Google Docs Blog
The official source for news, updates and tips about Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Keep.
Explore in Docs, Sheets and Slides makes work a breeze — and makes you look good, too
September 29, 2016
We built Google Docs to help you create your best work — from work, school or home, and everywhere in between. We know crafting presentations, projects and reports takes time and energy. That’s why today we’re introducing
to bring you insights, design tools and research recommendations so you can create better work, faster.
Explore uses Google smarts to help you create amazing presentations, spreadsheets and documents in a fraction of the time they used to take… so you can get on with what’s most important in your life. It’s like having a researcher, analyst and designer by your side.
Today’s updates to
help you decipher your data easily, whether you’re new to spreadsheets or a formula pro. Just ask Explore — with words, not formulas — to get
about your data. You can ask questions like “how many units were sold on Black Friday?,” “what are the top three items by sales price?,” or “what was the total cost of jackets last month?” Less time crunching numbers + crafting formulas = more time to find key insights and use them.
We’ve also added new formatting suggestions to help make your data pop. Explore in Sheets is available on the web,
and now on
Beauty, baked in
Crafting the perfect pitch deck or sharing your team’s story is hard enough without having to make it look great, too.
makes design polishing simple. As you work, Explore dynamically generates design
, based on the content of your slide. Simply pick a recommendation and apply it with a single click — no cropping, resizing or reformatting required.
We’ve seen that people save over 30% of the time they would have spent on formatting when they use Explore. So even if design isn’t your style, rest assured you’ll have a beautiful presentation to be proud of. Instantly.
Research, made simple
makes researching and writing reports on the go a whole lot easier. Whether you’re writing about mobile retail trends or planning your next team offsite, you’ll get instant suggestions based on the content in your document. We’ll automatically recommend related
to learn about, images to insert and more content to check out in
or the web.
We know that it’s helpful to refer to other content when writing an analysis, summary or proposal. That’s why we’ve also made it easy to find a related document from Drive or search Google, right in Explore. Less time spent switching between apps more time to polish your ideas.
to make creating and working easy and most of all, fast — all backed by the power of Google. Let Explore save you time so you can focus on what matters most.
Posted by Ritcha Ranjan, Product Manager
Introducing Android Add-ons for Docs and Sheets
July 28, 2016
Cross-posted on the Google for Work blog.
We know many of you consider your mobile device as your primary tool to consume business information, but what if you could use it to get more work done, from anywhere? We’re excited to introduce
Android add-ons for Docs and Sheets
, a new way for you to do just that—whether it’s readying a contract you have for e-signature from your phone, or pulling in CRM data on your tablet for some quick analysis while waiting for your morning coffee, Android add-ons can help you accomplish more.
Get more done with your favorite third-party apps, no matter where you are
We’ve worked with eight integration partners who have created seamless integrations for Docs and Sheets. Here’s a preview of just a few of them:
- Trigger or complete a signing process from Docs or Sheets, and save the executed document to Drive. Read more
DocuSign lets you easily create signature envelopes right from Google Docs
- Import your CRM data to create and update advanced dashboards, reports and graphs on Sheets, right from your device. Read more
- Create powerful mobile apps directly from your data in Sheets instantly — no coding required. Read more
- Scan your business documents using built-in OCR, and insert their contents into Docs as editable text. Read more
You can find these add-ons and many more, including
and Classroom in our
Google Play collection
as well as directly from the add-on menus in
Try them out today, and see how much more you can do.
Posted by By
, Product Manager, Google Apps
The Art of Collaboration: from Sheets to the streets
July 19, 2016
[Cross-posted from the
Official Google Blog
Warhol & Basquiat. Buñuel & Dalí. Rauschenberg & Johns. There are countless examples of artists collaborating to bring a shared creative vision to life. So we wondered: Could technology help bring together two artists who might not otherwise meet? What would they create…if their canvas were a spreadsheet? And how could we celebrate and share their work of art with the world?
