Experience the new look of Docs and Sites

Starting today, we’re rolling out the new design for Google Docs and Sites to everyone.

We began rolling out these improvements in early August with the documents list and have since upgraded our entire collaboration suite. You may have noticed that our new look matches other recent Google visual updates, which aim to bring a consistent, improved experience across our products.

Your content is what’s important, and we aim to highlight it with this new design. You’ll see clean menus and toolbars, prominent action buttons, and colorful presence that pops when you’re editing with others.

To people who opted-in to try the new look — thank you. Based on your feedback, here are some of the improvements we made:
  • We made it clearer that your document is always saved, by showing “Saving...” right after you make a change and then “All changes saved” once it’s fully saved.

  • We added an icon to the Share button so you can tell if your document is shared at a glance.

  • If you’re looking for options that were previously under the Share button (e.g. “Email as attachment...”), you can now find these in the File menu.

  • By default, the documents list automatically fits a comfortable number of documents on your screen (large desktop monitors show more, smaller laptop screens show fewer). We also added density options to give you more control:
If you’re not quite ready for the new look, choose Help > Use the classic look (or in the gear menu, for some products). We’ll support the classic look for at least a few more weeks, but encourage you to use the new look, get settled in, and send us any feedback you have.

We hope you enjoy this refreshed experience.

Posted by: Vance Vagell, User Interface Software Engineer

Visualize your data with charts in Google Sites

Ever since we launched the chart editor in Google spreadsheets, many of you have asked us to integrate charts into Google Sites as well. Today we are making this possible. Now you can display charts in your Sites by going to Insert Menu and choosing Charts in edit mode.

Once you select a spreadsheet, the editor picks existing charts from the spreadsheet to embed into a Site.

You can also create a chart by specifying the sheet and range and customize the chart by changing various properties such as color, axes, labels and more. Choose which chart type best expresses your data or let the chart editor recommend one for you.

You can decide to choose between two modes Live and Snapshot to show the data.
  • Live provides you with dynamic charts. Whenever the chart is loaded in the Site, the chart will display the most recent data in the spreadsheet. This is very useful in cases when the spreadsheet data is updated manually or using a script.

  • Snapshot means just that. It’s a snapshot at a point in time, so the chart will store and display the exact same data, regardless of whether you make changes to the underlying data sheet.

Changes made to charts in Sites are independent to the specific chart, so the same spreadsheet data can be applied across multiple charts.

To learn more about how to express your data more visually with Sites, visit the help center. Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.

+1 button in Google Sites

We have been thrilled with the response to the launch of the +1 button on websites all across the web, but we also heard that you’d like a simple way to add the +1 button to your own Google Sites. Adding the +1 button to your site will allow your visitors to recommend it to their friends and contacts, which helps more people discover it via their personalized search results.

Starting today, you can add the +1 button to any individual page by choosing +1 Button from the Insert menu, or you can add it to your site’s sidebar and have it appear on every page instantly by editing your Site Layout under Manage Site.

Try it out and let us know what you think in the forum.

Improved Accessibility in Google Docs and Sites

Today we announced some of the updates we’ve released recently to make Google’s applications more accessible to the blind community. For Google Docs and Sites, we’re pleased to announce new keyboard shortcuts and better screen reader support for our blind users.

Screen reader support in Google Docs and Sites
To help blind users read, edit and navigate content, Google Docs (including documents list, documents and spreadsheets) and Sites now support two screen readers: JAWS and ChromeVox. Here are a few examples of how screen readers work in Google Docs and Sites:
  • In documents, you’ll hear feedback when you format text or insert tables, lists or comments in your document.
  • In spreadsheets, you’ll hear the cell’s location, contents and comments when moving between cells.
  • In both documents and spreadsheets, you’ll hear feedback as you navigate to areas outside the main content area, such as the menu bar, chat pane and dialog boxes.
  • In your documents list, you’ll hear feedback when you upload or download a file, organize collections or move between files in your documents list.
  • In Sites, you’ll hear feedback as you navigate and manage your sites, create and edit pages, and navigate through menus and dialog boxes.
For a complete list of screen reader-supported features and instructions for how to use them, visit the Docs and Sites help centers.

