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New Features in Google Docs

By: Kathleen Tuck   Published 5:30 pm / June 4, 2009

Google has released several new features for Google Docs this past week, including the often-requested ability to import Word 2007(.docx) and Office 2007 (.xlsx) file formats. (If you haven’t upgraded to Microsoft Office 2007, or Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac, the cost is free for University-owned computers via the university’s Microsoft site license. Contact the OIT Help Desk or your local area or college net admin to upgrade.)

In addition, Google Docs now supports several new gadgets for Google Spreadsheet data visualization:

  • Tree Map Gadget (a color-coded area diagram that helps you understand complicated hierarchical data at a glance)
  • Word Cloud Gadget (visualize the popularity of words from large amounts of text)
  • Spider Chart Gadget (visually compare the values of multiple attributes)
  • QR Code Gadget (quickly encode data into the QR code format from a Google Docs spreadsheet so that it can be scanned and read by mobile devices that have a QR code reader)
  • Flash Cards (easily create flashcard sets)
  • Word Study (create interactive word games)
  • Word Search (create an interactive word search from a column of words in a spreadsheet)

To use Google Spreadsheet Gadgets, create a new spreadsheet in Google Docs and choose Insert > Gadgets. More details on the gadgets listed above are available on Google’s Web site.

For questions about using Google Apps, please see the OIT Help Desk’s Web site, or call the Help Desk at ext. 6-4357. You can also e-mail