Friday, December 23, 2011

Google Docs and Sites 2011: A Year in Review


This year, we introduced over 100 new features to Google Docs to make creating, sharing, and collaborating in the cloud an even better experience.

In addition to the features you asked for the most, like page numbers and vertical merge, here are our team’s favorite improvements of 2011:

 Thanks for following along -- we look forward to bringing you more in 2012.

The new look is now the permanent interface for Google Docs, Docslist, Spreadsheets and Sites


The new look is now the permanent interface for Google Docs, Docslist, Spreadsheets and Sites. 

Major changes to your Documents List include -
- The Upload button is now an icon rather than a text button. It shows an up-arrow coming out of a hard drive.
- To access the Narrow by options, click the down arrow in the search box at the top of your window.
- To create a doc from a template, click the Create button, and select From template....


Major changes to Docs, Spreadsheets, and Sites include -
- Click the Share button to share your item with other people or modify the sharing settings. Options such as Publish to a web page and Email collaborators have moved to the File menu.
- The Share button will now show the visibility state of your doc when you mouse over it.
- Since Google Docs continuously saves your work, the Save button has been removed. The last updated time now shows near the menu bar.
- There's now a button that lets you navigate back to your Documents List, in place of the Google Docs logo. Mouse over the doc name, and click the left arrow icon to get back to your Documents List.

Updates to the Gmail app for iOS

When we launched the Gmail app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, we said we were just getting started and would continue to release updates regularly. Today we updated the app with some new features and interface improvements.

We've added the ability to set a custom signature for your mobile messages and a vacation responder, both available through the gear icon at the top of the menu view. We've also improved labels with support for nested labels:




Additionally, if you are using iOS 5, we've changed the notification sound so that it’s easier to distinguish when you've received an email. 

We’ve also got another fun feature to make your language even more colorful (in a good way!). In the Gmail app and Gmail for mobile you can now open up a canvas and scribble a message that will be attached to your email. It's perfect for sending a quick sketch that is hard to express in words or adding a fun graphic to make your email more personal.

Scribbles support different colors, brush sizes, lines, erasers and spray paint. This example was created in the Gmail app on an iPad:




Behind the scenes, we're continuing to work on highly requested features like banner notifications, multiple login support and the ability to send-as from any account already configured in Gmail. We want to make sure these are done right as we continue to improve the Gmail app.

The update is available in the App Store and works on all devices running iOS 4+.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Free calling within the US and Canada through 2012


Google extended free domestic calls within the US and Canada for 2012.

Try Google presentations. No login required.


We recently launched a new version of Google presentations with many new features to help you create beautiful presentations together. We’ve added the new editor to our Docs demos to make it easier to test drive your presentation building skills.

Check out the new animations and transitions, get artsy with drawings, and show off your masterpiece to a friend or colleague. You can share the link in the demo with others and work on the same presentation together. No login required. No Google account needed. Just go to docs.google.com/demo to take it for a spin.


The new Google presentations continues to gradually roll out to all users. You can try it in the demo and if you like it, you canenable it in your Docs settings.

Designing Gmail’s new left navigation


One of our goals for Gmail's new look was to make Gmail feel more like a native application with independently scrolling panels rather than a website that scrolls as a single page. This design approach brings with it many advantages: the search box and primary navigation are always in the same place, your inbox unread count is always visible, etc. As with any design decision there were challenges with making this change. People with lots of labels might have their chat contacts pushed entirely off the screen and those with gadgets, like the Google Docs or Calendar gadgets, might have to scroll the left panel past both the labels and the chat contacts in order to see them. 

We went through a number of different design revisions to try and address these issues as elegantly as possible. We experimented with several accordion designs, which stack sections on top of each other but only allow one or two to be open at a time.



We also experimented with designs that involved only one scrolling region, but showed fewer entries per section.



The final design combines aspects of both approaches. It is a ducking accordion design with only two sections. The bottom section has two tabs, one for chat and one for gadgets, with room to add more tabs in the future. The upper section, which contains labels, expands to show all of the visible labels when you mouse over it. This allows you to see chat contacts but still give quick access to the labels. Best of all, you can easily adjust the balance between labels and chat to fit your own personal preference by dragging the divider between the sections up and down.



