Google Makes Docs Two-Player Capable With Enhanced Collaboration

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News Posted: Tue, Apr 13 2010 10:03 AM
Every other week or so, we get the feeling that Google is making strides in fully taking over the world. Be it search advancements, Android advancements or their drive into being an ISP, Google is getting their hands dirty with almost everything. Google Docs has been around for years, and while many tech enthusiasts have shifted to them over desktop versions of Microsoft Office, the vast majority still haven't.



Google is hoping to change that, and they're constantly working to improve the services to make them more viable alternatives to desktop office suite applications. The latest round of improvements are some of the most significant in the life of the web apps. There are new preview versions of the new Google document and spreadsheet editors and a new standalone drawings editor, all built with an even greater focus on speed and collaboration. The changes make it easier for two people to edit a document at the same time from remote locations, which could easily change businesses in a big way.

The highlights are below, along with a video. But as always, the best way to see how things are changed is to open up a document and dig in yourself.


A better document editor
We’vebrought the responsive, real-time editing experience you’ve come toexpect from our spreadsheets over to documents, which means you can nowsee character-by-character changes as other collaborators make edits.We also added another popular feature from spreadsheets: sidebar chat,so you can discuss documents as you work on them with colleagues.

Thenew technical foundation also helped us improve document formatting,which means better import/export fidelity, a revamped comment system,real margins and tab stops, and improved image layout within documents.These improvements have been highly requested, but previouslyimpossible to create with the older documents editor on older browsers.

A faster spreadsheet editor
Withthe new spreadsheets editor, you’ll see significant speed andperformance improvements -- spreadsheets load faster, are moreresponsive and scroll more seamlessly. We’ve also added a host of oftenrequested features, like a formula bar for cell editing, auto-complete,drag and drop columns, and simpler navigation between sheets. And asalways, real-time collaboration in spreadsheets is easy with sidebarchat and the ability to see which cell each person is editing.

A new collaborative drawing editor
In the year since we launchedthe Insert drawing tool, we’ve received many requests for the abilityto collaborate on drawings and make them accessible directly from thedocs list. The new standalone drawings editor lets you collaborate inreal time on flow charts, designs, diagrams and other fun or businessgraphics. Copy these drawings into documents, spreadsheets andpresentations using the web clipboard, or share and publish drawings just like other Google Docs.

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moethelawn replied on Tue, Apr 13 2010 11:43 AM

Wow that's actually pretty cool that you can see where they are typing as you're working on a document.  Of course, it would be a pain when someone for example modifies the text alignment as I'm typing or type the exact same sentence that I'm working on.  That would throw me off lol but at least you can talk to the others and say "hey, i'm working on that" lol

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lifeasjosh replied on Tue, Apr 13 2010 12:46 PM

Seems that google has moved from a company built around giving you the most powerful web search to, providing the most up to date and most useful items and idea's ever conceived on the internet. With that being said, if google had stocks, I'd say buy big, because, in a couple of years, those stocks will be worth quite a bit with google's current integration trending.

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lifeasjosh:

Seems that google has moved from a company built around giving you the most powerful web search to, providing the most up to date and most useful items and idea's ever conceived on the internet. With that being said, if google had stocks, I'd say buy big, because, in a couple of years, those stocks will be worth quite a bit with google's current integration trending.

Yeah Google had their IPO back in 2004.  Stocks first came out as $85, and today it's around $500+. So a lot of money was made if you invested since 2004 :P

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RyuGTX replied on Tue, Apr 13 2010 3:27 PM

Finally! They needed a chat system integrated into Google Docs because it is so much more streamlined. Working on a Google Doc with 5+ group members in a college project was such a hassle because of the lack of communication. That was my biggest issue.

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Inspector replied on Tue, Apr 13 2010 4:18 PM

Interesting new features.

moethelawn, it probably only effects the person that moved the margin. You also have to have it all planned out of course to who does what so that doesn't happen with messing each others line up.

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This cloud computing is seriously perfect for people, especially those white collar dudes. Hey, it also makes everyone do their own share of the work, instead of leaving everything up to the guy who draws the shortest straw. 

To be honest, I'm perfectly fine with google taking over the world. So far they seem to have good intentions, as long as they don't create a Cloud A.I. and call it Skynet I'm perfectly okay. 

I've used Google docs before and I thought the applications that were settled in with the docs were already really good, but these make everything better for sure. 

The spreadsheet plays just like MS Excel, and now that is has advanced cloud collaboration I guess it just makes everything better. 

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Not being an office guy. I am always hearing people complain about MS Office.

Just yesterday my GF was complaining about Word 2007. We definitely need more competition when it comes to office solutions. Wordperfect was good, yet they have fallen behind in the past few years.

The main issue in all these programs is file support across all platforms. If Google can solve that issue and make an easy and enjoyable user interface, then they will probably dominate that market like they have with the mail and browser applications.

Fairly soon, I am certain we will see Google become powerful enough to buyout Time Warner, then maybe even Disney/Pixar!

Then we will all be working for Google :P

I would have been fine with Google taking over the world IF I had bought stock back in the late 90's!

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RyuGTX replied on Tue, Apr 13 2010 11:19 PM

More like a lot of us would be out of a job because Google looks for the super talented.

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