The Keyword

  • Get on the same page: new Google Docs features power team collaboration

    Getting people on the same page for a project can be tough. It requires managing a ton of opinions and suggestions. The last thing you should have to worry about is making sure your team is literally working on the same document. That’s why we built our powerful real-time editing tools to help with this—Google Docs, Sheets and Slides—so that teams can work together at the same time, using the most up-to-date version.

    Today, we're introducing new updates to better help with "version control," to customize tools for your workflows, and to help teams locate information when they need it.

    Track changes, make progress

    It can take dozens of edits to make a document just right—especially a legal agreement, project proposal or research paper. These new updates in Docs let you more easily track your team’s changes. Now, your team can:

    1. Name versions of a Doc, Sheet or Slide. Being able to assign custom names to versions of your document is a great way to keep a historical record of your team's progress. It's also helpful for communicating when a document is actually final. You can organize and track your team’s changes in one place under “Version history” (formerly known as “Revision history”) on the web. Select File > Version history > Name current version. For even quicker recall, there’s an option to select “Only show named versions” in Docs, Sheets or Slides.

    2. Preview “clean versions” of Docs to see what your Doc looks like without comments or suggested edits. Select Tools > Review suggested edits > Preview accept all OR Preview reject all.

    3. Accept or reject all edit suggestions at once in your Doc so your team doesn’t have to review every single punctuation mark or formatting update. Select Tools > Review suggested edits > Accept all OR Reject all.

    4. Suggest changes in a Doc from an Android, iPhone or iPad device. Click the three dots menu in the bottom right of your Doc screen to suggest edits on-the-go. Turn on the “Suggest changes” toggle and start typing in “suggestion mode.”

    Compare documents and review redlines instantly with Litera Change-Pro or Workshare Add-ons in Docs.
    Here's a quick way to preview and accept all changes (or reject them) and name versions of your document

    Use new templates, add-on time-saving functionality

    Teams use templates in Docs and Sheets to save time on formatting. At the same time, developers are building add-ons to customize functionality. We thought, why not bring these two together? That’s why today, we’re introducing new templates with built-in add-ons and the ability to create your own, so your templates not only look good—but they make sure the work gets done.

    These templates allow you to customize and deploy tools specific to your organization’s workflows. We’ve launched five examples of this in the general template gallery, like the new Mutual Non-disclosure agreement (NDA) template from LegalZoom and DocuSign. With this template, businesses can quickly create an NDA and collect signatures using the DocuSign Add-on for Docs. Bonus: it also automatically detects the required signature fields on the template, which saves even more time when you request signatures. This is just one of a few new templates—we’ve also worked with Lucidchart, PandaDoc, EasyBib and Supermetrics to help you save time and maximize efficiency throughout your team’s workflows.

    In addition, you can also create your very own template with built-in Add-on customized to your company’s workflows. For example, create a Sheets template paired with an add-on to gather internal approvals or an invoice template in Docs (paired with an add-on) that pulls information from your CRM system.

    The new mutual NDA template from LegalZoom and DocuSign lets you collect NDA approvals stat.

    Find the information you need, when you need it

    Sometimes the hardest part of creating a proposal or client presentation is tracking down the information you need to include in it. Starting today for G Suite Business and Enterprise customers, Google Cloud Search will integrate with Docs and Slides via the Explore feature. Using Machine Intelligence, Cloud Search surfaces relevant information to help you work more efficiently throughout your day.

    To get started, open the Explore tab in Docs or Slides and type what you’re looking for. Cloud Search will show you important details from your information across your G Suite apps including Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Sites and more, to help you create top-notch Docs and presentations.

    Now you can use Google Cloud Search through the explore features in Docs and Slides.

    Teams are using Docs to collaborate in creative ways. Check out this post for inspiration, or visit the Docs site to get started.

  • All your questions answered on Google Maps and Search

    When deciding where to go and what to do, we often ask ourselves lots of questions before making a decision. Soon, you'll be able to ask those questions, get the answers you need, and even answer other people’s questions about places on Google Maps for Android and mobile Search.

    To ask or answer a question—or read the existing questions and answers about a place—simply search for the location on Google Maps or Search and open the local business listing. Then scroll down to the “Question & answers” section where you can add a question, answer someone else’s question, or upvote informative ones by tapping the thumbs up icon. Upvoted questions and answers will appear toward the top of the section so that the most helpful content is most accessible.

    To make sure “Questions & answers” contains the most accurate and useful local info possible, business owners can add frequently asked questions and answers as well. In addition, when you ask a question about a place, we notify the business owner and other in-the-know users to see if they have knowledgeable answers to contribute. When your question is answered, we notify you too.

    No matter where you’re headed or what you’re looking to do, Google Maps and Search highlights the information you need to make quick decisions and discover the world around you.

    *This feature is rolling out to Google Maps and mobile Search users worldwide. 

  • Meet the fifth grader turning water bottles into light bulbs to brighten communities

    Schools in Latin America and around the world are searching for ways to take student impact beyond the classroom. In Mexico, we wanted to explore how teachers and students are using technology to empower a rising generation of innovative changemakers—and this week, we’re sharing some of the stories we found. Tune into the hashtag #innovarparami to see how education leaders in Latin America are thinking about innovation.

    Twelve-year-old Bryan Gonzalez was traveling through a neighborhood near his school when the unlit windows of several homes caught his attention. When his parents and teachers explained to him that those homes lacked electricity, he started to search for information about access to lighting in communities in Mexico and around the globe. His research led him to discover that nearly 15 percent of the world’s population lives without light.

    Believing that every community deserves access to commodities as basic as lighting, Bryan decided to turn his annual school science project into a mission to defeat darkness. With the support of his peers, teachers and parents, Bryan began to brainstorm sustainable, affordable methods to illuminate the world around him.

    His solution? Converting water bottles into light bulbs!

    Bryan recently implemented his prototype in the field for the first time, and we captured the experience as he began to install his homemade light bulbs in the very houses that had initially inspired him to take on his project. In the moments after Bryan installed his lightbulbs, community members began to process the impact of Bryan’s invention. Families reflected on the difficulties inherent in relying on candlelight to assist kids with homework, the daily pressure to finish working by sunset because no work could get done in the dark, and what unlit houses and streets meant for the physical safety of children and parents alike. “Things are going to be different now. This 12-year-old boy has changed this family’s life,” said Doña Sofía, a mother and grandmother, as she embraced him.

    Brian-18.jpg
    This image was captured just moments after Doña Sofía’s house had lighting for the very first time, thanks to Bryan’s efforts.

    Seeing his efforts materialize into real-world impact has been extremely gratifying for Bryan, but he knows this is just the beginning. As Bryan sets his eyes on new horizons, he hopes to start inspiring other young people around the world to implement the prototype in homes that lack electricity in their own communities.

    Your age doesn’t matter. Your idea does. Bryan

    Bryan’s definition of innovation is “finding creative ways to help a community solve their problems.” Follow the hashtag #innovarparami to see how other people are defining—and cultivating—innovation.