Hear ye, hear ye, my fellow Google Docs denizens: Have I obtained simply the deal with for you.
It is a intelligent new system of next-level shortcuts you possibly can add into the Google Docs web site — shortcuts that transcend the essential choices already constructed into the service and offer you a extra Slack-like, command-line-driven methodology of performing superior actions. I have been utilizing ’em myself for a pair days now, and lemme inform ya: They completely change the way in which you utilize Google Docs — for the higher.
The shortcuts come courtesy of a tasty and comparatively new little Chrome extension known as gSweets. The way in which it really works is straightforward: You simply add the extension into your browser, and the following time you open up a doc in Docs in your laptop, you will see a snazzy new grey immediate at first of each new line.
That immediate just about tells you every little thing that you must know. From wherever in a doc, now you can merely hit the slash key in your keyboard — identical to you’ll in Slack — and you will be greeted with a scrolling listing of fast ‘n’ easy instructions you possibly can kind in subsequent:
So, for example, you may kind /h1 from wherever inside a doc to begin formatting textual content as a big part heading:
And the second you hit Enter, bam: The change will get utilized — identical to that.
However wait! That perform, you is likely to be pondering, overlaps with one in all Docs’ personal built-in keyboard shortcuts — would not it? Certainly, it does, you astute little antelope — a cool little somethin’ generally known as Ctrl-Alt-1. I knew I may depend on you to catch that! Besides, it is arguably simpler to search out and bear in mind the perform this fashion, particularly when it is a part of a broader shortcut system that is extra consistent with what you see in Slack and different modern productiveness instruments.
And some of gSweets different shortcuts are stuff you could not so simply accomplish with the choices Docs provides you. One such instance is /desk, which you’ll be able to kind in together with any particular column and row dimensions — /desk 5×5, /desk 3×2, or no matter your data-loving coronary heart needs — to create a elaborate new desk proper then and there, on the spot, with any peak and width you want.
The system even introduces some completely new potentialities for instructions that are not current in any respect in Google Docs by default. The shortcut /unsplash, for example, permits you to search the library of freely usable inventory photographs at Unsplash.com with out ever leaving your doc or messing round with handbook downloads. You simply kind the command proper into your doc and comply with it with no matter kind of picture you wish to discover — and, effectively, wouldya have a look at that?
As soon as you choose a picture you want from the outcomes, gSweets will verify that you’ve the appropriate one…
After which all that is left is to pound on that Insert button to get your fairly new image into your doc.
Equally, the command /gif permits you to seek for animated GIFs from Giphy after which insert these straight into your doc in the identical method:
And /emoji permits you to browse or search by — yup, you guessed it — masses o’ emoji to search out the appropriate little bit of (seemingly inappropriate) levity in your Very Essential Enterprise Manuscript.
The listing of potentialities inside gSweets remains to be considerably brief, however the thought behind it’s impressively sound — and the choices that are current are completely helpful. The idea surrounding it’s simply so rattling smart, too, that it appears like a pure addition and an nearly native-seeming a part of the Google Docs expertise — a kind of issues that looks like it ought to’ve simply been there all alongside.
And this is the most effective half: The app’s co-founder, a product administration professional named Jeremy Kovac, tells me there’s far more to return — together with a slash-command-controlled Google Docs darkish mode, a easy motion for adjusting a doc’s sharing permissions, and on-demand entry to your individual assortment of customized snippets and templates. Kovac and his associate, developer and designer Christoph Knes, hope to carry most of the identical ideas into Slides at some level as effectively.
For now, the extension is totally free to make use of, though the final word plan is to introduce a freemium mannequin — whereby the essential features will stay free and accessible for anybody to make use of and some upcoming superior choices will probably be supplied as a part of an elective premium plan. The software program may additionally ultimately supply group plans for companies and different organizations.
As for the always-important space of privateness, gSweets requires entry to view and alter the Google Docs web site, as you’d think about — since, y’know, it could not presumably function and do what it does with out that kind of permission — and it additionally requires entry to your electronic mail handle (which I am advised is just for customer support functions). Its creators are adamant about the truth that the extension is privacy-conscious, although, and that it would not see something you are writing or gather or share any method of private information.
All in all, it is a powerful productiveness addition that not solely makes Google Docs simpler to make use of but in addition makes it really feel extra trendy. It is a thoughtfully created, intelligent piece of software program — and particularly with the promise of what is forward in its future, it is a device effectively value keeping track of.
Join my weekly e-newsletter to get extra sensible suggestions, private suggestions, and plain-English perspective on the information that issues.
Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.