This design went through a number of iterations as well. We carefully adjusted the timing and triggering behavior of the expanding labels section to minimize accidental triggering. We noticed in usability testing that having the labels section expand when you are mousing over the Inbox label delete didn't work for everyone. We tweaked the system only to expand if you moved your mouse below the inbox label and keep it there for a moment. We also tried to ensure that if you are moving your mouse to click on a particular label or chat contact, that label or chat contact will never move out from under you.

The end result is a system that is more flexible, more responsive, and always keeps your chat contacts and unread count visible without adding a lot of complexity or requiring too much clicking around.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hide morning and night hours in Calendar


How often do you have something scheduled at 3am? What about 10pm? If the answer is almost never, you might want to try out the Hide morning and night lab in Google Calendar.


With a simple drag of a slider you can fold all those empty hours into a single row to set the time range you want to hide. The folded rows still show all your events, just in more compact form.


We're launching this in Calendar Labs (Settings > Labs) to gather feedback on how people end up using this feature. So don’t forget to tell us what you think about this latest addition.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

More flexible mobile device management with Google Apps


Posted by Hong Zhang, Software Engineer

These days it’s commonplace for employees to bring personal mobile devices to work, expecting to get all kinds of business done on-the-go, and this can be both a blessing and a challenge to IT managers. The importance of keeping mobile devices and data secure is as essential as ever.

Starting today, comprehensive mobile device management is available at no extra charge to Google Apps for Business, Government and Education users. Organizations large and small can manage Android, iOS and Windows Mobile devices right from the Google Apps control panel, with no special hardware or software to manage.

In addition to our existing mobile management capabilities, IT administrators can now see a holistic overview of all mobile devices that are syncing with Google Apps, and revoke access to individual devices as needed.


Organizations can also now define mobile policies such as password requirements and roaming sync preferences on a granular basis by user group.


Also available today, administrators have the ability to gain insights into mobile productivity within their organizations, complete with trends and analytics.


Finally, we’re also updating the Google Apps Device Policy app for Android. The new version provides users with more transparency about information available to administrators, and includes support for Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. These new mobile management features will roll out for customers on the Rapid Release track starting today, and will be coming to Scheduled Release customers in a matter of weeks. We invite you to explore our help center for more details.

How real users helped us develop Gmail’s new look



Posted by David Choi, User Experience Researcher

When building Gmail’s new look, our goal was to make the most engaging, accessible, and most of all, easy to use email experience possible. To accomplish that, we had many real Gmail users try out changes to the look and provide feedback during its development.

One of the most important ways we obtained feedback was through usability studies. In these types of studies we observe people trying out our products in a controlled environment. We invited Gmail users from all walks of life to participate in usability studies and used the results to find problems and identify improvements before we launched.

For Gmail’s new look, we started very early. Long before any Googler began using or even building the new look, our designers created an early prototype. We then had Gmail users participate in a usability study either by coming to one of our offices or remotely connecting from their homes.

An example of one of our usability labs. People in usability studies use our products on the pictured computer while they are being observed through a one way mirror and video cameras from the room next door.

The study participants evaluated the early prototype by doing many of their everyday Gmail tasks, such as reading, sending, and replying to emails. We then looked at how easy or difficult it was to complete those tasks, and made changes based on this feedback. For example, one of the things we found with our prototype was that we had put too much emphasis on conversation level actions at the expense of per-message actions. As a result, our study participants had difficulty finding the reply button on each message. In response, we changed its appearance, size, and location to make the reply button easier to see.

As we continued to develop the new look, we evaluated our progress through additional usability studies with even more people. Much of what we captured from these studies was users’ first reactions to the new look. But Gmail is something people use repeatedly, not just once. So in addition to first impressions, we were also interested in seeing how people adjusted to the new look as they used it repeatedly in their daily lives. To find that out, we conducted a different kind of study called a longitudinal study. Longitudinal studies are used to observe the longer term effects our products have on people’s usage.

The longitudinal study consisted of turning on the new look for a group of Gmail users. We captured their initial reactions after their first experience. Then we let them use the new look in Gmail as they normally would as part of their everyday lives. As the days and weeks passed by, we periodically checked with them to see how they were adjusting to all the changes. Like with anything new, there were some changes that our participants initially needed time to adjust to, but later came to prefer as they used the new look more. On the other hand, problems that were not seen during the first couple times of use later emerged after more prolonged use. For example, many of the changes we made to the new left navigation were the result of people reporting their repeated experiences using labels and the chat area over time.