In partnership with
, a lifestyle digital media company, we linked up with renowned illustrators
in Barcelona, and
in NYC. We gave them a simple creative assignment—to “break the grid”—which literally can mean pushing the “grid” of Google Sheets to its limits, but also taps into the idea of supporting and celebrating women globally who break free of confined roles and ways of thinking, which is core to Refinery29's mission.
Marina and Mallory connected a handful of times on Google Hangouts to plan and sketch out ideas, and creatively “hack” Sheets in order to make art: resizing cells into thousands of pixel-like squares, merging cells to create color blocks, creating vibrant color gradients with
and cell values, and other cool things we had no idea you could do with Sheets.
was a bright, beautiful design that celebrates the diversity and strength of women, and we wanted to share their finished project in a BIG way.
The final step was to convert Marina and Mallory’s final piece from the cells of a spreadsheet to the bricks of a giant wall—to go from Sheets to the streets. So, we turned to
, a Brooklyn-based company that hand-paints murals all over the world.
After hand-mixing each of the colors and prepping the artwork for large-scale painting, Colossal spent five days painting each cell, letter, and gradient by hand, to create a 13’ x 34’ mural of the
. And that’s how art was #madewithGoogleSheets.
To see it for yourself, check out Marina & Mallory’s spreadsheet or head to
Bogart & Thames
in Brooklyn to visit the wall in person (until August 14). We're delighted by the creativity and imagination brought about by artistic collaboration, and proud to be associated with the work’s inspirational message supporting strong women everywhere.
Posted by Michael Bolognino, Product Marketing Manager
Give feedback faster with Quizzes in Google Forms
June 29, 2016
(Cross-posted on the
Google for Education blog
On Monday, we
four new ways to help teachers engage their classes using Google tools. In this post, we’ll dive deeper into one of these tools:
Quizzes in Google Forms
. If you are at ISTE in Denver, visit us at booth #2511 in the expo hall to learn more and demo our new tools.
Educators have told us that collecting feedback earlier in the learning process results in better outcomes for both teachers and students. But they’ve also shared that creating assessments and providing feedback can lead to hours of repetitive grading.
Dr. Ismael Piedra, a professor at the Instituto Technologico de Monterrey, for example, used “exit tickets” after his lectures to check student comprehension. But his attempts at gathering quick feedback would often result in 300 quizzes to grade and hours of work.
After months of pilots with educators like Dr. Piedra, we launched
Quizzes in Google Forms
on Monday to help teachers quickly create, deliver and grade assignments or assessments. With Quizzes, teachers can select correct answers for multiple choice and checkbox questions to reduce repetitive grading. They can also enter explanations and review materials to help students learn. And to make sure students understand the lesson material, teachers can prevent students from sending themselves a copy of their responses.
Nick Marchese, a music and programming teacher at the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, uses Quizzes in Google Forms to adapt his teaching throughout the learning process. “Quizzes help me optimize my teaching,” he explains. “After students take a quiz, I can check the summary of responses to see frequently missed questions and a visual representation of student scores. If I see there’s a question that a lot of students got wrong, then we start the next class by reviewing it.” Nick says that students love the immediate feedback they get while he loves how Quizzes can “automatically check multiple-choice questions and reduce time devoted to grading.”
Effie Kleinberg of Bnei Akiva Schools in Toronto, likes that Quizzes reduce the overhead of giving formative assessments. “Quizzes make it quick and easy to create and grade a student assessment,” he says. Effie posts his Quizzes as assignments in
, where he is easily able to keep track of student responses and view results. Students receive quick, actionable feedback though explanations and review materials, without requiring Effie to manually grade each quiz.
We made Quizzes available to all Google Forms users so we can continue improving based on your feedback. Tasks like automating repetitive grading are just the beginning, so we look forward to hearing what you think. Get started by
your first quiz today!
Posted by Tynia Yang, Software Engineer, Google Forms
New ways to keep data flowing between your apps and ours
May 18, 2016
Cross-posted from the
Google Apps Developers Blog
There was a time when office work used to be all about pushing physical paper. Computing and productivity tools have made things better, but workers still find themselves doing the same tasks over and over across the different apps they use: copying and pasting from a CRM app to a slide presentation, or manually exporting data from a project management app just to turn around and import it back into a spreadsheet. It’s the digital equivalent of pushing paper.
