Google Docs Gets New and Old Features

    October 13, 2009
    Chris Crum

Google has made some updates to Google Docs. For one, they have introduced shared folders, which the company has been promising since July, and says is the most requested feature they get for Google Docs. Shared folders let users collaborate on groups of documents more easily.

"To share a group of items, all you have to do is put them all into a folder and share the folder," says Google Docs Product Manager Vijay Bangaru. "As you’d expect, if you add an item to a shared folder, it will automatically be shared and if you add someone to an existing shared folder, they will instantly get access to all of the folder’s content."

Share Folders

In addition to shared folders, Google has also made it easier to upload multiple items to Google Docs. Now, rather than picking a file at a time on the upload page, you can select several simultaneously. To do so, you can just click on "select files to upload," and use "shift" or "ctrl" to pick multiple files, then press "start upload". You can even watch their progress via stats bars.

Upload Multiple Files

Google has also brought back the "items not in folders" feature. When you create a new item or an item is directly shared to you, it will appear there. When one is shared via a folder, it will not appear there. When you add an item to a folder, it obviously won’t be there, and when you remove it from all folders, it will appear there.

"Since many of you have been using this view as a workflow tool (perhaps you keep drafts and to-do’s "not in folders" and then when they are done, move them to a folder), we’ve made one change to ensure the filter functions as expected in light of the new shared folders," says Bangaru. "If you share an item with me and I put it in a shared folder, it is still in your ‘Items not in folders’ view. The reason is that I shouldn’t be able to change your workflow. As a result, you’ll occasionally see an item with a folder tag in your "Items not in folders" view. This is an item that someone else put in a shared folder, but you’ve never put in a folder."

Lastly, Google has updated the look of the Google Docs interface. Colors and spacing have been changed, and buttons have been moved. There are few other minor differences. Do a little exploring and get to know the new Google Docs if you are a user.