Google Docs Going Offline

I’m really late to this party. Both the Official Google Blog and the Official Google Docs Blog announced offline support coming in Google Docs this afternoon, and this is the first chance I’ve gotten to write about it. So I’ll publish a brief description (more details are of course available from Googlified, Google Operating System, and Lifehacker; strange lack of Google Blogoscoped so far) and a short commentary. Everyone has probably heard of Google Gears by now, that open-source browser extension that lets Web applications enable offline functionality. Google Reader uses it (until now the only Google service to do…

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Transfer Google Document Ownership

I’m not talking about handing over copyright certificates to publications produced by the search giant. It would be cool if us little people, Google’s loyal users, could get a piece of their intellectual property, but no. I’m talking about making someone else the owner of a Google Document you created. Google Docs has had sharing built into it since I started using it many moons ago. However, the owner of the document has always remained static until now. I just noticed late yesterday (read: too late to blog about it) that the “Change Owner” option Ionut discovered (look below the…

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Google Docs Gets Colored Folders

Apparently I was a little too hasty to publish my announcement of the . I didn’t wait long enough before posting to find another new Google Docs feature, colored folders. Gmail’s for a while now (at least in the new version). Google Docs has been going through iterations left and right lately; one some of that time … Anyway, so here’s an example of the colored labels folders (I really wish they’d just make them labels again): The folders display in the list just like Gmail’s colored labels. (In fact, I’ll bet they used the same code.) I did post…

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Google Docs Gets Menus

Apparently commands in Google Docs weren’t organized well enough. Actually, it was more than apparent. Things that would take me milliseconds in Microsoft Word (on account of the fact that I’ve used it so long) used to take seconds in Docs. The menu structure just wasn’t intuitive. Well, the Docs team did some card-sort studies (part of usability research) and figured out a better way to organize menu commands. Instead of just having one File menu, the top of the application is now graced by a full complement of menus, Office-style (Microsoft pre-2007 or OpenOffice.org, take your pick; they’re pretty…

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Funny Randomization: Google: Web 2.0?

Here’s a randomization from google.isyournewbicycle.com that is obviously untrue, this time about Google (): That’s really funny, considering that Gmail was one of the first major Web applications to use AJAX extensively. Google’s Calendar, Reader, and Docs services (among many others) also use AJAX as a fundamental part of their inner workings, so it’s even funnier in that case.

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Google Docs Toolbars Redesigned

The Google Docs team has been busy lately! Just today, the editing tools in Google Docs (and supposedly Presentations, though I can’t confirm because I don’t use Presentations currently) have been redesigned. Google Blogoscoped (which is also the source of one of my images) summarizes the changes, which I will confirm here. Observe the old: And the new: There’s a rather substantial difference there (unlike , which garnered (which still has yet to be reversed). [First image credit: Google Blogoscoped, CC-BY-NC, modified by myself and hereby released under the same license]

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Google Docs: Expand or Improve?

Ionut Alex Chitu (Google Operating System) and Philipp Lenssen (Google Blogscoped) seem to agree with each other that Google Docs needs improvement. However, there are differences in the ways they each approach that improvement. For example, Ionut thinks Google should stop adding features and concentrate on improving the ones that are already there. Philipp — if I’m reading his post correctly — has an idea for “feature gadgets” — menu items scripted via a Docs API that can access selection, whole document, etc. and modify it in a way that implements an advanced feature that most people wouldn’t use. Unlike…

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Easily Share Multiple Documents with Multiple People in Google Docs

It used to be that if you wanted to share something in Google Docs with other people, you had to open the document, click the Share tab, and type in the names there. Not so any longer. There’s a new Share button in the document list now, which lets you select and share documents, spreadsheets, and presentations without even opening them. That’s not all, either. You can now share multiple items at the same time, too. The Official Google Docs Blog calls this new addition “Mo’ betta sharing“, and Google Operating System pitches in with separate coverage titled “Invite Collaborators…

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Google Docs Headers and Footers

Ionut Alex Chitu from Google Operating System has noted that Google Docs has a couple new options on the Insert tab: Header and Footer. Observe my astounding screenshot (subjective adjective use alert): Isn’t that neat? That’s another missing feature that’s sort of bugged me but hasn’t been a priority. I don’t use headers and footers that much, so it wasn’t a big priority for me, but it was scary thinking I’d have to use Microsoft Word to make a document with headers or footers. Now I don’t have to worry about that. The only annoyances: There’s no dynamic content (page…

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New Year, New Features in Google Docs

Google’s launched some new features in Google Docs, mostly in the Presentations app. For instance, it’s now possible to embed a slideshow into a page using a YouTube player-like widget, except it’s an inline frame (meaning potential accessibility headaches for non-supporting user agents). They’ve also tweaked the toolbar, enabled reorganizing slides, set up a facility to import slides form other presentations (Google or from an uploaded file) and implemented a feature to let users simply drop images from other websites into a presentation slide. Fortunately, they didn’t spend all their time developing for the Presentations application. The Docs interface itself…

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