To make it easier to get the job done across multiple apps, without all the copy and paste, we’re announcing three new APIs and a new feature to help workers get to the data they need, when and where they need it.
Build seamless integrations with the new Sheets and Slides APIs
Our new APIs let developers connect their apps—and the data within them—more deeply with Google Sheets and Google Slides.
The new Sheets API gives developers programmatic access to powerful features in the Sheets web and mobile interfaces, including charts and pivot tables. For example, developers can use Sheets as part of a rich workflow that pushes data from their app into Sheets and allows users to collaborate on that data before the updated data is pulled back into the original app, removing altogether the need to copy and paste.
are already building interesting integrations with the new Sheets API. Check out the video below to see an overview of what’s possible as well as several example integrations.
Partner integrations with the new Google Sheets API
The new Sheets API is available today. Find the developer documentation as well as a codelab to help you get started at
Similar to the Sheets API, the new Slides API gives developers programmatic access to create and update presentations. For example, developers can use this API to push data and charts into Slides to create a polished report from source data in other application, ready to present.
are all building integrations with Slides using the new API. Several examples of what’s possible are in the video below.
Partner integrations with the new Google Slides API
The Slides API will be launching in the coming months, and these partner integrations will be available soon after. You can sign up for early access to the Slides API at
Keep your data in sync with the new Classroom API
For developers building tools and workflows for schools, the Classroom API has launched new coursework endpoints to help you build stronger integrations that keep your data in sync. Read the full announcement on the Google for Education blog,
Sync assignments & grades programmatically with the Google Classroom API
Say goodbye to stale data with linked charts
Finally, to make sure we can help keep all this data flowing seamlessly from app to app, users can now also embed linked charts from Sheets into Docs or Slides. The result? Once the underlying data in a spreadsheet changes, whether that change comes from an action taken in another app via the API or a collaborator, an updated chart in the corresponding presentation or document is just one click away.
Linked charts allow for easy updates in Docs & Slides
For more information, see how to add a chart
to a document
to a presentation
We can't wait to see what you build.
Posted by Tom Holman, Product Manager, Google Sheets
Talk with your audience—not at them—with Slides Q&A
May 4, 2016
Public speaking can be intimidating—even for veteran speakers with phenomenal ideas and experiences to share. Take Shree Bose, for example.
At just 17 years old, Shree took home the top prize at the first ever
Google Science Fair
on drug resistance in ovarian cancer. Now, a senior at Harvard, she’s met with President Obama twice, crowdfunded a Minecraft computer program to support STEM education, and has given talks across the globe. But she still gets nervous every time she’s asked to speak at events.
When Shree recently visited our New York office to present to 200 middle school students, we invited her to try a new feature in
: Slides Q&A. This update—rolling out globally today—helps speakers connect with their audience and collect real-time feedback. With a simple link displayed on a Slides presentation, audience members can submit questions from their phones, laptops, and tablets—and vote on those they want answered the most.
Hear what your audience has to say
Slides Q&A is great for audience members, too. During Shree’s talk, students submitted more than 170 questions and voted 800 times. They enjoyed being able to submit questions online the moment they thought of them instead of having to remember them until the end of the presentation. Some students also chose to submit questions anonymously.
At the end of her talk, Shree left time for Q&A, but she couldn’t possibly answer all 170 questions. So, she sorted the questions based on audience votes—and responded to the top ones. The question with the most overall votes was submitted by a seventh grader named Leila. She says, “I was so surprised when I saw my question was the most liked. I probably wouldn’t want to stand up and ask the question because I’m kind of shy.”
Focus on your ideas, not set up
Slides Q&A makes it easy to interact with your audience—without having to worry about mics or moderators. Slides also helps you get your
big ideas and stories on screen
—without having to worry about wires or set up stress. Starting today, we're improving this "Show up, don't setup" experience in two ways:
You can now present your slides to a Hangout from your iPhone or iPad. So with just your phone or tablet and the Slides app, you can present to any screen using Chromecast, AirPlay or Hangouts.
