Thursday, April 30, 2009

Extra Emotions in GMail (Labs)

For a short period of time after launching emoticons for mail, we believed we had successfully captured the entirety of human expression in 19 faces (we're still debating whether the robot face counts), important representatives of the animal kingdom such as and , emoticons for both love () and heartbreak (), and, well, a pile of .

But soon a growing feeling of dread overcame the group . How could we have included a but not a cat? What if I want wine rather than ?

And thus was born a new Labs feature: extra emoji, the colorfully animated brainchild of our team in Japan. Simply go to the Labs tab under Settings, enable "Extra Emoji," and have that glass of you've been dreaming about. Ask your in-laws about the fluffiness factor of their pet . Become a meteorologist and start predicting . Dance like you mean it . Then let us know what you think.

(If you're wondering how we had time to create another couple hundred emoticons when we're busy doing important stuff like rewriting Gmail for mobile and making Gmail work offline, the answer is: we didn't. All of these extra emoticons are straight from the secret underground labs of some of the top Japanese mobile carriers, used with permission. Thanks guys!)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

PPT & TIFF Are Available in Google

Google is bringing some of the online office technology of Google Docs to Gmail. The company added the ability to view PDF documents attached to Gmail with an online document viewer a few months ago. Now Gmail also has document viewers for PowerPoint and TIFF files.

Actually, Gmail users have been able to view PowerPoint files as slideshows for a while. But now you can view presentations using a fuller featured web interface. The new viewer makes it easier to skip pages, change the image size, and change the page layout of presentations.

The TIFF viewer works much the same way, making it easier to see multi-page TIFF images sent to your Gmail address.

(From Google Blog)

A few months ago, we added fast online viewing of PDFs in your browser. As of today, that same viewer now supports TIFF and Microsoft PowerPoint document formats too: you can now view TIFF and PPT files online, directly in your browser, without having to save the files to your computer and without needing to buy, install, or wait for any special software to start up.

We've had a "View as slideshow" option for PowerPoint files for a while; now we've integrated this conversion technology into the same viewer that we use for PDFs and TIFFs.

This viewer provides a richer set of features than the old "View as slideshow" version: you can zoom in and out, select text to copy and paste, and "print" the presentation to a PDF document. And, unlike the old version, we no longer require you to have a Flash plugin installed on your browser.

I don't know about you, but the TIFF files I receive are almost always multiple-page faxes -- and the default TIFF viewer on my computer only shows me the first page. It's quite frustrating. On the other hand, our online viewer, powered by Google Docs, will show you every page and give you the option to "print" the TIFF by opening it as a ready-to-print PDF.

Monday, April 13, 2009

New features in Google Docs

  • Drawings and diagrams
    Create your own drawings and diagrams in Google Docs and use them in your text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. As with the rest of Google Docs, your drawings are auto-saved and you can edit them collaboratively. To get started, open a document and select Insert > Drawing. Learn more

    Drawings and diagrams

  • Find and replace toolbar for text documents
    The "Find and replace" feature in the text document Edit menu has gotten a makeover and an upgrade. Now it's a slick toolbar that sports case matching, whole word matching as well as regular expression-style matching. Learn more

    Find and replace toolbar for text documents

  • XLSX import
    You can now import supporting cell data, formatting, formulas, font style, background color, named ranges, frozen panes, and horizontal merges from Excel '07. Learn more

  • Google Apps automatic identity in Forms
    This feature enables the collection of the user's email address when filling out a form on a Google Apps domain. Learn more

  • Form summary page
    The form summary page can now be printed. Learn more

  • List view in the desktop version of Google spreadsheets
    You can now use list view's simple design and powerful filtering and sorting on your desktop or notebook computer. Learn more

  • Google Tournament function
    The GoogleTournament() function allows users to query NCAA data (including team names, records, scores, seedings, game times, etc) in a Google spreadsheet (ideal for creating automatic brackets). Learn more

  • Data Validation
    With two levels of validation, strict and lenient, you can now control what you and your collaborators enter into a spreadsheet. Learn more

    Data Validation

  • List View
    This 'lightweight' version of Google Spreadsheets will allow you to do quick edits when you are accessing Google Spreadsheets from select mobile devices (Android, iPhone and Nokia S60), when you are on a slow Internet connection or when there are more than 50 people accessing your spreadsheet at the same time. Learn more

    List View

  • Form Summary for your collaborators
    You can now let your collaborators or form respondents see a summary of the form responses. Learn more

  • Offline access in 40 languages
    You can now view & edit text documents offline and view spreadsheets, forms, and presentations offline in 39 more languages. To get started, you'll first need to enable offline access for Google Docs.

