December 1, 2023

Tyna Woods

Technology does the job

5 New Features in Google Docs

5 New Features in Google Docs

Google Docs and other Google Workspace tools are always improving! Here are 5 things that you might not know about since they are new! Type in docs.new to try these out!

New Features in Google Docs

Having trouble locating features in Google Docs? You are not crazy, things have moved! Use the View menu to deselect “Show print layout.” I literally do not own a printer. You want me to print? Not going to happen. I know that printing is still a thing but times have changed and it’s not as essential anymore. If you are not going to print why view documents with a 1 inch margin as if you’re going to print?

New features in Google Docs. The menus have changed. View menu is now mode, show print layout, show ruler, show outline show equation toolbar show section breaks and full screen

Nowadays there is a likelihood that your document will never be printed and only viewed online.

Uncheck “Show print layout” to view a pageless version of your Google Doc.

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2. Notification Settings

The stealthy release of this feature should have come with balloons and trumpets. For years I have had people asking me how they can know when a Google Doc is edited. This feature has long been part of Google Sheets. It’s about time Google Docs!!

Use the Tools menu to select “Notification settings.” This will allow you to set your notifications for comments or edits! Select “Added or removed content” to be notified when the document is modified. A game changer for collaboration!

Notification settings comments, all comments, comments for you, none, added or removed content, none

3. @ Dropdown

Type the @ symbol in your Google Doc to quickly add features. This is slowly changing how I do work. I have to train myself to remember to use this handy shortcut. I’ve all but stopped using the menu at the top to add a table. I literally just type @table for an easy way to insert a table.

Type the at symbol @ in a google doc to access dropdown and other document features.

Type @dropdown, and you do not have to type the whole thing, autocomplete! I am loving this new feature but it’s so new I am constantly forgetting about it. You can create status dropdowns within the Google Doc. I recently created a midterm for my students and for each question I added a dropdown with the grading status of the particular question. You can customize the dropdown so I had green “acceptable” or orange “redo please.”

4. Page Orientation … Not the Same

Can the first page be portrait and the 2nd page be landscape? As of recently, YES! Use the Format menu to select “Page orientation” and instead of applying to the whole document choose “Selected content.”

Page orientation apply to whole document.

5. Smart Chips

Smart chips add dynamic elements to your Google Doc. To be honest I am still not sure I want this! It’s so new I am still wrapping my brain around why this is a game changer. I was in a Google Developer Expert meeting yesterday and was hearing from others that this was their new favorite thing and it was changing how they do work.

Insert Menu smart chips people file calendar events place

Dynamic elements clearly do not print dynamically, thus to my previous point about not owning a printer. How we use documents has changed! Smart chips recognize that we are doing more with a document than simply printing out information. COLLABORATION is a different workflow!

Smart chip a person to allow collaborators to view information about the mentioned person. This person smart chip does not even need to be a collaborator in the document. We may just be referencing someone. The smart chip allows me to quickly email or even video chat with the mentioned person.

thealicekeeler at gmail.com as a hyperlink vs the smartchip THEAlice Keeler which shows a drop down of contact information.

Embed documents into a Google Doc? You kind of can with smart chips. Choose the file option to search for documents without having to grab the link from Google Drive. This is a significantly faster way to share files with collaborators on the same Google Doc.

Smart chip of a google slides template

Always New Features

Technology moves faster than we can keep up with it and Google Docs is no exception. These new features in Google Docs recognize that HOW we work has changed to being more dynamic and collaborative. Embracing these new features will not only allow you to be more efficient but will literally change how you approach using Docs!