Google Docs provides a characteristic we thought it already had: non-printing characters

Google is including a characteristic to Google Docs that allows you to see non-printing characters reminiscent of areas, tabs, and numerous varieties of breaks, the corporate introduced in a blog post on Monday. The possibility, which might be accessible within the View menu, can assist make modifying a doc simpler by displaying you precisely how its formatted reasonably than making you rely purely on what you’ll be able to see to inform whether or not one thing is a tab or a bunch of areas. It can be extra useful when troubleshooting tousled formatting.

Before now, individuals have had to rely on third-party add-ons for Google Docs to see the non-printing characters. While it’s not a characteristic that many individuals can have a lot use for (extra on that in a second), there was positively demand for it. A request on Google’s IssueTracker acquired over 80 votes from individuals saying they have been impacted by the shortcoming to see the characters. Some additionally left impassioned feedback: “My team agrees that this is a major issue with google docs,” wrote one consumer in 2019, whereas somebody requested “How has this not been made available yet??” lower than per week in the past.

This gif reveals what a doc seems to be like with the view mode on and off.
Gif: Google

On the opposite aspect of the coin, I, and several other of my colleagues, have been stunned to listen to that the app didn’t have this characteristic till now. Apparently, none of us had ever come throughout the necessity for it or thought to verify for it — and sure, that does appear a bit odd looking back, on condition that we’re all writers, however I suppose we simply assumed it was there.

I used to be additionally stunned that Google Docs didn’t have it on condition that I keep in mind studying about non-printing characters in an elementary faculty laptop class; Microsoft Word has been capable of present them for pretty much the entire time I’ve been alive. (One of my co-workers recalled that his dad and mom had the characteristic on when he was rising up, which made him suppose that was simply how digital paperwork labored.)

Still, the addition is healthier late than by no means, and I’m certain there are some Google Docs customers which are very excited by this announcement. According to the weblog submit, the characteristic might be accessible to all enterprise, instructional, and private accounts, and needs to be totally rolled out by February seventh.

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