New keyboard shortcuts
We’ve also added new keyboard shortcuts to make it easier to use Google Docs and Sites. In your documents list, for example, you can use the up and down arrow keys to move through the files in the list, and you can open the selected document by hitting Enter. For a complete list of keyboard shortcuts, please refer to the help center articles for spreadsheets, documents, documents list and Sites.

With these new accessibility features, we hope to make it easier for everyone to use Google Docs and Sites. Please use this form to share your feedback directly with the accessibility team so we can continue to improve our products.

Better control in Google Sites with page-level permissions

Today we’re introducing page-level permissions, a new feature that will allow you to control who can view and edit your Google Site on a page by page basis.

Using page-level permissions, you can make some pages private for certain users while keeping other pages public for everyone to see. For instance, let’s say you have a Google Site that you’ve shared with your team and your manager. You can allow your team to see one set of pages, let your manager edit another set of pages, and keep yet another set of pages private for only you.

Only site owners have the ability to enable this feature, which is turned off by default for new and existing sites. To turn on page-level permissions, go to More Actions > Sharing and Permissions.

From there, click Enable page-level permissions. Then, in the dialog box, click Turn on page-level permissions.

Once page-level permissions is enabled, you’ll have three options to choose from:

  • allow a page to inherit all of your site-level permissions
  • elect to include future site-level changes to a page
  • prevent a page from inheriting any future changes made at the site-level

Using page-level permissions should give you greater control over who can edit and access your Google site. To learn more about setting page-level permissions, take a look at our getting started guide. Let us know what you think in our support forums.

Eric Zhang, Software Engineer

This week in Docs and Sites: A spreadsheets shortcuts menu, PPTX support and more

This week, we’re introducing a number of enhancements to Google Docs and Sites: a spreadsheets shortcuts menu, support for PPTX conversion, a new RSS gadget, and improved mobile rendering for Sites.

Spreadsheets shortcuts
Although shortcuts have long been available in your Google spreadsheets, we've added a shortcuts menu to spreadsheets to make them easier to find -- saving you even more time. Hit Ctrl+/ (or Cmd+/ on a Mac) to pull up the list of shortcuts and learn new ways to sharpen your spreadsheet skills. Remember that shortcuts can vary depend on the operating system and browser you're using -- the example below is the menu you’d see if you were using a Chrome browser on a Mac.

Support for conversion of PPTX files to Google presentations
Starting today, you can convert PPTX files to Google presentations by either uploading the file from your desktop or converting the file from your documents list. Just follow the same simple steps as you normally would when converting files to Google Docs formats.

Better customization for your RSS Gadget in Sites
We’ve also added a new RSS gadget for Google Sites to our “Featured” gallery.

The new RSS gadget gives you complete control over the appearance of the gadget: You can customize any aspect of the feed, including font, color, size, number of items to display, and post length.

To set your gadget, go to Insert > More Gadgets > Featured, and look for RSS Feed.

Improved mobile rendering
After we released our initial version of Google Sites automatic mobile rendering, you enabled the option for over 50,000 sites, making it clear that you’re looking for a better way to easily publish content for mobile devices.

Based on what you’ve told us, we’re adding the additional behaviors to make automatic mobile rendering on Google Sites even better, including:
  • Images and header logos automatically scale in mobile mode
  • Gadgets and text boxes have widths that fit mobile devices
  • Pages with multi-column layouts stack columns vertically on mobile


Thanks for continuing to let us know what you think about our products -- these changes wouldn’t be possible without you.

This week in Docs: New features for your Google Docs videos

Beginning this week, you’ll be able to go beyond simply playing your videos within Google Docs -- you can now insert your videos into Google Sites, embed them anywhere on the web, and caption them for your viewers.

Embed videos in Google Sites
While on your Google site, go to the Insert menu and select Video > Google Docs Video.

From there, choose from the videos that are in your documents list and click Select to insert the video into your Google site.

Embed videos on the web
You can embed your videos anywhere else on the web by using the HTML snippet that is now available on the video’s page. Keep in mind that whether you’re embedding your video into your Google site or somewhere else on the web, only people to whom you’ve given access will be able to view the video. For example, if the video is set to private and shared with four people, only those four people will be able to view it on your Google site.

