Talk to any college students for very long, and you may find that page numbers rule their lives. They’ll celebrate receiving a measly half-page assignment, for example, or freak out over a 40-page paper that’s due all too soon. So now, perhaps after discovering that fact, Google Docs has introduced a familiar feature related to page breaks.
A post on the Google Docs Blog announced this afternoon, “[W]e’re doing another first for web browsers by adding a classic word processing feature – pagination, the ability to see visual pages on your screen. We’re also using pagination and some of Chrome’s capabilities to improve how printing works in Google Docs.”
The post later explained, “Before, if you wanted to print your document we’d need to first convert it into a PDF, which you would then need to open and print yourself. With native printing, you can print directly from your browser and the printed document will always exactly match what you see on your screen.” (So long as you’re using Chrome, at least.)
These upgrades are bound to make Google Docs much more user-friendly. Google’s timing is pretty good, too; this should give students a little time to adjust to the change before they have to tackle huge end-of-semester projects (where those page numbers will really come in handy).
Anyway, Google Docs users who preferred the old layout or are just stuck with small screens won’t be alienated, either, as Google engineers have made sure a compact view of documents will remain available.