These studies have been absolutely critical in helping us build Gmail’s new look. Much of how it looks and behaves is a result of people participating in these studies and giving us their feedback. If you are interested in becoming a participant in a research study about Gmail or any of Google’s products, you can sign up at google.com/usability.

Don’t want that file downloaded? Ability to restrict file download now in Google Docs


It is now possible to restrict the download of non-Google editor file types in Google Docs. This restriction can be applied to .ppt, .pdf, video, and image files for example.

How to access what's new:
Select the file that you want to restrict, select the ‘More’ menu and choose the new option. Alternatively, right-click a document in the docslist and select ‘prevent viewers from downloading’ from the menu options.

For more information:
https://docs.google.com/support/?hl=en

Improving themes in Gmail’s new look


Reposted from Google Blog

One of the most visible improvements in last week’s Gmail update is the entirely new theme system and the new high definition themes that it supports. This refresh to themes both simplifies them and makes them more immersive. You can browse what some of the new themes look like below:


Themes are now implemented as semitransparent layers on top of a large background image. Each theme uses either a dark or light variant of most UI elements to balance legibility and visibility of the background image, allowing the background image to peek through and provide color and personality. Background imagery can also change based on date, time, or weather. Bringing all these changes together really makes the new themes shine:

Old
New
Old
New

In addition, these changes also reduce the technical complexity of the theme system, which will enable us to create more beautiful and unique themes in the future.

Like the new themes? You can switch to the new look today by clicking on Switch to the new look in the bottom-right of Gmail.

Suggested times in Google Calendar


Creating an event is easy, but finding a time that works for everyone is sometimes tricky and time consuming. To make this easier and save you time, we’ve added a new 'Suggested times' feature to Google Calendar.

To get started, create a calendar event, add guests and click Suggested times. The resulting list will include upcoming times where all participants are available. For example if you want to create an hour long meeting with Kara, and she already has an hour long meeting at 3pm, then times like 2pm and 4pm will be suggested.


As part of our ongoing commitment to accessibility, the list can also be navigated using the arrow keys and is accessible with a screen reader.

For more information, please visit the help center.

Introducing the Gmail app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch



Update: 11/2/11: Earlier today we launched a new Gmail app for iOS. Unfortunately, it contained a bug which broke notifications and caused users to see an error message when first opening the app. We’ve removed the app while we correct the problem, and we’re working to bring you a new version soon. Everyone who’s already installed the app can continue to use it.

Waiting. Walking. Watching TV. Working out. Winding down. Waking up. We check email pretty much everywhere these days. And when we do, we want easy access to our important messages so we can respond quickly and get back to life -- or slinging birds at thieving green pigs.

With that in mind, we’ve created a new Gmail app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. We’ve combined your favorite features from the Gmail mobile web app and iOS into one app so you can be more productive on the go. It’s designed to be fast, efficient and take full advantage of the touchscreen and notification capabilities of your device. And it’s one more reason to switch to Gmail.

Speed
We want to give you the information you need quickly, with minimal effort and distraction. So we’ve included some time-saving features:
  • Get alerted to new messages with push notifications and sounds
  • Find an email in seconds with search across your entire inbox
  • Autocomplete email addresses from your Gmail contacts or select from your device’s address book
  • Upload photos with a click using the new attachment button in compose view
  • On iPad, navigate your inbox and read your mail simultaneously with split view
Upload photos
Reply, move, label and more

Efficiency
Our inboxes overflow with dozens and even hundreds of messages a day—and this can be even more challenging on a smaller screen. The new Gmail app helps organize your mail so you don’t have to go wading through your inbox to find that key message from your boss or loved one:
  • Focus on your important messages first with Priority Inbox
  • Quickly scan countless emails on the same subject with threaded conversations
  • Organize your mail by archiving, labelling, starring, deleting and reporting spam
Threaded conversations on the iPad

Touch
We’ve also optimized the interface so you can perform common actions in Gmail with the lightest touch:
  • Pull down your inbox to rapidly refresh if you’re eager for new mail
  • Swipe right to view your labels without ever leaving your inbox
  • Swiftly scroll through dozens of emails just by sliding your finger
Pull down to refresh
Swipe right to view labels
We hope the Gmail app makes checking email on the go a little easier. It is available in the App Store today and works on all devices running iOS 4+. For more information, check out our help center.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gmail’s new look


Look in the bottom right corner of your inbox to try Gmail's new look. You may have to close chat and task boxes to see the link.

