Simplicity has always remained one of the key factors behind Google Docs’ popularity. Today, it is a genuine alternative to Microsoft Word. However, there are times when you want your word processor to go that extra mile. That’s where external add-ons come in. Like these eleven extensions that supercharge your Google Docs experience.
Launching a new tab every time you’d like to translate a piece of text the person you’re collaborating has written can get cumbersome. Instead, we recommend installing a straightforward add-on called Translate.
Translate can interpret five major languages including English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. All you need to do is select the sentence and hit the Translate button after choosing the source as well as destination languages. When you need more help with the translation, you could always fall back on the more comprehensive translators available online.
Download: Translate (Free)
Kaizena is an extension primarily for schools with Google Classroom integration. It lets teachers leave voice comments for students and even attach lessons or skills to specific excerpts. Although anyone can use it for similar purposes. The extension shows a handy timeline of all the previously left voice comments so that you can revisit and resolve them once you’re done.
Download: Kaizena (Free)
ezNotifications is another free Google Docs extension that mends a critical shortcoming. It lets you configure periodic alerts for every edit made on your document. You can set notifications to arrive every day at a specific time or once every few hours. ezNotifications can send a list of all the alterations that were executed including the name of the person who did it.
Download: ezNotifications (Free, premium version available)
HelloSign, as the name suggests, is for users who sign way too many documents on Google Docs. You can quickly add a signature and have it appended in a document with a click of a button. The imported signatures are resizable as well. The free version only allows signs on three documents and for more, you will have to pay.
HelloSign couldn’t get the job done? Try one of these tools to electronically sign a PDF.
Download: HelloSign (Free, premium version available)
5. Doc Tools
Doc Tools brings a quick set of handy options at your fingerprints. This includes actions such as turning the selected text to upper or lower case, change the font size, highlight, words to digits, and more. The extension has a total of thirteen shortcuts, all of which you can access for free.
Download: Doc Tools (Free)
6. Better Word Count
Better Word Count adds a panel for persistently showing you the word count and how many characters the document comprises with or without spaces. In addition, you can specifically tweak which elements to include and exclude. For instance, you can disable only the H1 headings but still keep the rest.
Download: Better Word Count (Free)
7. Writefull Thesaurus
As you’d guess, Writefull Thesaurus allows you to look up synonyms for a particular word. However, unlike other similar extensions, this one also takes into account where the word has been written and its context to suggest more relevant results. Once you have found the right synonym, you can simply click paste and have it replace the original search term.
Download: Writefull Thesaurus (Free)
If you’re someone who blogs regularly and writes the posts on Google Docs before migrating them to the CMS, this one’s for you. The WordPress extension for Google Docs lets you seamlessly create drafts out of documents directly from a pane on the right. You can add tags, categorize it, and even configure the post type right while editing the document. Plus, you can also set up more than one blog and select which one to link to the current document.
Download: WordPress (Free)
If you’re a designer whose life largely revolves around Lucidchart for diagrams, mockups, wireframes, and more, Google Docs has an extension for you too. The Lucidchart add-on plugs into your account and enables you to easily import files. What’s more, you can launch a particular diagram directly into the edit mode from Google Docs if you’d like.
Download: Lucidchart (Free)
10. Highlight Tool
Highlight Tool is designed for students who have to go through tens of papers and research material on Google Docs. The extension comes with the ability to log whatever you highlight and export it in another document. Therefore, you can highlight several sentences in different colors and have them appear in a separate file for other purposes later. The add-on lets you create as many new highlighting classes as you want in case you’re working on a big project.
Download: Highlight Tool (Free)
Lastly, we have Reader which probably doesn’t need any introduction. Reader can read aloud documents on Google Docs. You can change a bunch of settings like the pitch or rate to adjust the dictation as per your preference and pace. There’s also support for nearly every language and dialect including regional ones like Hindi.
Download: Reader (Free)
Moving Beyond Google Docs
While Google Docs itself is a splendid and collaborative word processor, it has its flaws. Google has been updating it and bringing it closer to competitors such as Microsoft Word. But thankfully, the Internet now offers a lot of competent alternatives. Therefore, here are five great alternatives to Google Docs you should consider.