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New Google Docs UI!  (View post)

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

Thursday, February 28, 2008
11 years ago11,765 views

Only for the Edit tab (the old UI is kept for the Insert and Revisions ones).
An improvement toward an coherent suite (see the previous change in Presentation)

Here's a snapshot:
base.googlehosted.com/base_med ...

Martin Porcheron [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Google Presentations also uses this new toolbar.

I've just noticed as well, the Google Docs list is not as responsive as it was before, and Directory Titles + Definitions are missing from the bar above the listing for a specific directory.

Jan De Messemaeker [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

just saw it too.

was editting a doc, closed it, and now it's completely different, in a good way :)


deplayer.be/blog/jan/uploaded_ ...

Above 3 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Much, much more space, as:
- the toolbar is thiner
- the buttons save / save & close have disappeared (new icon)
- and above all, the "check spelling" bar has become a mere button on the main bar (no possibility to choose the language anymore, but smart in view of the quality of the Google guess).

The "quote" button is removed and is integrated in the "style" menu.

I'm quite surpised by the double "print" buttons – the classic hyperlink plus the new printer icon, as Google was looking for feedbacks about the "saving paper" advantages of Gdocs.

No change for Spreadsheet, neither for Presentation. At least until now.

RC [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Why does it look more like the old Office UI?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> No change for Spreadsheet, neither for Presentation.
> At least until now.

Here's a comparison of the old vs new Presentation UIs, in case you can't see it live yet:


blogoscoped.com/files/google-d ...

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I think it's also new: you can now "undo" almost all change made in the Docs List. If it's really new, it is a great improvement too.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

They removed the most used commands: cut/copy/paste. A very bad move from Google. The save button is completely unnecessary, while the button for printing is too rarely used to deserve this visibility.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> They removed the most used commands: cut/copy/paste.
> A very bad move from Google.

I also removed them in last week's fictional redesign (blogoscoped.com/archive/2008-0 ...) but that's because I never use them... wonder how many people used these buttons instead of shortcuts like Ctrl+v or Shift+Insert? Perhaps Google compiled usage statistics through the interface?

> The save button is completely unnecessary, while
> the button for printing is too rarely used to deserve
> this visibility.

Agreed on the print button, at least in terms of personal usage, but I kinda like having a save button, as auto-saving doesn't always save, and it's nice to have a button there doing something predictable (e.g. if you enter something quickly into the Google documents editor and then try close the browser window, a dialog pops up alerting you of unsaved changes... if you first hit the save button though and then close the window, it shuts without any alert).

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> They removed the most used commands: cut/copy/paste

Since I'm very used to keypad shortcuts, I'm glad they freed the bar of those useless buttons.

I admit it's selfish... but Google could teach its users to use shortcuts for editing: when navigating in a website like youtube.com, it is cool to use only the mouse, but on a document, seriously, our hands are on the keypad and we need space to compensate the big size of the navigation+google+boomark+status bars

I have optimized my browser's bars (see the snapshot) but I want Google to optimize more and more their navigation tools.
base.googlehosted.com/base_med ...

Here are the shortcuts that save me much time in Gdocs:
Ctrl +1/2/3 > change style
Ctrl + space > remove formating
Ctrl + Shift + L > bullet list (+ Shift or Shift + Tab to move)
Ctrl + K

Bill Mac [PersonRank 9]

11 years ago #

People who don't know how to copy/paste shouldn't be allowed on the Internet.

There, problem solved :)

I actually think a Print button makes sense. I think uninitiated people are at least sometimes looking for one when they use new apps. As for the multitude of print options, I agree there is no need for them. But they are superfluous concessions compared to the feature bloat of lots of software out there, so I'll let it slide.

I guess you could debate the necessity of the Save button as well. Why do 24 hour donut shops have locks on the front door if the doors are never locked? I think Philipp is right on this.

Personally, I like useful, shiny things. [adjective order important]

Bill Mac [PersonRank 9]

11 years ago #

<<I have optimized my browser's bars>>

Not to pimp extensions, but you should check out the Tiny Menu extension to get even more room for your super-toolbar.

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]bill mac oh, thanks a lot. you'll change my life :)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> People who don't know how to copy/paste shouldn't
> be allowed on the Internet.

Though at least on Windows there are also popular shortcuts for save, print, undo and redo (Ctrl+s, Ctrl+p, Ctrl+z and Ctrl+Shift+z), and those buttons are still in the new toolbar. I suppose one difference for undo and redo is that people don't always expect a web app to handle this, e.g. for stuff like a font style change picked from the menu, whereas we kind of expect Ctrl+c/x/v to work in most text boxes?