And for those of you who like presenting from a computer, we're introducing a new
on the web. Just in time for May the 4th (be with you).
Today’s Slides updates are rolling out globally on
, and the
. So go on, share your stories and present with confidence.
And for a little inspiration, check out Shree’s full talk, #HowCanWe Make the World Better with Science? on the
Posted by Michael Frederick, Google Slides Engineer
Stay on task with today’s updates in Google Keep
April 20, 2016
How many times have you found yourself with a great idea, but no easy way to jot it down for later? Or maybe you’ve got lots of notes scattered around, without no central spot to find them. Having a single place to capture what’s on your mind and save your ideas and to-do lists is what
is all about, and today's updates give you a few new ways to collect and manage the information that's important to you.
Keep is ready when you are
The next time you’re on a website that you want to remember or reference later on, use the new
Keep Chrome extension
to add it—or any part of it—to a note in Keep. Just click the Keep badge to add a site’s link to a note, or select some text or an image and create a new note from the right-click menu.
Same goes for
—you can now create a note while you’re browsing or tapping away in other apps—without having to open Keep. Just open the “Share via” window and choose Keep to create a new note.
Organize your thoughts with #Labels
One of your top asks has been for a way to organize and categorize notes, and now it’s as easy as using a #hashtag. This should help you keep track of to-do lists for a #trip or a collect your favorite #recipes, for example.
You’ll also notice that some of the menus have been moved around to group similar options together, as pictured below.
So whether you’re researching a project at work, putting together details for your
submission, or collecting inspiration for your upcoming home renovation, give these updates a try on the
, or with the Keep app on
iPhone & iPad
Posted by Mario Anima, Product Manager
Meet the team from SongCraft Presents #myGoogleDocs
March 10, 2016
In the spirit of
--an original song that was #madewithGoogleDocs, we recently caught up with SongCraft presents to chat about how they use Google Docs to power their super cool web series where they bring artists together to write a song in less than a day.
We want to know how you use Google Docs, too, so share your own examples at +GoogleDocs or @googledocs with the hashtag #mygoogledocs. -Ed.
Hi Mike! Tell us a little about yourself and Songcraft.
is a web series about writing and recording a brand new song, usually in less than a day. In each episode songwriter
collaborates with a new artist - sometimes individuals, and sometimes a band- to write a song.
, of the syndicated radio program Acoustic Cafe, usually hosts and narrates the show, and interviews the artists along the way. Al Houghton and me (Mike Crehore) of
, record the music, whether done in a studio or on the fly, and produce the finished product. Our director,
captures the process, and edits the footage into its final form.
2015 had us in 5 locations around the country producing a version of our series called “Songs of the Road,” as well as returning to SXSW 2015 to work with 3 more artists. You can see all those episodes at SongCraft Presents or at our
How does Google Docs fit into the Songcraft process?
We have been using Google Docs since its inception both individually and in various work relationships. Al and Mike started using Docs at Dubway Studios as a way to share information amongst both fulltime and part-time staff. The studio business has a lot of moving parts, and the ability to post forms showing what a producer or engineer needed for upcoming sessions, and that the support staff can look at for setup greatly streamlined the process. Last minute changes become less of a hassle.
As part of our “Songs of the Road” series, we had staff coming from all different locations around the country. We share all the data for our shoots - locations, contacts, directions, call times, etc - and keep everything up to date as it changes. All the staff members using their smartphones and Google Docs apps are able to log in and get or input any updates as needed on the fly. As we add staff, we just share access with them according to their needs.
What are 3 tips you’d give for other folks who use/would consider using Google Docs?
Using the “Comments” function in real time is a great way to be able to make edits and give and take feedback about them with the rest of the members of your team.
Share documents with the “View” function for those people who you do not want to give login access to, but want to share information with.
Organize your folders and color code to more easily find documents across multiple projects in Drive.
New templates in Google Docs: designed by experts, made for you
March 2, 2016
a collection of templates in
in September to give your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations the extra polish they deserve. Today, we’re adding to that collection with new templates designed by five experts in their fields. All templates are available on the web and on Android and iOS.
