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Google Docs Has a New Design to Match Gmail

Google Docs light 2840939 1142300.

Google is constantly updating its online suite of productivity apps, including Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drive. Those services will soon have a new design to match the recent Gmail update.

Google announced on its blog, “In the coming weeks, you’ll notice a new look and feel for Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides on the web. Following the release of Google Material Design 3, the refreshed user interface is purposefully designed to streamline core collaboration journeys across our products.”

The new look matches the current Gmail design, as well as the company’s updated apps on Android phones and tablets. Most of the buttons and menus are in the same place, so you won’t have to re-learn how to write a document or edit presentation slides, but there are a few relocated features. Google says the current document status, which includes the last edit and version history, has been moved to a new clock button at the top-right corner.

Google Docs image

This is mostly a visual overhaul, with more rounded corners and padding across the interface. The toolbar on Docs, Sheets, and Slides is now in a rounded box below the menu bar, somewhat resembling the Microsoft Office update on Windows that started rolling out in 2021.

There are a few new features besides the design, though. Google Drive now has inline buttons on some files for quicker access, improved multi-select, and new search chips that can help you filter by type, file owner, and last modified dates. You can now create your own building blocks for Docs, Sheets, and Slides, which can serve as templates for checklists, milestones, tasks, and other work. There’s also new support for variables, allowing you to insert placeholders within a document and then fill them out from a central panel.

New filter “chips” in Google Drive

Google has been adding new “chips” to its web apps recently, and starting with this update, third-party integrations like Atlassian and Zendesk will be able to create chips. For example, pasting a link from a supported service into a document could (optionally) turn into an inline link with the title automatically added, and more details could appear when rolling your mouse over the link.

Google says the new design started rolling out on March 6, 2023 but it won’t appear on some accounts until around March 22.

Source: Google Workspace Updates, Google Workspace