Google Docs: May in Review

April showers bring May flowers, along with a bunch of new features and updates to Google Docs. In May we launched the research pane which makes it easy to look things up and insert quotes, images, and maps into documents without ever having to open a new browser tab. And we also made some other improvements over the last few weeks, like:
  • the addition of five new themes (Color Strip, Inspiration Board, Lesson Plan, Steps, and Wave) to Google Presentations. 
  • the ability to search for scholarly works in the research pane
  • making it possible to put a Google Doc in a folder without leaving it by clicking on the folder icon to the right of the star in the toolbar. 
  • teaching the new spellchecker a few more languages (Spanish, Dutch, and Finnish). 
  • adding Alt+Enter (Option+Enter on Mac) as a keyboard shortcut for opening links. Simply place your cursor on a link and press the shortcut to open the link in a new tab. 
  • the introduction of libraries and versions to Google Apps Script to make it easier for developers to organize, share and reuse their code. 

 Posted by Jason Ganetsky, Software Engineer

April in Review: New fonts galore and other fresh features

In the past month we’ve made updates both big and small to Google Docs, and today we’re announcing one more: web fonts in Google documents. Often the best way to get your point across is to present your idea in a creative, captivating way. Today, we added over 450 new fonts to Google documents to make it easier for you to add a little something extra to whatever you create.

To use these new fonts, click on the font menu and select “Add fonts” at the very bottom, which will take you to a menu of all the Google Web Fonts available.

Once you’ve selected new fonts, you’ll be able to select them from the font menu.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect font for your first comic book or fancy handwriting for your wedding invitations, we hope you try out the new fonts and create some eye-catching documents.

In addition to hundreds of new fonts, we have a lot of other exciting updates to report:
  • Google Drive launched as a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all your stuff. 
  • There are now a few more options for inserting images in Docs, including inserting from Google Drive, searching for images from the LIFE Photo archive, or taking a snapshot with your webcam. 
  • Charts in spreadsheets now has support for minor gridlines and options to customize the formats of axis labels 
  • Accessibility in Docs got better with support for screenreaders in presentations and with the addition of NVDA to our list of supported screenreaders
  • From File > Page setup... you can now set the default page size for your new documents. 
  • It's now easier for speakers of right-to-left languages by automatically showing bidirectional controls when you type in a language that might use them. 
  • Apps Script had many improvements, including 
    • A new ScriptService for programmatically publishing your scripts and controlling when they run. 
    • A new function to find the root folder of someone’s Drive. 
    • An increase in the allowed attachment size in emails from 5MB to 25MB. 
    • An increase in the size of docs files you can create from 2MB to 50MB. 
  • There are now over 60 new templates in our template gallery.

    March in Review: Improved charting, expanded language support, and Apps Script updates

    Another month and another batch of improvements to Google Docs. We recently debuted a new spell checker that gets smarter and grows with the web, and we’ve also turned on a few features that let you do more with Docs.

    New charting options 
    We’ve added a bunch of new ways to make richer charts in Google spreadsheets. You can now control the opacity of an area chart, set fonts to be bold or italic, and label sections of your charts along the axis.

    These new features bring the number of charting improvements up to 30 since the beginning of the year, which is about 1 new feature every 3 days. Some of our favorite charts updates include annotations, error bars, a second Y axis, donut charts, and loads of formatting options.

    OCR and spreadsheets support more languages
    With Google Docs, you can upload PDFs and images of scanned text and have them automatically converted into Google documents using our Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Starting this week, this is available in four new languages: Hebrew, Hindi, Chinese Traditional, and Cherokee.

    Language support got better in Google spreadsheets too. For Hebrew and Arabic speakers, sheets and cells now offer right-to-left support.

    More ways to use Google Apps Script 
    Google Apps Script is a way for developers to customize Google Docs and other Google products. Over the past month, we’ve made some changes which developers may find helpful, including:

    • Support for adding your own HTML to your script’s dialogues and pages. Let’s say you wrote a script that prompts collaborators to play a game when they open a certain spreadsheet. It’s now possible to include more sophisticated HTML, like a table in the dialog that you built. 

    • The option to programmatically set sheet protection in Apps Script. If you’re a teacher, you could add a script that automatically looked at all your spreadsheets and made sure that you’re the only one allowed to edit any sheet named “Grades”. 
    • A redesign to the Apps Script menus. Sometimes when you’re starting a new project you’ll want to use scripts that you’ve already created. The menu changes make it easier for you to reuse scripts that you’ve already built and to share your scripts with other people . 

    Posted by Michael Schidlowsky, Software Engineer

    Google Apps Script support in Google Sites

    Google Apps Scripts can save time by sending emails, scheduling calendar events and more with one click.

    We just announced on the Google Enterprise Blog that you can now create, edit, and launch Google Apps Scripts from any Google Site. For example, you can create a site to browse and sign up for training sessions. On a training site, you could have a “Register Now” button on each classes page that would automatically add users to the class roster, add the class to their Google Calendar, and email them to confirm enrollment.

    To learn more about how to automate tasks in Google Sites using Google Apps Scripts, check out our post on the Google Enterprise Blog.

    ​Apps Script Gallery for Google spreadsheets

    ​Every week, the Google Apps gang here in New York organizes a movie night. It’s always a lot of fun, but organizing it is chaotic! Naturally, we use a spreadsheet to keep a list of movies we’d like to see (that’s the easy part!), and then on Tuesday evening there’s a storm of email as we try to pick a winner.

    Always fans of logic and the democratic process, the team wrote a script — to first collate a list of movie showtimes, then invite everyone to vote. The script automates the process, eliminating the drudgery and leaving us more time to canvas and cajole support for our favorite films.

    Google Apps Script has been available to businesses, schools and other organizations using Google Apps since January, and today we’re excited to bring it to all Google spreadsheets, along with a new Apps Script Gallery that let’s everyone — not just those who are JavaScript-savvy — reap the benefits of Apps Script. You can see just how easy it is to make use of a script in the video below:

    To kick things off in the gallery, we put together some wacky demos showing what’s possible with a script: you’ll find games of hangman and sudoku, some fractal art and a very practical unit conversion script.

    You can find these scripts, and more, in the Apps Script gallery by going to Insert and then selecting Script... in any Google spreadsheet.

    For more details on the Movie Night script, and to get started writing your own scripts, be sure to check out today’s Google Apps Script announcement on the Google Apps Developer Blog.