attached files.
New Sheets features
This update allows you to switch between views in Sheets, making it easier to work with and manage your data. There will be a timeline view, ideal for tracking tasks efficiently. It lets you organize or sort this data by category, owner, campaign, or other attributes, and it’s a great way to manage marketing campaigns, schedules, team collaborations, and more.
Spreadsheets also get additional supported analysis functionality on the web. Better formula suggestions make it easier to find and study insights from your data. Likewise, Sheets intelligence helps you create formulas and troubleshoot so you don’t have to look elsewhere for help when something isn’t working. This helps speed up data analysis and reduce errors in general.
Meet in your document, sheet or slide
If you’ve ever worked on a document remotely and wish there were a few colleagues with you who could give you feedback or help you work on it? Google just fixed that. You can now present your content directly from your document, spreadsheet or slide in a Google Meet call and discuss it in real time without missing a beat or losing focus. It’s the next best thing to meet in person.
Google also introduced live captions and translations for Google Meet videos. It is currently available in five languages, starting with live English subtitles translated into Spanish, French, Portuguese or German, with more languages coming soon.
Remote teams can also jump straight from a discussion in Google Chat to collaborating on content without skipping a beat. You can now create spreadsheets and documents directly in Google Chat Rooms, and you can do this with Slides in the coming weeks.
Google also introduced a few other smaller features worth noting. Pageless Docs allows you to remove the boundaries from a page so that it can be expanded to the size of the device or screen you are currently using. This makes it easier to manipulate large images or wide tables. Do you want to convert to pdf? Just switch back to paginated view.
The supported writing functions provide more inclusive language recommendations. This yields suggestions like ‘chairman’ instead of ‘chairman’ or ‘postman’ instead of ‘postman’ and so on to better represent people of all gender identities. Of course, it also offers stylistic suggestions to help you write more professionally and efficiently.