Add captions to your videos
You can also caption your videos to make them accessible for deaf and hard of hearing viewers or for speakers of different languages. You can find these videos more easily by searching for any text in the transcript of the video from your documents list. (Only people to whom you’ve given access to the video can find the video using this method.)

To give it a try, choose Manage caption tracks from the Actions menu for your video, then click Upload caption track... Anyone who has edit access can upload a track.

Let us know what you think of these new features by leaving us a comment -- or better yet, a video.

"Mobile"-ize your business with Google Sites

Building on last week’s post on automatic mobile rendering, we’re excited to introduce five new templates to make it easier for businesses to create mobile landing pages. You can also start from scratch with our custom template if you’re feeling creative.

Watch the video below to see how “small” businessman, Bob, transformed his business using Google Sites:

Visit sites.google.com/mobilize to check out the five templates.

Automatic mobile rendering for Google Sites

(Cross-posted to the Enterprise blog)

As the dramatic growth of the mobile web changes the way people consume content, it’s becoming increasingly important for publishers to provide a good mobile experience. With this in mind, we just added automatic mobile rendering in Google Sites for iOS 3.0+ and Android 2.2+ devices, and a mobile version of the Google Sites lists.

By going to General settings under More actions > Manage site and clicking on Automatically adjust site for mobile phones, your Google site will be automatically adjusted whenever it’s viewed from an iOS or Android 2.2+ device:


The most noticeable automatic adjustments include:
  • Aligning the header layout and top bar
  • Fitting the width of the site to match the device’s width
  • Smart handling of sidebars, horizontal navigation, and dropdown links
After you’ve enabled this feature, you can preview the page from your computer as a mobile viewer using More actions > Preview as viewer then select Mobile from the yellow Preview page as viewer (Mobile | Desktop) box at the top of the page.

You can also choose to hide some of the links in your site’s footer to save vertical space.

It’s also important for you to be able to access and search your own sites on the go, which is why we’ve also added mobile versions of the site list, sites search, and browse sites categories.

Just navigate to http://sites.google.com from any iOS 3.0+ or Android 2.2+ device for quick access to your sites.

As more people unplug from their desks and interact with content on the go, new doors are opening for everyone. We hope these tools will empower you to meet the challenges of publishing in a mobile world using Google Sites.

Posted by: Luciano Cheng, Software Engineer

This week in Docs and Sites: Ignore All, Ubuntu, and Site soft delete

We’re releasing a small batch of features this week: In Google documents, we added an Ignore all option to hide all spelling suggestions for a specific word, and a new web font, Ubuntu. We’ve also made it easier to manage your deleted sites in Google Sites.

Ignore All
In documents, we already give you the option to add words to your dictionary so we won’t show spelling suggestions for them in the future. That feature is convenient if you’re using a surname that will be reused in many documents. But sometimes there’s a non-dictionary word that’s only used in one doc, which might make you hesitant to add that word to your dictionary for all docs. Ignore All lets you hide the spelling suggestions for a specific word, but only affects the doc that you currently have opened.

We’re also adding a new font to Google documents: Ubuntu. Earlier this year, we made Ubuntu available in the Google Font API, and it quickly rose to become one of our most popular fonts. The font was commissioned by Canonical Ltd and designed by Dalton Maag as part of the Ubuntu operating system open source project.

Ubuntu has a simple, modern style that’s both recognizable and legible. It’s designed to look great in many sizes, and we hope you’ll find it useful in anything from document text to large poster headlines to small image captions.

You can learn more about Ubuntu and see how to use the font by visiting the Google Font Directory.

Soft delete your sites
We’ve received a lot of feedback that it was sometimes difficult to restore a deleted site, since you needed to remember a deleted site’s URL. Starting today, you will be able to view any sites you’ve deleted in the Deleted sites section of My Sites rather than needing to remember their URLs. In this section, you can also choose to restore your site or delete it permanently before 30 days have passed. Note that as before, after the 30-day grace period, deleted sites will be permanently deleted.

Let us know what you think of these updates. If you have any ideas for new features, submit them to our Product Ideas page, open until June 16.