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Smart Canvas supercharges Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets for collaboration

At the Google I/O developer conference, the company announced a new way of working in Google Workspace that puts online collaboration in the spotlight.

At its basics, it’s a host of new features that connect some of the disparate parts of Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides into a unified project management tool.

For example, you can now create a task list within Google Docs, tag other collaborators on it, and link to other important Docs, Sheets, or Slides. An important piece of the puzzle is Google Meet, which is the company’s Zoom competitor for video calls. It replaced Google Hangouts last year and is now being more fully integrated into the entire suite of applications.

You can start a Google Meet call right from within a document or slideshow while collaborating on it.

This interaction is all based on a simple “@” mentions system, which lets you tag things like other collaborators, meetings, or documents right from within Google Docs. Google calls it “smart chips,” and it’s the underlying system that empowers this more embedded connection within the Google Workspace.

Google says the point of it all is to create a “highly interactive, actionable plan” that project managers and collaborators can work from.

There are a host of other features coming to these web apps too, such as a pageless view in Google Docs and a timeline view for Google Sheets.

Google even highlighted its ability to suggest more inclusive language while assigning tasks, such as using chairperson instead of chairman.

These new features will be rolled out by the end of the year, but Google did not give a specific date.

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Luke Larsen
Luke Larsen is the Senior editor of computing, managing all content covering laptops, monitors, PC hardware, Macs, and more.
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