Ben Allen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I'm diggin' it. It looks cleaner and seems quicker.

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I would be very interested in a survey about shortcuts use, as I'm still amazed by the number of people who still click on the undo/redo buttons, either they know Ctrl+Z/Y or not (and many of them completely ignore those shortcuts!). For information, most of those people are graduating students in marketing/business (i.e they spend more than 1.5 hour a day on the Internet).

Bill Mac [PersonRank 9]

11 years ago #

Agreed, although there are different Windows conventions for Redo, which sucks when it bites you in the ass.

To me, Ctrl+x/c/v are actively passive commands (and far more 'standard' than the others noted). You can actually do something without meaning to, but what you can do is pretty harmless, so the risk of not doing what you intended to do is lower. Also, x/c/v feels more like an O/S command, even to people who have no idea what an O/S is. Save/Print/Undo/Redo etc. are all application-specific in their meaning, but I think the x/c/v functions are so universal that people with even the slightest proficiency learn their meanings quickly.

We need buttons when there are cross-application issues with different key commands for common actions. Users know about these issues, which is why they don't use the more obscure commands unless they are truly comfortable with an app. Web apps further complicate things.

But how to play nice? OpenKeyCommands .org?

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

The drag-n-drop of docs on a contact let share them directly. finally.

drtimofey [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Note that Google Doc's cut/copy/paste buttons didn't work in the first place. Whenever you click on any of the buttons, Google would open a pop-up explaining that copy/paste is not possible, and asked you to use keyboard shortcuts.

drtimofey [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

The cut/copy/paste buttons didn't work in Firefox.
Source:
googlesystem.blogspot.com/2006 ...

RichK [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

um, it looks like Office and Word. It's rather obvious.

Josue R. [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

This is great, now my eyes don't have to bleed blue with all common Google colors in every app.

shady [PersonRank 3]

11 years ago #

when i log into google docs it says that a problem was encountered with the server and to check back later. it kept doing this when i logged in and out. i thought i could not access my docs. I check my docs anyways to see if it worked and it did.

Now when i log into google docs the "problem encountered with server" message briefly appears and disappears when docs first starts to load.

It still does it every time now.

Anyone else experiencing this?

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Nobody seems to have mentioned that Wingdings has been added to the Font list :-D

Scott Cunningham [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Not sure if this is new or not, but...

The font type, size, color, and background color drop-down now have a checkmark next to the current selection. Nice feedback.

Ben Allen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

This must be because Google Sites is launching.

David Mulder [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Why aren't they building some kind of customizeable toolbars... like in firefox and they could probably use the buttonface colours to make it look wel in any OS.

Personally I use Google Docs a lot and I liked the old interface better... but I see that's only me.

Inferno [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I believe the color selection menu is also new... Anyways great changes!

Rob [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Now if only they'd sort out that god-awful front page explorer design...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> I believe the color selection menu is also new

Yep, it is, and doesn't include all the colors used in the old color menu... so if you used specific colors for specific labels you'll now have to rethink. In general though the new color picker looks better, for instance because it's clearer what you had selected, and it also allows some base colors you can easily relocate. On the other hand, sometimes when you open the menu and then move to a color towards the bottom-right, the menu will accidentally collapse as you move some pixels outside of it (an issue that's fixable by e.g. redefining the menu area by some pixels and/ or allowing a bit more of a delay before the menu collapses, at least when you're still somewhere near it).

> um, it looks like Office and Word. It's rather obvious.

Yeah, and that part raises some (semi)subconscious dislike here, as it makes me think of all the usability issues I had with MS Office :)

Rich [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

What a shame they couldn't do this without sacrificing good taste – gradients make baby cheeses cry. Still, you get what you pay for...

Comparisons with locally installed applications are kinda invalid, because about the only people who get to choose which version of an application they run are home users, and those who work for small businesses. Working for a big company or a huge corporation means settling for what the IT department rolls out. Standardisation is key. That's not to mention the real reason for upgrading: security. Plus, the bigger the corporation, the slower they are to roll out applications and OS updates!

Ignoring the privacy issues with having Google have undisclosed access to all your data with undisclosed use of that data, the way Google updates its apps is bold and edgy.

Give me the ability to run Google apps on my own trusted server so I can have trusted company private data on there, and I'll start using 'em. Until that time, I'll only use Gmail, and only for trivial missives.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> Working for a big company or a huge corporation
> means settling for what the IT department rolls out.

OK, but the sysop will still get to decide what to roll-out, and ideally (hopefully) compares this with company requirements. So let's say 1000 people are using the copy and paste buttons all the time AcmeSoftware v1, then the sysop could check AcmeSoftware v2 and not roll it out if it doesn't have these buttons anymore. (Until the day, of course, when v1 becomes officially unsupported, forcing a paid upgrade, and making Microsoft... err, Acme Inc richer!)

