I’m sure I’m not the only person who remembers those long college nights of academic essays, rattling away in Microsoft Word on your computer keyboard. If it was any other assignment, the writing would be much less tedious; but an essay has citations. Thankfully, Google has finally announced the release of citations support for its ever-improving collaborative word processor, Google Docs.
Support for reference styles
This feature will be rolling out later this month. Google’s new citation tool will remove the need for the third-party tools and plugins. Instead, it will introduce support for the most common reference styles: APA, MLA, and Chicago.
Previously, citations had to be entered manually. This often resulted in a drawn-out and tedious process, which the new feature seeks to solve.
“Using this feature, you can easily insert in-text citations and create a bibliography in the MLA, APA, or Chicago (author-date) styles,” Google announced on its blog. This includes support for sources types such as books, book sections, websites, journal articles and newspaper articles.
Less common reference styles such as Harvard and OSCOLA have been left out of the features set. Still, the new feature is more than welcome. With more and more students and professionals using G Suite and Chromebooks, this new tool brings Google’s productivity software one step closer to industry dominance.
Word processor competition
Google Docs is an amalgamation of several web-based word processors Google acquired starting in 2006. It received its name after Google’s acquisition of Quickoffice in 2012.
It has come a long way since then. In its initial implementation, its features set was much more in line with a bare-bones note-taking app than a full-fledged word processor. It took several years before Microsoft began to eye Google’s office suite as a competitor.
Microsoft Word has already tried to implement many of the collaborative features found in Google Docs with mixed success. However, the free software has proven to be quite the contender.
While Microsoft has made marked improvements in its features-packed Office 365 Suite, Google’s G Suite has been doing its best to match Office’s best features without as many bells and whistles.
Other tech companies such as Atlassian and Dropbox have initiated similar word processors and notation apps into their tech ecosystem. However, they have not met nearly as much success.
Google Docs’ new citations support features have begun rolling out as of September 23rd, and may take up to 15 days to be visible for its early users. Organizations on Google’s scheduled release domain timeline will see the feature starting October 15, 2020.
The features will be available to all G Suite customers.