For a head start, at school and beyond
, the third longest running children's TV series in US history and award-winning digital service, has been inspiring children to read for over 30 years. Reading Rainbow created a
to help teachers and students get things done.
Google Science Fair
(GSF) is an annual online science and engineering competition open to teens globally. In the competition, young scientists have tackled issues like world hunger, life-threatening diseases and the energy crisis. Use GSF’s
for a head start on your next project—or for this year’s GSF.
For your big ideas, at work and on the go
software helps small business owners get more out of financial planning with tools like automated budgeting, tax time reports, and payroll. Use the new annual business budget template by QuickBooks in
to easily manage your budget so you can focus on building your business.
provides venture capital funding to bold new companies. In the fields of life science, healthcare, artificial intelligence, robotics, transportation, cyber security and agriculture, GV’s companies aim to improve lives and change industries.The new GV
helps entrepreneurs share their vision, based on proven presentation tactics.
And, in the bestselling book,
Made to Stick
, brothers Chip and Dan Heath revealed that “sticky” messages of all kinds draw their power from the same main traits. In their
, they use these principles to help you build and deliver your most memorable presentation yet.
Jump-start your next project with these easy-to-use templates in
available on the web and on your Android or iPhone. Let us know what you create!
Posted by Brian LeVee, Product Manager
Type, edit and format with your voice in Docs—no keyboard needed!
February 24, 2016
in Docs to help you capture ideas, compose a letter, or even write the next great novel—all without touching your keyboard. Starting today, you can also edit and format your documents with your voice.
To get started, select "Voice typing" in the "Tools" menu when you’re using Docs in Chrome. Say what comes to mind—then start editing and formatting with commands like “copy,” “insert table,” and “highlight.”
Check out the full list of commands
in our Help Center
or simply say “Voice commands help” when you’re voice typing.
It’s a quick and easy way to get ideas out of your head, and into a doc. So try out Voice typing (and editing and formatting) today!
Posted by Isaiah Greene, Product Manager
Mobile comments are here in Docs, Sheets & Slides—just in time for #ChocolateCakeDay
January 27, 2016
When Jim, one of the engineers on the Google Slides team, brought a zucchini chocolate cake into the office last week, we knew we had to get the recipe.
So we asked him and his wife, Alison, to let us in on the family secret—just in time for Chocolate Cake Day.
They worked together in Slides (mobile commenting across Google Docs just launched today!) to perfect the recipe. Alison writes:
Growing up, my grandma made zucchini chocolate cake often, especially when there was a surplus of zucchinis at the local farmer’s market. The cake is ridiculously moist and pairs well with many different frostings, though cream cheese is my favorite.
Thanks to mobile commenting, Jim and I went back and forth on the recipe—Jim on his Nexus 9, me on my iPhone—until we had it just right:
Check out our family recipe
. We call it Straka’s Zucchini Chocolate Cake—in honor of my grandma.
Happy Chocolate Cake Day, from our family to yours.
Posted by Alison Zoll, chemist, baker and wife of Jim Zoll, Slides engineer
Get the apps on
and iOS (
Basement Queens: an original song, #madewithGoogleDocs
January 20, 2016
Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney. David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men.
Hall & Oates
Some of the most popular songs ever recorded were the result of collaborations. Recently we asked ourselves: Could technology help bring together two musicians who might not otherwise meet? And if so: What would they create? With this in mind, we challenged two unique artists—burgeoning hip hop queen
and indie frontwoman
(Sadie Dupuis of
)—to write a song together in Google Docs.
Sad13 and Lizzo first connected in Hangouts—in Massachusetts and Minnesota, respectively—to hash things out. Within seconds they were inside a doc—riffing in real-time on ideas, then lyrics, then overall structure. And in just a couple of weeks they had a track they were really excited about.
The pair of women then flew to Brooklyn to meet for the first time IRL, and to record their new single, "Basement Queens"—a celebration of creating their own sound, on their own terms. And that's how music was #madewithGoogleDocs.
