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Google's new Docs improvements will help tackle the chaos of remote working

In an update posted to the Google Workspace blog, the company stated that it was working on rolling out two major improvements to the Google Docs service.
In an update posted to the Google Workspace blog, the company stated that it was working on rolling out two major improvements to the Google Docs service.

Google is rolling out changes to make its online document editor a lot more useful when collaborating with a large group of people, and it looks like even free users will be able to access these features. 

While working from home has been challenging for many professionals during the novel coronavirus pandemic, one particularly difficult task has been working with a number of people on a shared document. Google is prepared to make its online document editor a lot more useful when collaborating with a large group of people, the company revealed on Tuesday.

Also read: Google Docs will now inform your colleagues that you're out of the office

In an update posted to their blog, the company stated that it was working on rolling out two major improvements to the Google Docs service. First, the company says it will now draw your attention to any new activity that requires your attention with the help of a blue dot - or “badged” as the company calls it. Mousing over the dot will also show the word new, so new users won’t get confused.

Docs will highlight new comments since you last checked your document. 
Docs will highlight new comments since you last checked your document.  (Google Blog)

The second improvement that will likely change how you collaborate with colleagues, is the ability to “filter” comments based on their status. You can now choose between All comments, For you and Resolved. “We hope these improvements make collaboration easier by enabling you to quickly navigate to and take action on important comments and conversations,” the company added in the post.

It's easy to see how this new feature will help collaboration and why the company is rolling it out sooner rather than later. Imagine working with 20 people two have also been granted access to the document, to comment on it instead of making changes. Not only is the number of comments and suggestions usually chaotic, but also the arrival of new comments can cause chaos if someone is keeping track of comments across a time period.

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According to Google, users will see the updates as soon as the next two weeks or as early as next month. It will also be available to Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, and Enterprise Plus, as well as G Suite Basic, Business, Education, Enterprise for Education, and Nonprofits customers. However, Google says that this will also be available for users with personal Google accounts, which is great news.

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