Back in July we showed you a preview of Gmail's new look, and we’ve been working this summer to make even more updates and improvements. Today, we’re giving you an in-depth look at the new design. If you like what you see, over the next few days you’ll be able to switch to the new look by clicking on Switch to the new look in the bottom-right of Gmail.



Streamlined conversations
Conversation view has been completely redesigned to help you read through your email threads. You’ll now see profiles pictures for your contacts, so it’s easier to keep track of who said what. We also stripped out as much as possible so you can focus on communicating with your friends and colleagues.



Elastic density
We know that you use Gmail from a variety of screen sizes and devices, so now the spacing between elements on the screen will automatically change based on the kind of display you’re using. If you prefer a denser view all the time, you can change your density manually in the Settings menu.



New HD themes
Themes have been completely rebuilt to enable us to bring you a new set of beautiful high resolution themes with imagery provided by iStockphoto. We've updated most of the old favorites as well and your theme will be automatically carried over to the new look. Go to the Settings menu to take another look at themes and choose the one that fits you best.



Smarter navigation
The navigation panel on the left keeps your labels and chat contacts in view at all times. It's also more customizable: you can resize the labels and chat areas if you want to see more, or hide the chat area entirely via the chat icon in the lower left. You can also use the arrow keys to navigate around the interface.



Better search
Click the dropdown in the search box to see a new advanced search panel, which makes it easier and faster to find exactly what you're looking for. You can use the same panel to create a filter from any search in just a few clicks.



We’re excited to finally share Gmail’s new look with you. We’ll be bringing these changes to everyone soon, but if you’d like to make the switch right away, we’re rolling out a Switch to the new look link in the bottom-right ofGmail over the next few days.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Google+ is now available with Google Apps


Google Apps fans, today we’re ready to add you to our circles. Google+ makes sharing on the web more like sharing in the real world, and now Google+ is available to people who use Google Apps at college, at work or at home. 

Starting now you can manually turn on Google+ for your organization. Once Google+ is turned on, your users will just need to sign up at google.com/+ to get started. For customers who use Google Apps for Business or the free version of Google Apps and who have chosen to automatically enable new services, Google+ will automatically become available to all of your users over the next several days.*

Google Apps users will have access to the same set of features that are available to every Google+ user, and more. In addition to sharing publicly or with your circles, you’ll also have the option to share with everyone in your organization, even if you haven’t added all of those people to a circle.



Google+ at home, at work and at college
You use Google Apps in lots of different ways, and we expect the same for Google+. Apps users from artists to doctors to parents to students to teachers have told us that they are ready to join the 40 million people already sharing on Google+.

Circles is a great way to share relevant content with the right people. With Circles, your photography crew doesn’t have to get an update about your morning workout, your triathlon team doesn’t have to see all your thoughts on the latest camera gear, and your project teams can be kept separate from all of this.



Hangouts with extras, which combines multi-person video chat with screen sharing and collaboration in Google Docs, lets you work together on projects even when your team can't be in the same room. Whether you’re out of town, working on a project with a distributed group, or just don’t feel like walking to the next building for your meeting, Hangouts with extras can give your team the productivity boost it needs.



Google+ coming to a campus near you
Many students and teachers have sent us their ideas about how they can use Google+ to teach, learn, work, and play. These are a few Google Apps for Education universities from around the world that are bringing Google+ to their campuses today:

  • Abilene Christian University
  • American University in Cairo (Egypt)
  • Arizona State University
  • AT Still University
  • Boise State University
  • Central Piedmont Community College
  • Dublin City University (Ireland)
  • ESSEC Business School (France)
  • Leeds Metropolitan University (United Kingdom)
  • Loughborough University (United Kingdom)
  • Saint Louis University
  • Strathmore University (Kenya)
  • Universidad Panamericana (Mexico)
  • University of Ferrara (Italy)
  • University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Pavia (Italy)
  • University of Portsmouth (United Kingdom)
  • University of Washington
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Wake Forest University

Just the beginning
For those of you who’ve already started using Google+ with a personal Google Account and would prefer to use your Google Apps account, we’re building a migration tool to help you move over. With this tool, you won’t have to rebuild your circles, and people who’ve already added you to their circles will automatically be connected to your new profile. We expect this migration option to be ready in a few weeks, so if you’d like, you can go ahead and get started with your Apps account today and merge your connections once the tool is available.