  • Print preview
    Need to see how many pages your document is or check on how your footnotes look at the bottom of the page? Go to File > Print preview for quick look at how your document will appear when printed.

    Document print preview

  • Forms in the templates gallery
    We've added 13 spreadsheet forms to the Templates Gallery under a new document type "Forms". Browse the new forms.

    Forms in the templates gallery

  • Footnotes for your school assignments
    You can now annotate your documents with footnotes. Use Insert > Footnote to add a footnote into the right margin. When printed, the footnotes will appear at the bottom of the page. Learn more.

    Footnotes for your school assignments

  • New UI for spreadsheets!
    Just like our other editors in Google Docs, spreadsheets now has an updated interface. Menus make it easy to find all of our great and unique spreadsheet editing features.
    Sharing spreadsheets has also been updated. Now, it's simpler to invite people and manage access. As always, stay tuned as we continue to make this all-important action of sharing as simple as possible while giving you complete control over who sees and edits your content. Learn more

    A simpler interface

  • Add a table of contents to your documents
    Use the heading styles to title sections of your document (from the format menu, select Minor Heading, Sub-Heading, Heading). Then add a table of contents that will refer to those titled sections (from the Insert menu, select Table of contents). Learn more.

    Add a table of contents to your documents

  • "Look up word" (U.S. English only)
    Select any word in your document, then go to the Tools menu to look up the word in your choice of U.S. English dictionary, thesaurus or encyclopaedia. Learn more.

    Look up words

  • Google search integration
    Again via the Tools menu, search the web for the word or words you have selected - either a regular text Google search or a Google image search. Learn more.

  • New UI in presentations!
    Google presentations now has a completely new interface, increasing the size of the slide during editing and visibility of thumbnails.

    New UI in presentations!

  • Slide Zooming
    Zoom in and out of your slides to see your content in detail. Learn more.

    Slide Zooming!

  • Create forms in a jiffy
    Choose New > Form to create new forms straight from Docs Home. We've also improved form editing, starting with drag-and-drop to reorder questions. Learn more.

    Create forms in a jiffy

  • Autosave for forms
    You don't have to lift a finger to use this new feature. Now, your form edits are automatically saved.

  • Find and replace
    Use Ctrl + F to search for and replace text across your entire spreadsheet. Learn more.

    Find and replace

  • Two powerful new functions
    IMPORTRANGE() can reference data from any of your spreadsheets. SPLIT() cleans up text in a cell by splitting it into multiple cells at any delimiter you choose. Learn more about the importrange() function and the split() function.

  • Bullet and Object Reveals in presentations
    Pace your presentations with the new reveals feature. Set objects to appear in a certain order and advance through them by clicking. Set textboxes to reveal one bullet/paragraph level at a time. Learn more.

    Bullet and Object Reveals in presentations

  • New! Templates
    Create professional documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in Google Docs. Get a jump start with one of hundreds of templates. Browse the templates gallery or learn more. Google Apps user? Learn how to use templates in your Apps account.

  • Analytics tracking on published documents
    You can now track how much traffic a particular published document is getting through Google Analytics. Learn more.

    Analytics tracking on published documents

  • "Form" tab
    A new "Form" tab gives quick access to tools for creating, sending, and embedding spreadsheet forms. Learn more.

    'Form' tab

  • Scientific Notation Format
    Use Scientific Notation to represent bigger numbers - for example, enter 1.23E+15 when you want 1,230,000,000,000,000 or format large numbers ending in 000's explicitly in this format using the new option on the Format dropdown. Learn more.

  • Expand gadgets to a full sheet
    Give your gadgets more love. A whole window's worth of love. Now, you can use the "Move to own sheet" feature to give a gadget as much breathing room as it needs. (You can publish this separately, too!) Learn more.

