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Google has managed to change the word processing game by giving us Google Docs.  With Google Docs we can collaborate on such things as documents, spreadsheets and presentations.  I’ve personally enjoyed the ability to share a spreadsheet with the secretary of the bus ministry in my church so we can both update the list of riders we visit and pick up.  Google Docs makes stuff like that second nature.

Now Google is releasing new Google Docs features into the offering.  There are some that are really worth checking out because they can make life easier and even expand the ways in which we use Google Docs.  Follow me as I go through some of the new Google Docs features worth checking out.  It just may be worth your while.

Upload Any File

new google docs featuresWe can now make use of Google Docs when we want to save, access and even share larger files that don’t even have anything to do with documents, spreadsheets or presentations.

Do you have a file you want access to someplace else but you don’t want to carry around a computer or disk?  Upload it to your trusty Google Docs account and access it from anywhere!

In my testing I uploaded a few picture files (all under 1MB), an mp3 file (about 8MB) and a wav file (over 16MB) and I’ve had no problem uploading or accessing them.

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Realize though that the 1GB of space you are given to keep Google Docs files in is the same space you are using for these other files.  But hey, that’s enough for space you’re not paying for, right?

Bulk Upload

new google docs features

Google has awarded us with the ability to upload more than one file at a time. It works very similarly to normal file selection.  You have several options.  You can hold the Ctrl button and click on the individual files you want selected.  You can hold the Shift button, click the first file and then click the last file to select all files in between.  Then there is the option to click and drag, drawing a box selecting all files in the pathway of your mouse.

Google lets you upload all of the selected files in one batch.  Very easy.

Shared Folders

new google docs features

Being able to share and collaborate on files is pretty cool, right?  Well, once you begin sharing several files with the same people it may get a bit complicated.  Now Google has rolled out the ability to share folders and collaborate on files in that folder.  Cool idea Google.  Who would have come up with an idea like that?

To implement the sharing of a folder, just right-click on a folder in your Google Docs account and you’ll see the share option.  You have two methods of sharing the folder.  You can invite people to collaborate by adding their email and sending them a message.

You can also set it so that anyone with a provided link can either view or edit it which you would then share with only the people you want to have access.

Email As An Attachment

While Google was rolling out sharing options, they chose also to allow for emailing files as attachments.  Since you can now upload any type of file you want, it only makes sense that they allow you to send those files as email attachments if you need to.  In fact, the feature gets even neater when you start sending Google Document files as email attachments and they are converted into usable offline file formats.

Sharing files via an email attachment is as easy as right clicking on the file to be shared, hovering over the “Share” option, and clicking “Email as attachment…”  If it is a Google Document, you are offered more choices as far as the file format goes.

Any way you look at it though, sharing files via email attachment can come in handy.

DOCX Import

In the past it was difficult to open and use a Word 2007 file if you didn’t have the right version of Microsoft Office.  Since then many of the free word processing programs have become compatible.  Now apparently Google Docs is compatible too.  You can upload the files and convert them for editing from within Google Docs.

This can come in handy if someone ever felt the need to send me a document since I don’t use Microsoft’s suite nor do I intend to in the near future (call me a penny pincher).

Some of the features I have listed here are new Google Docs features that I think will make my own life easier.  I must warn you that Google Docs, as awesome as the service is, has not quite “arrived” yet.  You may run into some formatting difficulties when converting documents files back and forth.  Just realize that Google Docs is free and the conveniences it offers may outweigh some of the difficulties.  You must make the choice (see the poll about online versus desktop word processors The Word Processor: Online vs. Offline [Poll] The Word Processor: Online vs. Offline [Poll] Read More ).

So what do you think of some of the new features Google is rolling out for Google Docs?  Which of them can you see yourself making use of?

  1. timmyjohnboy
    April 8, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Streaming, eh? That'd be cool!

  2. shle896
    April 7, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I'm loving the "Upload Any File" feature. Since it became available in February, I have uploaded my entire mp3 collection (all 200 GB's of it!) to Docs. I had to buy extra storage, but at 25 cents a GB, it was affordable and well worth it.

    With the multiple upload feature, I've uploaded each and every music album in my collection as a separate folder and placed those folders into a separate "Music" folder, which I can share with friends. You even have the option of allowing them to edit and "collaborate" or just to view and download.

    Now I have access to all my music from any computer, it's backed up and hopefully soon Google will add streaming support, so I can listen directly in Docs or my mobile phone.

    Also, this past week, Google increased the upload size of a single file to 1 GB, so now it's possible to easily upload entire movie files, too!

  3. timmyjohnboy
    April 7, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Hey, thanks for that. I hadn't even noticed that feature yet.

  4. Zachary Zhao
    April 6, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Don't forget the server clipboard feature. :)

    • Risa
      April 29, 2010 at 3:19 pm

      Oh, could you please tell me more about this? Currently I use Google docs to share things with my friends in our project, truly helpful.

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