Google has announced a new addition to its Early Adopter Programs (EAP) with a new tool for Google Docs intended to help users avoid grammar errors. The new tool, which the search giant calls “grammar suggestions,” will be integrated directly into the already available spell checking tool. Probable issues with grammar will be underlined but will be highlighted with a blue line rather than the red coloration usually used for typos. Right-clicking will cause a card-style menu to pop up with buttons to swap the word out for a suggested fix or to ignore and dismiss the indicator. Meanwhile, the grammar checker will also be added to the standalone spell-checker tool that’s found in the tools heading. Using the full-featured checker allows users to wait until they’ve finished typing up a document before correcting any possible errors.
As with the real-time checker, a card-style box is used and the software automatically cycles through highlighted words or phrases as the user chooses to either ignore or fix those. That brings its functionality more in line with its primary competition in the document editing sphere – namely, Microsoft’s Office software. It also makes sense in light of the popularity of the company’s Chromebooks in the education sector and a lack of support for competing document editors. However, as with an increasing number of Google offerings, the search giant is taking grammar suggestions beyond basic code and centering its latest feature around advances in A.I. Behind the scenes, Google says its grammar checker is powered by the same machine learning algorithms as its spelling checker and natural language search feature. That means that the tools should continuously improve over time and as more users take advantage of it.
In the meantime, this tool is currently only available for testing for eligible applicants chosen by Google via its EAP initiative. No time-frame has been put forward with regard to when grammar suggestions will roll out to a wider audience or whether the tool will be included in every iteration of the software. For the time being, the associated announcement seems only to apply to the web-variation of the software but that could change with further reveals once the test has been completed.