Google launched in spring 2021 Smart Canvas, a collaborative Workspace product with timelines, to-do lists, and Meet in Docs integration, among other things. Today it has announced several new features Smart Canvas for Google Docs: summaries and a pageless format for documents, among others, which you will see summarized below.
The first novelty, you will see that when you open a Google Docs document, a summary will appear on the left, which offers a broad overview of the content. The summaries are generated automatically, but you can edit them and create your own.
The pageless format, on the other hand, is designed to give teams more room to collaborate. This creates an uninterrupted flow of information for both writers and viewers. If there are tables and images that tend to take up more space across, a horizontal bar is included.
The rollout of some of the new features has already begun, according to Google. Others will arrive in the coming weeks.
How are the summaries
Google has not specified what technologies it uses to create its text summaries. It must be remembered that OpenAI presented in September of last year a technology based on artificial intelligence capable of making summaries of books. It does not seem that in this case, Google has used this advanced OpenAI technology, because it does not mention anything, but it does say that it has used artificial intelligence.
When you enter a Google Doc text with Smart Canva you can access a short and explanatory summary on the left side of the text. It is very useful especially in work documents, which you share with many colleagues.
Format without pages
This novelty is based on the fact that the page breaks and margins of the traditional formats of document editors -designed to facilitate the printing of physical documents– can make it difficult to collaborate on elements of content.
The pageless format allows us to remove the boundaries of a page to create a surface that expands to the device or screen you are using. This is to give more space to comments, for example. If you want to print or convert to PDF, you can easily switch back to paginated view.
Interactive building blocks
There are interactive building blocks – such as smart tabs, templates and checklists – that open up new collaboration capabilities. You can easily include information such as location, title and information of a team person, instead of just the name.
The current process is complicated, with collaborators composing the email in a document editor and then manually translating it to email. Collaborating on an email draft in Docs is now easier with the new email draft template. When you’re ready to send, just click a button to export the content to an email draft in Gmail and all that information is automatically filled in.
Make data-driven decisions faster
It is not always easy for a person to know what to analyze to make decisions. Sheets now has smart tools to streamline how you get insights from your data. Last year, Google launched its formula suggestion tool, which recommends functions to use based on the data being analyzed, and now accepts more than 3 million formula suggestions every week.
Soon, this feature will integrate formula corrections that will provide smart suggestions to help us fix formulas, catch errors, and get data insights faster. This will arrive “in the next few weeks”.