Saturday, June 20, 2009

Google Docs

Google has release several new features for Google Docs this month, including the often-requested ability to import Word 2007(.docx) and Office 2007 (.xlsx) file formats. Google Docs has a size limit on uploaded files (500kb for documents and 1MB for spreadsheets). The Office 2007 document formats are compressed so much larger documents can be uploaded in 500kb of a .docx file than the same file size of .doc or .rtf.

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 website at

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