New Google Docs features allow you to finish your tasks quicker than ever before, thanks to a series of recent updates.
Although the productivity package is aimed primarily at students and teachers, with a view to increase performance and improve student collaboration, the work sector could also benefit from the advancements, argues Jonathan Rochelle, Google for Education director of project management.
One of the most exciting changes consists in the ability to use speech recognition software, which turns your spoken words into typed text, in real time. The feature provides transcription for around 40 languages and recognizes even punctuation, but you have to introduce it by saying the corresponding words, such as “period” or “new paragraph”.
Voice typing can be a much faster alternative to regular writing, provided that you speak clearly and loudly, in a room without any background noise. However, one mistake or correction in your dictation can complicate things and affect your entire work.
It is still a very useful addition to the office software suite, because Google Docs usually facilitates collaboration among people from various locations, who can virtually assemble together. Transcribing business meetings could easily be sped up by this feature, especially since voice recognition programs have greatly improved in recent years.
Another feature included in the pack is called Research, which gives users the possibility to perform searches on Google, while still inside the Docs Android app. This enables people to identify content on the web and save clicks, without having to switch constantly between their document and the web browser.
Results for images identified while using the Research button show only re-usable, SafeSearch-approved pictures (because the feature was conceived mostly for students). This type of functionality is actually similar to the one provided by Microsoft’s Bing search engine, which can be used directly inside Office apps.
Another useful button permits users to “See New Changes” that have been made to a document they shared with other users, since the last time they opened it. This works similarly to Microsoft’s “Track Changes” option, the main difference consisting in the fact that it is updated in real time, without having to enable the feature.
Explore, a new functionality added to Google Sheets, generates graphs and charts based on spreadsheet data, simplifying and speeding up this time-consuming process, while maintaining confidentiality. Another change concerns forms, which now permit survey results to be analyzed on the same screen where data has been collected.
All the improvements that have been made to Google’s productivity tools are expected to pay off long term, especially considering that there are more than 50 million users of the Apps for Education pack, who will get to benefit from the recent innovations.
Image Source: GoogleDocs Blog