For two days in a row the Google Docs team has announced an update to their online office suite offering. Yesterday they enhanced the printing ability of Spreadsheets and today they have added pagination.
The enhancement to Spreadsheets printing in two-fold. The first the addition of of spreadsheets support for Google Cloud Print. When viewing your spreadsheet on a mobile device you will now find a “Print” option just below the document title. You will first need to set up your printer for “the cloud”. Google Cloud Print is supported for Android 2.1+ and iOS 3+.
The second part of the Spreadsheets printer update involved the desktop version of Docs. Google added more print options such as spreadsheet titles, sheet names and page numbers. You can now control which of these you want to print.
Today’s Google Docs update is the addition of pagination. Google claims that it is “another first for web browsers by adding a classic word processing feature—pagination, the ability to see visual pages on your screen.” It is rolling out throughout the days and will be available to all users before tomorrow. For users, this means you will be able to see page-breaks so that you can see how many pages are in a document and change your layout to get the look you want. According to Google “Because we’re able to show you individual pages, we can improve the way other features work too: headers now show up at the top of each page instead of just at the top of your doc, manual page breaks actually move text onto a new page and footnotes appear at the bottom of the pages themselves.” You can also hide page breaks if you prefer a continuous view. Simply click View – Documents View and choose between Paginated and Compact.
Google Docs continues to excel forward as it becomes the best online office suite available. Microsoft may want to get moving on their offering, which is still in private beta.
Google announced today another update to their online Docs software. If you haven’t used Google Docs, it basically an online Office-type application that beat Microsoft to the punch. Docs is great for online collaboration and cloud storage. The latest update allows users to graph multiple ranges and the ability to hide sheets.
Graphing multiple ranges can be done by clicking on Select ranges… and add another range. This gives users the ability to create charts that show multiple graphs to contrast different trends. It’s handy, especially if you want to contrast and compare such things as origins of web traffic or company income. It’s something users have wanted for sometime now.
The ability to hide sheets is another Spreadsheet addition that Docs users will find helpful. To enable it you simply need to click a sheet and choose Hide Sheet. This doesn’t completely remove the sheet from a users view – to bring it back into view you can click the Hidden sheets option in the View menu. This probably isn’t as needed as the graphing addition, but I’m sure there are users out there that were really wanting this option.
While Microsoft’s online version of Office, known as Office 365, continues to languish in private Beta, Google Docs is moving forward. It’s encouraging that they are coming closer to a full suite that can rival Office. They aren’t there yet, but in terms of online applications they are probably ahead. And that, going forward, is probably the best place to be.
For some time we’ve been hearing about the virtues of cloud-based computing.
Certain functions seem to lend themselves to the cloud. Online word processing, spreadsheets, etc. can seem to make sense in some situations, such as collaborating with others.
In everyday use scenarios, does the cloud really make sense in more traditional private computer-use situations? I contend that it does not.
Right now I’m typing this into Microsoft Word on my MacBook Pro. At the moment I have rather lousy Sprint and Verizon connectivity, even though 12 hours ago at this very same location I had really good connectivity from both. The only thing that changed is the time of day. If I was currently limited to using Google Docs chances are I would be unable to write this. Network demand constantly fluctuates depending on the time of day and location.
Is there enough bandwidth available? With the tsunami of smartphones that are on the immediate horizon, will the carriers be able to keep up with the average five-fold bandwidth demand increase that the average smartphone user pulls from the network? Can carriers keep up with a smartphone-saturated public all trying to pull down data at the same time?
However, for the sake of argument let’s say that mobile Internet connectivity isn’t an issue.
What if the Internet is turned off due to a declared cyber attack and all of your documents are online? What good would the network appliance approach to computing be then?
Can e-books be revised after the fact? If government can simply decide to turn off the Internet, then it’s not that much of a leap to imagine laws and regulations being passed banning certain types of blogs or even books that have been deemed dangerous or seditious. There have already been books sold such as “1984” by Amazon that were deleted from Kindles after the fact by Amazon when it was determined that Amazon didn’t have the legal right to sell it in e-book form. What if instead of banning books, they were simply rewritten to remove the offending parts? What’s to stop instant revision of e-books that have been declared dangerous?