Hidden gridlines in Google Spreadsheets

The following feature is now available for domains with ‘enable pre-release features’ checkbox enabled in the Administrator Control Panel:

The highly requested feature to hide gridlines in spreadsheets is now available

When editing a spreadsheet, under the ‘View’ menu, click on ‘Hide gridlines’ for each sheet, leaving only the borders that have been put there.

More 12 new file types supported in Google Docs Viewer

Google Docs Viewer allows users to quickly view PDFs, Microsoft Word documents and PowerPoint presentations online by viewing them in the browser without downloading them locally.

New files supported:
Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX)
Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 / 2010 (.PPTX)
Apple Pages (.PAGES)
Adobe Illustrator (.AI)
Adobe Photoshop (.PSD)
Autodesk AutoCad (.DXF)
Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
PostScript (.EPS, .PS)
TrueType (.TTF)
XML Paper Specification (.XPS)

In Gmail, these types of attachments will now show a ‘View’ link, and clicking on this link will bring up the Google Docs Viewer.

For more information:

New Google Docs Homepage

As previously anticipated, Google Docs has a new homepage that’s better suited for managing files, not just editable documents.

There’s a sidebar that shows a small thumbnail and some useful information about the selected file. Google added new filters for images and videos, for public and private files, but dropped the advanced search form, which was more difficult to use. The drawback is that there are many search features that are no longer available in the interface and you need to use operators to get them back.

The slideshow feature borrowed from Google Wave is one of the most useful additions:

For some reason, Google Docs has a new name for folders: they’re now called collections. “Collections are designed to combine the best features of labels and folders. A file can live in multiple collections, just like with Gmail labels. Collections can also be stored hierarchically, just like folders on your desktop. And of course, collections can be shared, just like you can share docs,” explains Google. Technically speaking, none of these features is new, but it’s much easier to add a file to multiple folders collections. Unfortunately, Google’s new terminology will probably confuse users and many people won’t realize that clicking “Organize” lets you add a file to a collection.

Google also dropped checkboxes, so now it’s much more difficult to select multiple files: you need to use Shift for contiguous selections or Control for scattered files (Cmd if you’re using a Mac).

Another new feature is priority sorting, which orders files based on importance. For example, a starred document that has been last updated 5 hours ago is likely to rank higher than a more recent document that hasn’t been starred. Google says that it’s like Gmail’s Priority Inbox, but there’s an important difference: Gmail always sorts conversations by date.

Overall, the new Google Docs homepage is a mixed bag. Google tries to morph Google Docs into an online storage service, while moving away from the initial goal of the service: editing documents online. Suddenly Google Docs is no longer an appropriate name for the service, 1 GB of free storage is not enough, the APIs are no longer useful because they’re limited to editable documents and Google’s applications seem limited because they can’t handle all the files that can be uploaded. The new homepage can’t address these issues, but it manages to make the interface more complicated: now it’s a lot easier to open a file when you want to select it and to select the file when you want to open it.

Tip: If you don’t like the new interface, there’s an option at the top of the page that lets you temporarily switch to the old version. You should bookmark the URL: https://docs.google.com/?ui=1, since there’s no option to permanently switch to the old UI.

{ Thanks, Karol and Ben. }

Google Docs: Quick starring, justify paragraph in the toolbar and improved sharing invitations

The following new features have been released to Google Docs:

Quick starring: You can now star documents from inside the document and not just the documents list.

Justify paragraph: This is now in the toolbar so no more need to use Format > Align > Justify

Sharing invitations: Now, when you share a document with others, all new collaborators are now included on the email thread. This means that when someone replies to the email in the thread, the other invitees will automatically see the message.

For more information:

Google Docs Plays Videos

Google Docs lets you upload any kind of files, but not many of them can be previewed in Google Docs. You can open Microsoft Office documents and presentations, PDF files and some images. Now you can also play videos.

Uploaded video files can be up to 1 GB. These are the most common video formats that you can upload and play:

* WebM files (Vp8 video codec and Vorbis Audio codec)
* .MPEG4, 3GPP and MOV files – (h264 and mpeg4 video codecs and AAC audio codec)
* .AVI (many cameras use this format – typically the video codec is MJPEG and audio is PCM)
* .MPEGPS (MPEG2 video codec and MP2 audio)
* .WMV
* .FLV (Adobe – FLV1 video codec, MP3 audio)

Since Google uses YouTube’s player, it’s obvious that these are the formats supported by YouTube. After uploading a video to Google Docs, you’ll have to wait until it’s processed.

