Google Drive Now Features Add-Ons
Just last week, Google released a huge update to Google Drive: Add-Ons. When you access a document or spreadsheet in Google Drive, you can now take advantage of this new feature. By clicking the add-on menu, you can choose from gallery.
There aren’t a large amount of choices available like you would find in the Chrome Web Store for browser extensions, but the choices will surely grow quickly. Here are some of the best add-ons available right now:
Instead of going to their website and exporting or copying and pasting your works cited, you can now search for your sources right from Google Docs. After you have collected them, you just click add to document and Easy Bib creates your works cited for you. I tried searching for several books and journals that I have used for research previously. It found my books easily, but I wasn’t able to find all of the journal articles that I needed. This is available for MLA, APA and Chicago Style, so if you use one of those you are in luck, but the rest of you will still have to look for another option.
Also useful for writing papers is the Thesaurus add-on. Oftentimes, I can’t quite think of the right word, so I either open the dictionary app on my Mac or go to dictionary.com. Thesaurus eliminates this lengthy process by having the option available within Google Drive. By highlighting a word and clicking Thesaurus from the add-on menu, you will see a list of synonyms pop up.
The last add-on for Google Docs that I looked at was Lucid Chart. It is the only one of these add-ons that still forces you to leave Google Docs to do your work. What I liked about the others is that it prevented me from having to leave the document I was working on. The Lucid Chart add-on gives you access to any charts you created on lucidchart.com and lets you add them into your document. You can continue to make edits at Lucid Chart and easily update the chart in your document, but you still have to do all of the editing outside Google Docs. If you use Google Docs and Lucid Chart a lot, this could be quite useful.
The Translate add-on uses Google Translate to translate your entire document within Google Docs. You just select the text and click translate. A window pops up to the right with the translation, which is currently only available for English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish.
This is easily the add-on I was most impressed with. It allows you to link the sheet to your Google Analytics, Twitter, Facebook, Adwords, Bing Ads or Youtube account and pull data from it. You can then select the time period and metric you want to look at and it will appear in the sheet. If you use a spreadsheet to analyze your social media accounts, you need this add-on.
Delete Blank Rows
This is a very simple add-on. It only does one thing, but is immensely useful. You can highlight the entire document or a section of rows and click delete. The add-on will then delete all of the blank rows in that section. It is very useful to have around, rather than deleting several rows manually.
Messenger allows you to place a chat box on the right side of your document. This is useful for if you do a lot of work collaborating with others. Instead of having to use the built-in comments system or email back and forth, you can keep track of changes, comments and general discussion in one place, right next to your document. It is available for both Google Docs and Google Sheets, but you have to add it to each of them separately.
The new addition of Add-Ons in Google Drive makes it an even more useful for individuals and groups to work on their documents. They allow you streamline your work by spending more time inside your document instead of having to use multiple websites or tools.