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Google announces Smart Canvas, a new collaboration tool for Google Workspace, at Google IO

Google has introduced a series of updates for Google Workspace under its Smart Canvas project. The updates will be rolled out on associated Google apps like Docs, Sheets, Meet and more.

twitter-logoSarthak Dogra | May 19, 2021 | Updated 00:33 IST

Highlights

  • Google has announced Smart Canvas to help teams work together across Google services.
  • It will bring new features to most of its platforms associated with Workplace, including Docs, Sheets and more.
  • All these new features will be rolled out by the end of this year.

Google has kick-started its developers conference for this year. Like every year, the Google IO 2021 was initiated by a keynote from Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Mentioning the ongoing tough times due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Pichai went on to highlight new updates from Google across its products, one of which is Google Workspaces.

At the IO 2021, Google has announced 12 new features for its Google Workspace. These features will be rolled out across the apps of Google Workspace, including Docs, Sheets, and Slides, by the end of this year. Here are these updates -

1. Smart Canvas - Google has introduced new smart chips in Docs for recommending files and meetings in a shared document. To insert smart chips, users will simply have to type "@" to see a list of recommended people, files and meetings. Smart chips will also come to Sheets in the coming months.

2. Google Docs will now get a pageless format that will allow users to remove the boundaries of a page. This will enable them to create a surface that expands to whatever device or screen they are using, with a simple option to switch back to a paginated view.

3. Google will be bringing emoji reactions in Docs in the next few months so multiple people working on a document can react to updates as they work together.

4. Assisted writing features will be brought to Google Workspace to offer more inclusive language recommendations as well as stylistic suggestions to users while typing to help speed up both writing and editing.

5. A new Docs template will automatically import any relevant information from a Calendar meeting invite, including smart chips for attendees and attached files.

6. Starting this week, Google is pushing out checklists on web and mobile versions of Docs. This will allow users to assign checklist items to other people and see these action items in Google Tasks. This will in turn make it easier for everyone to manage a project's To Do list.

7. Google will soon introduce table templates in Docs. These can help gather team feedback through topic-voting tables and mark milestones and statuses through project-tracker tables.

8. Google will now allow you to present your content to a Google Meet call on the web directly from the Doc, Sheet, or Slide. This will eliminate the need to jump between collaborating in a document and a live conversation on Google Meet. Google will also bring Google Meet directly to Docs, Sheets, and Slides in the coming fall.

9. Google is introducing live translations of captions later this year. The translation will start with English-language live captions translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, or German, as many more languages will follow.

10. For Google Sheets, the company is introducing timeline view to make tracking tasks easier and faster. This view allows users to organize data by owner, category, campaign, or whichever attribute fits best.

11. Google will also add more assisted analysis functionality in Sheets web experience. This will include formula suggestions for faster data analysis and reduced errors.

12. Teams will now be able to jump from a discussion in Google Chat directly to creating and editing Sheets and Docs from Google Chat rooms. Google will also enable this for Slides in the coming weeks.

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