Posted by: harrysachz | June 27, 2007

New Look to Google Docs

For any user of Google Documents, any changes to the user interface is a welcome one. I for one have used their online document editor for at least 3 quarters worth of paper writing at school. Their offering of instantaneous editing, seemingly endless storage, and convenience of being able to pick up your last sentence on any computer, makes it way too fuckin’ cool for any college student.

The only real problem that I had comes from transferring your online data to a local file. Whenever the file was saved on the computer, the font size and style would be completely off the wall. On numerous occasions, the instructor would complain that “I’m not blind, change the font” and “stop distracting the class, pull up your pants”.

One other issue is when you try and print directly from Google Docs. Not an issue with Google, but the paper would have the URL along with the page. This is obviously expected since you’re attempting to print from within a web browser. A minor inconvenience, but an issue none-the-less.

Now, I’m not exactly sure when they rolled out these new UI changes (what am I ? a paid tech journalist here? ); but thank you Google, it looks fantastic…

Goog Docs

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Responses

  1. I agree, it does look pretty nice. However, they only changed the main UI… when you open up a document you still see exactly the same thing as before.

    By the way, you can take the URL off the printout by going to about:config in Firefox and changing the print.print_footer* and print.print_header* values. You can clear the left and right headers and footers; also, if you want, you can add a page number in one of those places (no “1 of 5,” just “1”) by using the string “&P” instead of the defaults.

    And by the way, please do pull up your pants. It’s distracting.

  2. That’s a great tip Brad, thanks.

    However, one of the understated advantages of using an online word processor is the ability to jump on any computer and pick up where you left off. [assuming that Firefox is available] I don’t exactly want to jump on the random computer and start changing their configuration every time I want to change something and print.

    I suppose I could use the portable version of Firefox, found at Portable Applications.com,; but the computers in my lab couldn’t vary more. There are Red Hat, Windows XP with and without Firefox, and some G5s with Safari only. Not exactly an option for a USB drive that has a Windows app on it.

    Thanks again for the tip.

  3. Yeah I’ve been using this for all my school and writing stuff since it was Writely. Transferring to and from old-school Word is difficult (I find that anything I import loses all paragraph indents), but for everyday editing it’s great. I also hear that Google backs up everything multiple times…which I try to do myself anyway just in case, but often forget.

    The new look is good. At first I didn’t like the transition from “tags” to “folders”, but nothing really changed other than the terminology and the physical presentation. A document can still be in multiple folders and all link to the same file. Hooray.


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