Why would someone upload videos to Google Docs instead of using YouTube? When Google adds more free storage to Google Docs and makes it easy to sync all your files, you’ll upload documents, photos, music files and videos. Google Docs lets you organize files into folders, share multiple files with your friends and even keep old versions of your files.

Tip. To find all the videos uploaded to your Google Docs account, use this URL: https://docs.google.com/#videos.

{ Thanks, Cougar Abogado. }

Google Docs Viewer for Spreadsheets

Google Docs Viewer now works for spreadsheets too. Even if Google informs that the service can be used to preview “PDF documents, PowerPoint presentations, and TIFF files”, you can also try Adobe Postscript files, Word documents and Excel spreadsheets.

The viewer is not optimized for spreadsheets, so Google has to convert them to documents. That’s probably the reason why they don’t look very well, they’re not always readable and some of the characters are missing.

Unfortunately, if you click “Save in Google Docs”, Google saves the spreadsheet as a regular non-editable file. To open the file in Google Spreadsheets, you need to right-click, select “Make a Google Docs copy”, wait a few seconds and open the new file.

New Predictions for Google’s 2011

1. More free storage in Google Docs: at least 20 GB.

2. A new HTML5 interface for Gmail that loads faster, stores email offline and integrates with other Google apps like Google Calendar and Google Docs.

3. An updated Android keyboard that uses Google Scribd data to provide useful suggestions.

4. Google Earth as a WebGL web app and vector-based maps in Google Maps for desktop.

5. A database of things, where you can store important names, book titles, products, concepts and useful information about them.

6. Data sync for Google Chrome extensions.

7. Chrome for Android, with data sync, web apps, session restore, Cloud Print, built-in Flash and smarter address bar.

8. Google’s search engine will answer complex questions using inferences.

9. Google Personal Alerts will notify on your mobile phone if there’s something interesting around (one of your friends, a store that offers a discount for one your favorite products, a museum you wanted to visit, a shop recommended by one of your friends).

10. Google will learn to embrace Facebook and will start using Facebook Connect.

11. Google Online Store: the place where you can download Chrome/Android apps and games, e-books, buy magazine subscriptions, music and movies.

12. Android’s growth will slow down, but it will be the most popular mobile operating system because many companies will use it to create smart media players, digital cameras, TVs, game consoles and even home appliances.

13. Picasa Web Albums will become a Google Docs app and Picnik will switch to HTML5.

14. Google will acquire Disqus to make it easier to manage your comments and to improve Blogger’s commenting system.

15. Google Profiles will no longer be optional: when you create a Google/Gmail account, you’ll also create a profile.

16. Voice search and visual search for desktop.

17. Google will buy LastPass and offer an online password manager.

18. Google Wave will be resurrected, but it will have a simplified interface.

19. An online music player that will let you listen music from the Google Store or Google Docs, podcasts from Google Reader, online radios and more.

20. Google Fast Flip for web search powered by Google Instant Previews.

New revision history interface in Google Spreadsheets

The newer revision history interface in Google Documents is now also available in Spreadsheets. You can now see all of the changes that collaborators have made cell-by-cell.

How to access what’s new:
– To see the new interface, go to ‘File’, then ‘See revision history’ when editing a spreadsheet.
– Click on a time stamp in the right column to see what changes were made at a given time or use the arrow keys to quickly scan through many revisions.
– Changes are color-coded based on each collaborator, making it easy to tell what has been added or deleted.
– Time stamps are also improved in the new interface.
– The interface also batches revisions into groups of changes to make it easier to understand how a spreadsheet has changed over time. To see a finer-grained list of revisions, click ‘Show more detailed revisions’.

For more information:

New in Google Docs: Connectors, hidden controls, and more upload options

Connectors in drawings: All new lines can connect to shapes making it easier to create flowcharts and complex diagrams.

Insert images directly from Picasa: If you’ve got images stored in your Picasa web albums, the image dialog will let you insert those images directly into documents and drawings.

Hidden controls: Choosing View -> Hide controls will hide the title bar, menu bar, and toolbar. Once you’ve hidden the controls, you can always press Esc to make them appear again.

WMF upload: We now support uploading WMF (Windows Metafile) files and converting them into Google drawings.