My latest at ProfHacker: All Things Google: Add-ons for Docs and Sheets

Add-ons for Docs and SheetsWe’ve written more than a little about “All Things Google” in this space over the last few years. And, though we realize that there are some legitimate privacy concerns with Google, it’s still the case that their services are very convenient.

So, though it’s good to bear the cautions in mind, this post covers the new tools that Google introduced for Docs and Sheets. Called add-ons, they extend the functionality of these two pieces of Google Drive:

Add-ons aren’t an entirely new idea for Docs and Sheets; scripts for Google Apps have been around for a while (Flubaroo is a good example), but add-ons make these extensions of Google Apps easier to find (previously, only sheets had a script gallery; Docs allowed you to load the script editor to write your own, but searching for a script from within Docs wasn’t possible).

Lifehacker’s put together a list of add-ons that their readers might find useful. Most of their recommendations (with the exception of EasyBib) seem to be fairly business-oriented. Flubaroo is available as an add-on, as is Doctopus, which I’ve not yet tried but which looks really interesting, as does Goobric, which works in conjunction with Doctopus.

There are a couple of important points to note:

  1. Add-ons work only with the latest version of Sheets. While the new version of Sheets will soon be the default for everyone, that’s not the case yet. If you need to enable it, these instructions will do the trick.

  2. If you’re not using Google Apps on Google’s domain, whether or not add-ons and/or the new version of sheets are available to you will depend on the circumstances. Your system administrators probably can’t enable the new version of Sheets — at least, I had no option to do so for the domain I control; it was enabled for me, and users could opt in or not, as they chose — but they can decide to disable add-ons. And at the moment it would appear that the new version of Sheets hasn’t yet rolled out to Google Apps for Education.

If you’ve had an opportunity to experiment with the new add-ons, what’s your experience been like? Do you have any favorite add-ons? Let us know in the comments.

[CC-licensed photo by the author.]

from ProfHacker » Amy CavenderProfHacker – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education

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