Google Docs goes into higher gear starting next week. Built on a new infrastructure, documents and spreadsheets are being equipped with new functions and better performance. Word processing in particular, becomes editable by several people in true real time (until 50 people) with visualization of changes character by character, just like in Google Wave. Before, we had to wait 30s to more than a minute for the other users changes become visible. But now, it will be in true real time.

You can activate these functions by going to “Settings” in Google Docs and checking the appropriate box (cf. screenshot) Google Apps also requires that in the admin panel the pre-release features are enabled.

In word processing, only new documents created benefit of  the new editor.

In the new functions, we may have noticed that a rule also appears, but especially a new mode of management comments much more ergonomic and efficient is available, it allows the discussion in the commentary itself (as in the chat), and it is positioned outside of the text being edited.

Editing features also complement with more choices for example in bullet points and lists

And the equation editor is enriched by a toolbar

In Spreadsheet, no major functional changes, except a formula bar always visible, the option on the existing spreadsheet to switch to the new interface, and performance actually increased, the difference is palpable.

So, let’s benefit from it . On the other side, starting from May 3, the module offline of Google Docs will no longer  be available; pending the launch of a new version compatible with the new infrastructure being deployed.

So anyone using this module must absolutely synchronize the offline documents by May 3rd, otherwise it will not be possible then. Google didn’t  advertise yet  the availability date of the new version.

The offline module  of gmail remains by cons available, no fear of this point so far.


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