It took more technical work than we expected to bring Google+ to Google Apps, and we thank you for your patience. This integration is just the beginning. We’ll continue to add features and improve the way that Google+ works with Google Apps, and we encourage you to share your ideas.


* Google+ requires Picasa Web Albums for photo sharing and Google Talk for chat, so if these services are not enabled then Google+ will not automatically become available, even if your domain has chosen to automatically enable new services. The option to automatically enable new services is controlled in the Domain settings tab of the administrator control panel. More information about using Google+ with Google Apps is available in the Help Center.

New option when granting access to Gmail


A new option is now available to users when granting access to their Gmail account. This option controls whether a message is marked as read or unread when accessed by the person delegated to access the account. This is useful for the manager/assistant use cases.

How to access what's new:
In Gmail settings, select the ‘Accounts’ tab and navigate to the ‘Grant access to your account section’. When setting up or modifying access, the new options to mark or leave conversations as read when opened by others are available there.

Note: Administrators can control whether their users have this option to grant access or not via the administrator control panel.

For more information:
https://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&ctx=mail&answer=138350

A fresh start for Google presentations


From the Google Enterprise Blog:
A year and a half ago, we released completely new document, spreadsheet and drawing editors. Google Docs has been picking up speed ever since with more than 60 new features and millions of new users. Today we’re rounding out the suite by previewing a new version of presentations with faster collaboration and more features.


A collaborative approach 
Presentations are made to be shared—whether it’s presenting your thesis to your professors or inspiring colleagues at a conference. And the best presentations are made together, collaborating with others to build a compelling story that captivates your audience. Creating presentations together is easy because you can:
  • See exactly what others are working on with colorful presence markers
  • Edit with your team members simultaneously from different locations
  • Use revision history to see who made changes or to revert to earlier versions
  • Say hello, start a conversation or share new ideas using built-in chat


More than 50 new features 
In the new presentations, we’ve added many of your most requested features, including:
  • Transitions to move between slides with simple fades or spicier 3D effects
  • Animations to add emphasis or to make your slides more playful
  • New themes to create beautiful presentations with distinct visual styles
  • Drawings to build new designs, layouts, and flowcharts within a presentation
  • Rich tables with merged cells and more options for adding style to your data



What’s next
We’re gradually rolling out the new presentations. To get an early start, click on the gear icon in your document list, and selectDocument settings. Then, from the editing tab, check the box to “Create new presentations using the latest version of the presentation editor.” Learn more about getting started with the new presentation editor over at our Help Center.

Many of the new features were built using technologies that are only available in modern browsers. If you’re using an older browser you’ll be able to view, but not edit, the new presentations.

With today’s launch, the Google Docs suite is now built on a single, solid foundation. Now that the groundwork is in place, you can expect more useful and collaborative features, delivered faster than ever before.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Visualize your data with Charts in Google Sites



You can now display charts directly in Google Sites. Once you select a spreadsheet, the editor picks existing charts from the spreadsheet to embed into a Site.

You can decide to choose between two modes Live and Snapshot to show the data.
- Live provides you with dynamic charts. Whenever the chart is loaded in the Site, the chart will display the most recent data in the spreadsheet. This is very useful in cases when the spreadsheet data is updated manually or using a script.
- Snapshot means just that. It’s a snapshot at a point in time, so the chart will store and display the exact same data, regardless of whether you make changes to the underlying data sheet.

How to access what's new:
When editing a page, click ‘Insert Menu’ and choose ‘Charts'.

For more information:
Help Center: http://www.google.com/support/sites/bin/answer.py?answer=1680639 

Experience the new look of Docs and Sites

Reposted from Google Apps Blog: 03 Oct 2011 10:13 AM PDT



Starting today, we’re rolling out the new design for Google Docs and Sites to everyone.