Matt [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I miss the "save and close" button!

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]Matt
I'm used to the spell checked being at the bottom. I have to retrain myself

Adam Snider [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I like it, but I miss the "Save & Close" function. Has it been rolled into a new button that I'm just not seeing? Because Docs auto-saves, I rarely use the "Save" button, but I always used "Save & Close" when I was done working on a document.

Ivan [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I really loved the possibility to choose the language in the "check spelling" bar... I really need this feature. My google docs is in Catalan, but sometimes I need to check my spelling in Spanish...
Google docs was the unique application where I could do this. :(

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

The spell checker from Google Docs is extremely poor for some languages, but at least it automatically detects your document's language so it's not necessary to change it manually.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

<<I like it, but I miss the "Save & Close" function. >>

Click on "Docs Home". It has the same effect as Save & Close.

Ivan [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Wow Ionut Alex, it's true!!! fantastic!! Thanks!

Ludwik Trammer [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

The toolbars for "Edit" and "Insert" are totally inconsistent, and have even different hight...

Anonymouse [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Ionut Alex. Chitu wrote:
"The spell checker from Google Docs is extremely poor for some languages, but at least it automatically detects your document's language so it's not necessary to change it manually."

Sorry but that's simply not true. It detects which interface language you set for your Google Docs interface. Which is not always the same language your want to spell.
E.g. I use the English (US) interface setting but if I want to write a letter in Dutch, German or French I can't spell check it as only does a spell check in English (US)... :(

Adam Snider [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

<blockquote>Click on "Docs Home". It has the same effect as Save & Close.</blockquote>

Cool. Thanks!

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]anonymouse:
It works well for me, wether I write in English or French in an English UI. Not sure that it only checks the UI language. At least not for French (that's the reason why of the "auto" option).

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

<<Sorry but that's simply not true. It detects which interface language you set for your Google Docs interface. Which is not always the same language your want to spell.
E.g. I use the English (US) interface setting but if I want to write a letter in Dutch, German or French I can't spell check it as only does a spell check in English (US)... :(>>

Absolutely incorrect. My language for the interface is English, but I typed some texts in French, Italian and Romanian and Google Docs detected the language, providing good suggestions in the spell checker. You must remember that the default option in the drop-down spell-checker was Auto.

shady [PersonRank 3]

11 years ago #

Now when i log into google docs the "problem encountered with server" message briefly appears and disappears when docs first starts to load.

It still does it every time now.

Anyone else experiencing this?

Anonymouse [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Ionut Alex. Chitu wrote:
"Absolutely incorrect. My language for the interface is English, but I typed some texts in French, Italian and Romanian and Google Docs detected the language, providing good suggestions in the spell checker. You must remember that the default option in the drop-down spell-checker was Auto."

Hmm, I can't get the 'auto' setting to work. Not in an existing document, not in a new one. I used a piece of text with paragraphs in English, German and French, first copied them to notepad to be sure to have text without nay language hints then pasted it into a fresh new Google Docs document.
Doing a Google Docs spell check – which labels the word yello – worked totally eratically. Somehow took all text as being German (which was the middle of my three text snippets; my interface langue being English) which resulted in a lot of German word suggestions for English text, some marked but 'No suggestions' in both German and French.
I tested this in both FF2.0.0.12 and IE6 which both showed exactly the same behaviour.

Because I want to believe you without a doubt, I wonder if we can determine if you're simply lucky having the Google Docs spell check work,,,

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

French:


img132.imageshack.us/img132/93 ...



German:


img147.imageshack.us/img147/40 ...



(edited texts from Le Monde and Spiegel)

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

From Google Docs help:

<<Spell check can detect the language you're writing in and provide spelling suggestions in that particular language.>>

docs.google.com/support/bin/an ...

This doesn't work for documents written in multiple languages, but
I bet most documents don't mix different languages.

Anonymouse [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Ionut Alex. Chitu wrote:
"This doesn't work for documents written in multiple languages, but
I bet most documents don't mix different languages."

And here's what it's all about: the user has no longer control over which language to choose for the spell check. Which is exactly what is needed when you intermix languages. This worked before, but now the spell check defaults to 'auto' the user is left with less options. Google Docs was one of the few word processors that would let you do a spell check in the language of your choice, not always the best possible spell check, that's true, but the feature was much appreciated.

