Google has been steadily improving Google Drive, formerly known as Google Docs, as the powerful online replacement for Microsoft’s Office. Every day Drive gains terrain on the productivity field, dominated by Microsoft for so many years. Every now and then we get a major update that radically changes the UI or adds some really impressive features, but we often get very small yet useful updates. Just like the one added by the Google Drive team yesterday which makes adding some context or related information to a word or sentence much easier and faster than before. Until this change, if you wanted to link something from the web, you had to do a search, copy the URL and paste is as a link where you wanted it, now, all you have to do is highlight the word or sentence you want, hit CTRL+K and the link box will appear, where you can paste the URL if you have it or just start typing your search, which will get you a list with suggestions for search results from the web and even your other Docs. Aside from the keyboard shortcut, you can also use “insert link” from the menu bar.
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Last year, Google bought QuickOffice to boost its productivity services. QuickOffice had great features but probably the best tech for Google was the fact that QuickOffice used the same .DOCX file format than Microsoft uses in Office, which gave Google the ability to offer its user base an alternative way to edit and share their already existent documents. For now, QuickOffice is a standalone app offered for free to Google Apps users and as a paid one for everyone else. Eventually, QuickOffice will be completely integrated with Google Drive and available to everyone, giving Google a great opportunity to steal some more from Microsoft’s hold in this area.
Google Drive might still not be the productivity beast that is Microsoft Office, but the gap is closing and users are starting to notice it. The future is in the cloud, we all know that and Google has always had the advantage on that front.