We knew a “complete overhaul” was in-store for Google Docs & Spreadsheets, we just didn’t think it was going to be introduced as soon as it was! Yesterday the Docs & Spreadsheets team introduced all of the changes, and posted details of those changes on their blog.
The biggest change that you’ll notice is the interface – it looks much different. There are new icons, more content, and better organizational controls. Another big change is the start page because now you’ll have a two-pane workspace instead of the old list view. I think you’ll agree with me when I say that the new interface changes are nice, and it simply looks shinier and better.
Another big change is the organization structure, and for some of you, this is just what you were looking for. There are now folders that replace the tagging system that was used previously, and with it, you’re able to drag and drop files into folders. I’m not quite sure why they ditched the tagging system because that’s what seems to be popular these days, but they have. What is nice about it though, is that if you had multiple tags for a single file, that single file can live in multiple folders at one time.
They’ve also made it easier to search. Once you start typing your search query, you’ll get filtered results from your document list as you type. They compare it to Google Suggest where the search engine offers suggestions as you type. Nice. Additionally, they’ve added new keyboard shortcuts to make things easier for you, as well as right to left text support. For those who write in Hebrew or Arabic, this will be a welcome addition.
So what’s missing? I thought for sure that they would have gotten support for Google Gears in with this complete overhaul so that users would be able to work offline. Unfortunately, they didn’t. For me at least, offline support is the only thing really keeping me from using it regularly.