(It's like the auto-detect for the language settings in Google Docs, this drives some expats crazy as they suddenly become presented with e.g. a German or Japanese interface because of this. Fortunately the interface language setting can be manually changed to become permanently one langue of choice; the same should apply for the spell check...)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

You can also still right-click with Firefox, right? (And install additional Firefox spellchecking language packs IIRC.)

It's a problem though that all the words you add into the Google Docs dictionary aren't automaticlaly shared with Firefox, and Firefox doesn't permanently store its dictionary on some server yet. Also, AFAI Docs doesn't let yu edit your added words, or does it? E.g. when you accidentally add a spelling error to the whitelist...

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Interesting. I'm surprised that nobody complained that Google Translate only works for texts written in a single language.

Anonymouse [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Ionut Alex. Chitu wrote:
"Interesting. I'm surprised that nobody complained that Google Translate only works for texts written in a single language."

That's a nasty reaction. Google Docs did allow the user to select which spell check language to use. That was a great feature. They now removed that option. That's what bothers me.

Note when translating through Google Translate you are allowed to select your source and destination languages.

Would you prefer a – hypothetical – smart interface that always would guess the source language and always translate to the language you set for your Google interface? (IMHO you would like that only those times these choices would fit your purpose. The times that you'd like to see some different source and destination language pair used and Google Translate would have no option to set them you wouldn't be that happy ;-)

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Here's a small hack to set the language of the document. Copy this in the address bar before spell checking:

javascript:Q4l("de");

Replace "de" with the right language code and click on the spell checking icon. Maybe Google should provide an option for this in the interface.

Anonymouse [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Ionut Alex. Chitu offered:
"javascript:Q4l("de");"

A very nice hack! Thank you very much! Would you by chance happen to know the code for English (UK) (Many British users find it horrible they can't spell check in "the Queen's English")?

B.t.w. the spelling suggestions that Google Docs offers are terrible. I tried your hack with "nl" as the language settings and some suggestions looked like incorrect words added to the dictionary, i.e. not like correct Dutch at all. E.g.:
<SPAN class=misspell id=bad_word suggestions="probles,problees,probrems,
probleem,problemen">problems</SPAN>
Note e.g. the suggestion 'problees' this word only appears in eight (8) Dutch web pages (checked with Google) and in all of them it's a typo.

I just hope Google isn't using user added words (which often goes wrong and can't be corrected) in their suggestions...

(Thanks again!)

Gill [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

en-gb should do the trick for English

David Saunders [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I like it so much!

I run my entire small business on Google Apps and now Docs gets better

David
Charlotte, NC

Motti [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Has the list of users *currently* editing entirely disappeared? It used to be at the bottom (colour coded) and is very useful when doing concurrent collaborative editing, which I do quite a lot of.

Is there now no way to see this?

Anonymouse [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Ionut Alex. Chitu offered:
"javascript:Q4l("de");"
Ionut Alex. Chitu, Gill,
Here are some more language codes to try with the Google Docs spell check patch:

"in", 'Bahasa Indonesia'
"ca", 'Català'
"da", 'Dansk'
"de", 'Deutsch'
//"et", 'Eesti keel'
"en-gb", 'English (UK)'
"en-us", 'English (US)'
"es", 'Español'
"fil", 'Filipino'
"fr", 'Français'
"hr", 'Hrvatski'
"it", 'Italiano'
//"is", 'Íslenska'
"lv", 'Latviešu'
"lt", 'Lietuvi;ų'
"hu", 'Magyar'
"nl", 'Nederlands'
"no", 'Norsk (bokm;&#x00e5l;)'
"pl", 'Polski'
"pt-br", 'Português (Brasil)'
"pt-pt", 'Português (Portugal)'
"ro", 'Română'
"sk", 'Slovenský'
"sl", 'Slovenščina'
"fi", 'Suomi'
"sv", 'Svenska'
//"tl", 'Tagalog'
"vi", 'Ti;ếng Vi;ệt'
"tr", 'Türkçe', // disabled due to bug 539864
"cs", 'Česky'
"el", 'Ελληνικ;ά'
"ru", 'Русский'
"sr", 'Српски'
"uk", 'Українська'
"bg", 'българск&#x0438'
"iw", 'Hebrew'
"ar", 'Arabic'
"hi", 'हिन्दी'
"th", 'ภาษาไทย'
"zh-tw", '中文(繁體)'
"zh-cn", '中文(简体)'
"ja", '日本語'
"ko", '한국어'
// TODO: Translate into native languages
"bn", 'Bengali'
"gu", 'Gujarati'
"kn", 'Kannada'
"ml", 'Malayalam'
"mr", 'Marathi'
"or", 'Oriya'
"ta", 'Tamil'
"te", 'Telugu'

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