We began rolling out these improvements in early August with the documents list and have since upgraded our entire collaboration suite. You may have noticed that our new look matches other recent Google visual updates, which aim to bring a consistent, improved experience across our products.

Your content is what’s important, and we aim to highlight it with this new design. You’ll see clean menus and toolbars, prominent action buttons, and colorful presence that pops when you’re editing with others.


To people who opted-in to try the new look — thank you. Based on your feedback, here are some of the improvements we made:
  • We made it clearer that your document is always saved, by showing “Saving...” right after you make a change and then “All changes saved” once it’s fully saved.

  • We added an icon to the Share button so you can tell if your document is shared at a glance.

  • If you’re looking for options that were previously under the Share button (e.g. “Email as attachment...”), you can now find these in the File menu.

  • By default, the documents list automatically fits a comfortable number of documents on your screen (large desktop monitors show more, smaller laptop screens show fewer). We also added density options to give you more control:
If you’re not quite ready for the new look, choose Help > Use the classic look (or in the gear menu, for some products). We’ll support the classic look for at least a few more weeks, but encourage you to use the new look, get settled in, and send us any feedback you have.

We hope you enjoy this refreshed experience.

Posted by: Vance Vagell, User Interface Software Engineer

Thursday, September 29, 2011

New apps status dashboard improves visibility


Reposted from Google Enterprise Blog:
Posted: 27 Sep 2011 09:39 AM PDT
Posted by Sumeet Pannu, Site Reliability Engineer Manager

Editors note: This post is part of a series that explores the top ten reasons why customers trust Google with their business data. A complete top ten list can be found here.

People expect their email and productivity tools to just work, and we’re very proud of the reliable services we’ve been able to give our customers. Last year, Gmail was up and running 99.984% of the time, and in the first half of 2011 we’ve delivered 99.99% availability—that’s less than 5 minutes of downtime, on average, per month.

But we aren’t perfect, so providing you with information on how our apps are performing is very important to us, and we’re committed to being transparent with you in the event that something goes wrong.

To this end, we’ve developed a new Apps Status Dashboard that we believe will give you accurate information faster. The former day-by-day design will be replaced by the new dashboard which gives a more clutter-free status with a single, continuous timeline.

The new dashboard shows only service disruptions and outages. The size of the dot will indicate the length of outage and the color will indicate the severity. The dot to the left of the service name will show the current status of the service.


When you click on one of the yellow or red dots in the timeline, you’ll see a single transcript that will display all the status messages until final resolution—even if the outage spanned more than a single day. There will now be a single URL that describes the issue and resolution for the entire outage.


As before, the dashboard is visible to everyone on the web—there’s no username or password required. We hope you’ll find this new presentation of Google Apps status to be even more accessible and useful, and please share your feedback in the comments below.

Multiple sign-in, preferences and auto-responder settings now in Gmail for mobile

The following new features have now been added to Gmail for mobile:
Multiple sign-in: You can now to sign into multiple accounts simultaneously just like on your desktop.
Mobile-specific signature: To let your recipients know that your email has been written on a mobile device.
Vacation Auto-responder: You can now set your vacation auto-responder from the mobile version.



How to access what's new:
Multiple sign-in: To sign into an additional account, click on the account switcher at the bottom of the threadlist, then click ”Sign into an another account”.
Mobile-specific signature: Press the new settings icon, choose your signature, and then check the box to activate it.
Vacation Auto-responder: In your settings, choose a start and end date and specify your message, just like on the desktop interface.

For more information:
http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/introducing-multiple-sign-in-and.html
Gmail for mobile: Visit mail.google.com on your smartphone or tablet browser

Vertical merge, more paste options and more import/export support in Google Spreadsheets



The following new features are now available in Google spreadsheets:

Vertical merge: The merge functionality has been extended to let you create vertical merges across several rows of data.
Paste options: Four new paste special options have been added including: paste all cell contents except borders, formulas only, data validation only, or conditional formatting only.
Import/Export support: You can now convert most pivot tables between Microsoft Excel files and Google spreadsheets.
How to access what's new:
Vertical merge: Select the set of cells you’d like to merge, then click on the down arrow next to the merge icon, and select ‘Merge vertically’.
Paste options: These new options are in a list under “Paste Special” in the ‘Edit’ menu of Google spreadsheets.
Import/Export support: To import a pivot table you created in Microsoft Excel, click the ‘File’ menu in Google spreadsheets, and select ‘import’, then select the file from the import options, and click the ‘import’ button. If you’ve created a pivot table in Google spreadsheets, go to ‘File’ in the spreadsheet, then click ‘Download As’, and choose ‘Excel’.

