Google Docs Adds Version History, Cloud Printing Coming Soon

Some good news for folks using Google Docs as their primary word processor tool.

Google Docs has added a version history feature which lets you upload new versions of the same file to your Google Docs account. Earlier, uploading the same document to your Google Docs account would create a new copy of the document while the older version still remained in your Google docs account.

Managing Version History of Google Docs Documents

Selecting the “Add or manage versions” on any document will open a small popup box where you can choose to upload newer versions of the same file, download a previous version or delete older versions. If you choose to upload the same document, the previous versions will be automatically deleted (no copy is created).

Google Docs Document Versions
Adding Menus in Google Sites And More Sharing Options

A few more features have been added to Google sites as well. Google sites now lets users add drop down menus in a horizontal navigation bar, as seen in the following screenshot:

Google Sites Horizontal Navigation
To add horizontal navigation menus to any Google site you own, click the “More Actions” dropdown and select “Site layout” from the left sidebar. Then drag and drop a navigation element to the header of your Google site.

Sharing features have also been unified across Google docs and Google sites, now you can choose to share a Google site in any one of the following visibility modes:

  • Public – Anyone can view your Google site and the content is accessible to the search engines.
  • Anyone with a link –   Only people with an invitation can view your Google site.
  • Private.

Upcoming: Cloud Printing in Google Docs

Alex Chitu who writes the Google Operating system blog has spotted a unique feature in the source code of a Google docs document. The source code includes a line which says:

Coming soon: Third party applications, cloud printers, and sync devices

Google cloud print is an upcoming project (currently in labs) whose goal is to build a printing experience that enables any app on any device to print to any printer anywhere in the world. Web or desktop applications no longer have to rely on the local operating system to print a document. You would be able to submit a print job using Google’s cloud print service, which will send the print job to an appropriate printer with particular selected options. Here is a diagrammatic view of how Google’s cloud print service is expected to work :

Googlecloud Print service

The cloud print service will be accessible to any type of application which includes web apps like Gmail, desktop tools or an Android/iphone app. We will have to wait for the Google cloud print service to go live, may be till the release of Chrome OS.

One more thing to note is the “sync devices” word in the source code above. Does it mean that in near future, you might be able to sync Google docs documents across multiple Google accounts?

Search Google Docs and Sites in Gmail

Gmail has introduced a new feature in which allows users to search for data in your linked and Google Sites account from within Gmail.

Google Docs and Sites Search for Gmail

The "Apps Search" lab feature extends search with Google Docs and Sites results. It will find the most relevant docs and sites and show them below the Gmail search results. The feature is definitely interesting and will allow users to quickly find documents and pages from the other services.

However, the feature does not seem to be working fully right now as my searches did not return results from my Google Docs account. This might be because Gmail might take some time to index all the files in the Google Docs and Sites account.

To enable the feature go to your Google Labs tab in Settings (click here) and scroll down till you see a header for "Available Labs". Under this header enable the "Apps Search" feature and save your settings.

The next time you use Gmail to search for something, you will also be show results from your Google Docs and Google Sites account.

(h/t @steverubel via @Orli)