Google Docs, often cited as one of the best word processing tools for live collaboration, has now been updated to include several features.
Some of these features seem like they're long overdue, such as the ability to add suggestions to a particular document using a phone or a tablet. This feature has until now only been accessible on the web version of Docs.
Google Updates Docs For Improved Collaboration Tools
The new features are mostly geared for collaboration — ones that help members of a team track changes made to a document. For example, users can now assign custom names to different versions of a document so they can return to a previous record if need be.
Also, Google knows that editing documents can often be messy and chaotic. So there's a new feature that lets users see the "clean version" of a document, without comments or suggested edits.
There's also a new option to accept editing suggestions or reject them all at once. This is handy for times when there are no crucial edits to be made, just simple punctuation errors that need to be corrected immediately.
Finally, Google has also added different integrations with add-ons, such as Litera Change-Pro and Workshare, which allow users to compare documents and review changes.
Google Docs: Templates
Along with the new features, Google also decided to roll out new templates packed with built-in add-ons, which is a handy tool for teams who like to create documents that have elements specific to their workflow. Custom templates aren't new, having been released since November, but now they can be integrated with add-ons to accommodate more complex workflows.
Google Docs: A More Efficient Way To Search
G Suite for Business and Enterprise customers also get Google Cloud integration with Docs and Slides via the "explore" tab. Powered by Machine Intelligence, Google says Cloud Search "surfaces relevant information to help you work more efficiently throughout your day."
All these features highlight the key aspect of Docs, which is collaboration. Because Docs is essentially a cloud-based service, everything is saved instantly, provided you're connected to the internet. This can prevent lost work should unforeseen circumstances arise, such as your laptop battery dying all of a sudden when you still haven't saved your work.
In the dark, old days of the internet, users used to share documents via email over and over again just to make sure everyone's on the same page. Not only does Docs solve that unnecessary dilemma, it offers a space where team members are free to make real-time suggestions, making the work faster and more efficient.