Thursday, December 9, 2021

Helpful New Table Options in Google Docs

This week Google added a handful of helpful new features for customizing tables in Google Documents. A couple of the new features are things that I've wanted for years. 

The first new feature that I'm excited about is the option to specify that a table row not be split at a page break. Making that designation keeps the content of the cells in that row together instead of splitting it. I've wanted this option for years because I've always had to tinker with font size and spacing whenever I've wanted to keep a row from splitting. 

Another new feature that I've wanted for years and finally got to use last night is a drag-and-drop option for adjusting the order of rows and columns in a table. This is much easier than copying and pasting cell content to move it into a different order in a table. 

Some other new features of tables in Google Docs makes them act more like spreadsheets than simple tables. You can now pin rows to the top of a table and sort rows according to cell content. 

Finally, there's a new sidebar menu for setting the properties of your table. This doesn't materially change the settings options, it simply moves the menu. 

Applications for Education
This update to tables in Google Docs should make it easier for middle school and high school students to include simple data sets in things like science lab reports or school surveys.

As is the case with nearly all updates to Google Workspace tools, this update is rolling-out over the next couple of weeks. Some users may see the new features already and others may have to wait. I'm already seeing the update in my personal account but I haven't seen it in my Google Workspace for Edu account.