Google Docs adds New spreadsheet features, document import, Faster collaboration, drawing editor

Today Google Shared in a post that they added new features:

New document and spreadsheet features

We’ve responded to many of your requests for features you’re used to in desktop software. In documents, we’ve added a margin ruler, better numbering and bullets and easier image placement options. And in spreadsheets, you’ll now find a formula editing bar, cell auto-complete, drag-and-drop columns and other features not possible with older browser technologies.

Higher fidelity document import

We’ve made big improvements to our document upload feature so moving files from your computer to the cloud is easier now. Imported documents retain their original structure more accurately, so you can hit the ground running editing in the browser without having to fix formatting like bullets and text alignment.

Speed and responsiveness

New browser technologies like faster JavaScript processing have made it possible for us to speed up Google Docs significantly. Even very large spreadsheets are fast to work with in your browser now. Applications that run this fast feel like desktop applications but have the unique advantages of being in the cloud.

Faster collaboration

We’ve extended Google Docs’ collaboration capabilities too, with support for up to 50 people working together at once, and in documents, you can now see other people’s edits as they happen character-by-character. And now you can also collaborate on flow charts, diagrams and other schematics in real time with a new editor for drawings on Google Docs.

Check out our video:

A better document editor

We’ve brought the responsive, real-time editing experience you’ve come to expect from our spreadsheets over to documents, which means you can now see character-by-character changes as other collaborators make edits. We also added another popular feature from spreadsheets: sidebar chat, so you can discuss documents as you work on them with colleagues.

The new technical foundation also helped us improve document formatting, which means better import/export fidelity, a revamped comment system, real margins and tab stops, and improved image layout within documents. These improvements have been highly requested, but previously impossible to create with the older documents editor on older browsers.

A faster spreadsheet editor

With the new spreadsheets editor, you’ll see significant speed and performance improvements — spreadsheets load faster, are more responsive and scroll more seamlessly. We’ve also added a host of often requested features, like a formula bar for cell editing, auto-complete, drag and drop columns, and simpler navigation between sheets. And as always, real-time collaboration in spreadsheets is easy with sidebar chat and the ability to see which cell each person is editing.

A new collaborative drawing editor

In the year since we launched the Insert drawing tool, we’ve received many requests for the ability to collaborate on drawings and make them accessible directly from the docs list. The new standalone drawings editor lets you collaborate in real time on flow charts, designs, diagrams and other fun or business graphics. Copy these drawings into documents, spreadsheets and presentations using the web clipboard, or share and publish drawings just like other Google Docs.

Please note, these new editors are not compatible with Gears (the technology that powers offline access), so they do not have offline support today. However, we plan to bring back offline support in the future, taking advantage of new technologies like HTML5 and advancements in modern browsers.

The drawings editor will be available later today, and preview versions of spreadsheets and documents will roll out to all individual users over the next few days. To try them out, click “New version” at the top of any spreadsheet or go to the ‘Document Settings’ page and select ‘New version of Google documents.’ To learn more about using the new editors in your business, school or organization, check out the Google Enterprise blog.

We’re excited to take advantage of this new foundation to bring you even more new features in the future. Stay tuned for in-depth looks at Google documents, spreadsheets and drawings over the next few days on this blog.


Learn more about these new capabilities and how to access them on the Google Docs blog, and if you’re with a school, business or organization, we’ve shared more details on the Google Enterprise Blog.

Posted by Dave Girouard, President of Google Enterprise