For more information:
http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2011/09/this-week-in-docs-importexport-and.html
http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2011/09/merge-cells-vertically-in-google.html

Gmail and Gmail for mobile go global again, available in Persian

You may think that Google services being introduced in Persian doesn't affect you too much, but have you noticed that on the new layout for Google Apps, there is less text and more icons. Just a guess, but universally recognized icons make it easier to collaborate through multiple languages. Go to the wrench rather than look for the word settings (which in another language may not be called settings). Any way if the need for Google in Persian arises, you're all set.




Reposted from Google Apps Blog:


At Google, we want to make our products universally accessible and useful, and that means providing them for as many people as possible in the language they speak. The Gmail and Google Localization teams have worked together to bring Gmail to people around the world in 53 languages. Today that number grows to 54, because we’re proud to announce that through working with the Persian Initiative Team, we are able to release Persian (Farsi - فارسی), as the newest language available in Gmail. If you or someone you know speaks Persian, they can change the language in Gmail by selecting it on the Gmail settings page, under the language dropdown.



Gmail for mobile is also now available in Persian through your mobile browser.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Introducing multiple sign-in and preferences on Gmail for mobile



The Gmail for mobile team works hard to bring you features that make you more productive on the go. Today, we will highlight some new features for Gmail in your mobile browser.

Multiple sign-in support

Just like on your desktop, you can now to sign into multiple accounts simultaneously. To sign into an additional account, click on the account switcher at the bottom of the threadlist, then click ”Sign into an another account.” You can quickly switch between accounts by selecting the desired account from the Accounts menu.



Mobile-specific signature

We know that autocorrect and other mobile spell-checks can be frustrating as you are typing on the go. Let your friends know that you are responding via your mobile phone so that they understand why you might have sent a message that you are meeting for "monitors" and not "mojitos". It's an easy way to make them understand why your message might be short or have a few typos. To create a mobile signature, from the menu view, press the new settings icon, choose your signature, and then check the box that tells us you want to activate it. If you ever want to disable the mobile signature, you can uncheck the box and we will use your desktop signature instead.


Vacation Auto-Responder

Ever forgotten to set your out-of-office auto-reply in Gmail before going on a trip? You don’t have to worry about that anymore, since you can now set your auto-reply using the mobile interface. Simply choose a start and end date and specify your message, just like on the desktop interface.



As part of added multiple sign-in support, we’ve updated URLs so that each account can have a separate bookmark. For those who have previously bookmarked Gmail for Mobile, please update your bookmark. If you haven’t, now is a great time to head to mail.google.com on your smartphone or tablet browser and add a bookmarkto your home screen.

This week in Docs: Format painter, Google Fusion Tables, and drag & drop images



This week in Docs,  three new tools are being introduced that put the fun in functional.

Format painter in Google documents

First, format painter was added to help you copy formatting within Google documents. The new format painter allows you to copy the style of your text, including font, size, color and other formatting options and apply it somewhere else in your document. To use the format painter, select the text for the formatting you want to copy, press the paintbrush button in your toolbar, and then select the text where you want to apply that formatting.

If you double-click on the format painter icon, you’ll enter a mode that lets you select multiple sections of text so you can apply the same formatting to each section.

You can also use keyboard shortcuts for format painting. To copy the style of your selected text, pressCtrl+Option+C for Mac or Ctrl+Alt+C for Windows. To apply any copied styles to whatever text you have selected, press Ctrl+Option+V for Mac or Ctrl+Alt+V for Windows.


Drag & drop images in Google drawings

It is easier to add images from your desktop to Google drawings. If you’re using the latest version of Chrome, Safari, or Firefox, you can now drag an image from your desktop and drop it directly in the drawing canvas.


Originally posted by: Micah Lemonick, Software Engineer