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Google Docs Makes Formatting Faster By Allowing Multiple Text Selections

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Google is rolling out a nifty new feature to Docs. It now lets you select multiple sections of text at once, and apply actions such as cut, copy, paste, delete, insert, or format to all selections in one go. For instance, you can select all sub-headers in a document and simultaneously increase/decrease the font size, style, or color. In its current iteration, you have to repeat the same step for each sub-header individually. The latest change speeds up formatting and saves time, thus increasing productivity.

According to Google, this change on Docs started rolling out to users on Rapid Release and Scheduled Release domains this Wednesday, May 25th. It should reach all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers, over the next couple of weeks. There is no admin control for it. The feature will be enabled by default for all eligible users once available to them.

Google has also provided keyboard shortcuts for selecting “multiple sections of text” at once. The shortcuts for the Google Docs web client vary by the operating system (OS) of your computer. We have listed them all below.

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  • Chrome OS and Windows: After selecting one section of text, Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Left/right arrow.
  • Mac: After selecting one section of text, Ctrl + ⌘ + Shift + Left/right arrow.

Regardless of the OS, you can always use the Left/right arrow to move to a separate section of text that you want to select. Google Docs for Android, iPhone, and iPad does not support any keyboard shortcut for simultaneous selection of multiple sections of text in a document. Using shortcuts on an on-screen keyboard isn’t as convenient and efficient as on a physical keyboard anyway.

Google Docs gains yet another highly useful feature

Google regularly rolls out new features and improvements to its Workspace tools. It recently added warning banners to Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drive, Google Chat, and many other tools to protect users from potentially malicious or harmful links or files. The banner alerts you if the Workspace tool detects any dangerous item.

Docs also gained the ability to add watermarks to documents earlier this year. It was preceded by a universal @ insertion menu that made linking files and meetings, tagging people, or inserting tables to a document a whole lot easy and fast. You can expect Google to add more such useful features to Docs in the coming months. We will keep you posted.

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Google Docs select multiple text sections simultaneously