Google's new Docs update is a treat for productivity-obsessed writers

Google’s new Docs update is a treat for productivity-obsessed writers

Docs will let you highlight and work with multiple sections of text at the same time

From research, to typing, to fact-checking, content writing can be seriously time-consuming. As a result, writers are always on the lookout for hacks that can help make things easier or speed up the process, even just a little. Google’s latest Docs update does exactly that by introducing a potentially game-changing feature that streamlines repetitive changes, hopefully making formatting and editing documents that much faster.

Google announced on its Workspace blog that Docs will now be able to highlight multiple text selections simultaneously. That simple yet helpful quality-of-life tweak means you can delete, copy, paste, or format multiple unconnected sections of text from the same document. Say you were looking to format some subheadings, for example: Instead of applying the heading setting to individual lines, you’ll be able to select all of those in one pass, and then mass-apply the change at once. The same applies when you want certain parts of your document to use different fonts, or any other formatting change.

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Users will be able to take advantage of the feature with keyboard shortcuts that vary based on the operating system. For ChromeOS and Windows, you can enable multiple text selection by highlighting a section of your text, then pressing Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Left/Right arrow, using the left and right arrows to move to a new section. On Mac, simply highlighting a section of the text and pressing Ctrl + Command (⌘) + Shift + Left/Right arrow should do the trick. The ability is being rolled out gradually and might take up to 15 days before it arrives for you. But once it does, bloggers can use it to take their productivity through the roof.

Google’s always updating Docs to make it more feature-rich. Earlier this month, it introduced table templates and dropdown chips. And at Google I/O 2022, the company announced auto-summaries for Docs (and other Workspace products) that will leverage years of Google’s AI advances to parse your documents, pull out the most important tidbits, and create a summary.


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