Watch the video for a behind-the-scenes look at the entire process, then
download or stream the song for free from Google Play
. We think you'll agree: Sad13 and Lizzo definitely earn their "reputation / for making magic from the basement."
Song produced by Computer Magic
Drums by Jordyn Blakely
Photos by James Chororos
Film by Mixtape Club
Recorded at Room 17
Meet Whale Thief—a comedy group that makes a feature length film in just 24 hours
January 6, 2016
Recently we heard about Movie Cram, an event where hundreds of people work together to create a feature-length film in a single day, organized—with the help of Google Docs—by comedy group Whale Thief. We got in touch with members Matt Klinman, Benjamin Apple, and Matt Mayer to hear more about the role Google Docs plays in powering this massive undertaking.
We want to know how you use Google Docs, too, so share your own examples at
with the hashtag #mygoogledocs. -Ed.
Hi Whale Thief! Tell us a little about who you are and what Movie Cram is.
Movie Cram is an annual event where we make a feature-length film—from pitch to production to screening—in just 24 hours. This year 200+ people participated, including 14 writers, 29 production teams, 10 musicians, and more than 100 actors. The event is run by Whale Thief, our six-member comedy group based in New York City.
Making a movie in a day requires a lot of parallel processes. The writers write their scenes simultaneously and then merge them into a single screenplay. The production teams shoot simultaneously, each with their own cast of actors. This whole time, musicians are recording an original soundtrack inspired by the script. Finally each production team edits their respective scenes and delivers them to us between 11 p.m. and midnight so we can quickly assemble them into a seamless playlist. At midnight, the finished product premieres in front of a live audience at the
UCB Theatre in Chelsea
How does Google Docs fit into the Movie Cram process?
We use Google Docs to organize the massive amounts of data required to pull off an event of this complexity. In the months leading up to each year’s Movie Cram we use Docs to keep track of everything—from who’s available to do the event, to who canceled at the last minute, to everyone’s contact info, to our to-do and done lists. On the day of the event, we use it to take notes on all of the movie pitches, keep track of who’s writing what and which actors are assigned to which production teams, and organize the soundtrack files.
What are three tips you’d give to other filmmakers who use/would consider using Google Docs?
Use formatting to your advantage. It sounds obvious, but if you take the time to bold your column headers, add section descriptions, and come up with a color-coded priority key, it will quickly pay off in the form of higher scannability—especially when you’re sharing docs with others.
Use Docs to give and get notes! If you ask someone to look over an entire document and then give you their thoughts on it, chances are they’ll have forgotten half of their notes by the time they start emailing you. If they can give notes as they go by leaving comments or suggestions, the resulting feedback will be far more thorough.
Get creative! Each document type is meant to display a different kind of information, but you never know what might happen if you try to subvert that intended purpose. For example, once when two of us were editing the same spreadsheet (one of us in New York, one in Los Angeles), we ended up using the spreadsheet itself as a chat room. When we wanted to indicate agreement, we just bolded what the other person had written, or increased the font size. We could write in any direction and follow our own digressions visually, or respond to individual lines before continuing. Eventually the spreadsheet looked like the wall of a gas station bathroom. It was great.
Thanks to the crew at Whale Thief for answering our burning questions about Movie Cram. For more, check out Movie Cram’s latest film on
and read this
New York Times article
for details about how this audacious project works.
Google Docs in the wild
google for edu
national constitution center
Explore in Docs, Sheets and Slides makes work a br...
Introducing Android Add-ons for Docs and Sheets
The Art of Collaboration: from Sheets to the stree...
Give feedback faster with Quizzes in Google Forms
New ways to keep data flowing between your apps an...
Talk with your audience—not at them—with Slides Q&...
Stay on task with today’s updates in Google Keep
Meet the team from SongCraft Presents #myGoogleDoc...
New templates in Google Docs: designed by experts,...
Type, edit and format with your voice in Docs—no k...
Mobile comments are here in Docs, Sheets & Slides—...
Basement Queens: an original song, #madewithGoogle...
Meet Whale Thief—a comedy group that makes a featu...
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