    Expand gadgets to a full sheet

  • Engineering Functions
    We've finally added functions to convert between decimal, binary, hexadecimal and octal - known as dec2bin, dec2oct, dec2hex, and, well, if you know these, you know the rest. Learn more.

  • Custom colors in presentations
    Can't find that specific shade of blue you need for your presentations? Now you can define colors in the color picker, creating your own palette for backgrounds, text and shapes in your slides. Learn more.

    Custom colors in presentations

  • Upload, preview & share PDFs
    One of our top feature requests is now implemented: upload, preview and share PDFs in Google Docs! Click the Upload button in the Docs list to get started. While you can't yet edit PDFs, you can at least select text to copy & paste elsewhere. You can also share PDFs just like you can share your regular Google Docs. Learn more.

    Upload, preview & share PDFs

  • View menu & options
    We've added a View menu into the document toolbar with two options: the normal view ("big open white space") and a new view that displays page margins and a fixed page width. Learn more.

    View menu & options

  • More form features
    Have some ideas, but looking for others? Now you can let people choose from your multiple choice options or type in their own. Also new: get code to embed a form in your own webpage. Learn more about embedding a form or editing questions.

  • Help menu in document toolbar
    Help is now closer at hand! We've added a Help menu just to the right of the document Tools menu. Check out especially the "Learn from other Google users" option, which takes you straight to the Google Docs Help Group.

    Help menu in document toolbar

  • Choose a size for embedded presentations
    One size does not fit all -- so we've added an option to choose a size for your embedded presentations. Learn more.

    Choose a size for embedded presentations

  • Select multiple objects on a slide
    Ever been frustrated with moving and arranging objects on your slides, one by one? Worry no more! You can now select multiple objects at once -- then move them around, resize them, copy and paste them and more. Learn more.

    Select multiple objects on a slide

  • More sharing options in Docs list
    Now you can both add and remove people's access and set advanced permissions from the Docs list (not yet implemented for spreadsheets). Learn more.

  • Browser right-click menu
    Hold down the Shift key while you right click to use the browser (rather than Google Docs') right-click menu in the Docs list and while editing documents.

  • Old-style printing for documents
    Choose File > Print to webpage to print your documents directly from the browser. Print Settings - now a separate File menu option - only apply to regular printing (via PDF). Learn more.

    Old-style printing for documents

  • Edit CSS for documents
    Tech-savvy users can now apply CSS to documents. Select Edit > CSS to create your own custom styles. See our tips & tricks for using CSS.

    Edit CSS for documents

  • Presentation speaker notes
    You can now add speaker notes to your slides. These notes will be visible to you and your viewers in presentation mode or when you print your slides. Learn more.

    Presentation speaker notes

  • Insert videos into your presentations
    Adding videos to your presentations is now just a few clicks away. In the Edit toolbar you'll see the new "Insert video" option which allows you to embed videos into your slides. Learn more.

    Insert videos into your presentations

  • Offline access
    You can now edit your documents and view your presentations and spreadsheets without an internet connection. Changes are saved to your browser while you are offline and automatically saved when Google Docs detects an internet connection. Learn more.

    Offline Access

  • Save presentations as .ppt
    Now you can save your presentations as PowerPoint files in addition to basic text and PDF. Learn more.

    Export presentations as .ppt

  • More search options, savable!
    If simple search doesn't give you what you need, click on the Show search options link to the right of the Search Docs button just above the blue toolbar in the Docs list. Enter your search options, and then save your search for quick future reference. Learn more.

    More search options, savable!

  • Saved searches home
    Once you have saved a few searches, try clicking on the new Saved searches header in the left pane of the Docs list (just under the Trash icon). You can create a customized dashboard showing just the docs you want, for example docs in a particular folder + starred docs + docs owned by a specific person, etc. Try it out & let us know what you think! Learn more.
    Saved searches home

  • Colored folder names
    Use colored folder names to make items in specific folders stand out in your Docs list. Learn more.

    Colored Labels

  • Change document ownership
    If you create a document and later want to make someone else the owner, now you can! Select the document or presentation (not yet implemented for spreadsheets) in the Docs list and select More Actions > Change Owner. Learn more.