Posted:
Earlier this month, Google Forms got snazzed up with new customizable and pre-designed themes that let you easily create beautiful surveys—and today’s updates give you even more ways to build and share those surveys.

Find what you’re looking for 
Similar to Docs and Slides, you can use the “Search the menus” shortcut to get quick access to nearly all the features in Forms, without having to dig through the different menus at the top of the page. To find a feature, simply press Alt+/ or look under the Help menu.
New ways to manage your questions 
You’ll also be getting new tools to control how your survey questions appear to others. For example, you can now:
  • mix things up by randomizing the order of questions on quizzes or surveys with the new “shuffle questions” option. 
  • make sure you only get one answer per person by turning on the “only allow one response per user” feature in settings. 
  • limit people to one response per column for grid-style questions using the new option under “advanced settings.” 

Get the word out with shorter URLs 

And of course, what’s the point of creating a survey is you can’t share it with others? To make this easier, now when you click the “Send form” button, you’ll see a checkbox for creating a tidy URL to share. 
Learn more about all the ways you can use Google Forms at google.com/forms/about and stay tuned to our +page and Twitter account to follow along with the latest updates for all the Docs editors.

Posted by Elynn Lee, Software Engineering Intern

Posted:
Cross posted on the Official Google Blog

Imagine trying to keep track of another person’s real-time edits in a document—using only your ears. Or trying to create a table from spreadsheet data—without being able to clearly see the cells. Whether you’re backing up a file in Drive or crunching some numbers in Sheets, it should be easy to bring your ideas to life using Google’s tools. But if you’re blind or have low vision, you may need to rely on assistive technologies such as screen readers and Braille displays—and that can make working in the cloud challenging. While screen readers can parse static webpages (like this blog) relatively easily, it’s much harder for them to know what to say in interactive applications like Google Docs because the actions they need to describe are much more complex.

With these reasons in mind, today we’re announcing some improvements to Drive and all our editors—Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, and Forms—specifically designed with blind and low-vision users in mind.
Improved screen reader support in Drive and Docs 
In June, we introduced a new version of Drive that’s sleeker, easier to navigate and much faster. But just as importantly, the new Drive also includes better keyboard accessibility, support for zoom and high-contrast mode and improved usability with screen readers.

Across Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings and Forms, you’ll find that it’s now much easier to use a screen reader, with nicer text-to-voice verbalization and improvements to keyboard navigation. You’ll also notice other updates, including:

  • Support for alt text on images in Docs, so you can tell a screen reader what they should say to describe an image 
  • Better support for using a keyboard to edit charts and pivot tables in Sheets 
  • Additional screen reader improvements specifically for Docs, Sheets and Slides, including support for spelling suggestions, comments and revision history 
  • The ability to quickly search the menus and perform actions in Docs, Slides and Drawings (and soon Sheets and Forms)—even if you don’t know the action’s key sequence 
Collaborating with others is easier too: in Docs, Sheets, Slides or Drawings, screen readers announce when people enter or leave the document, and you’ll now also hear when others are editing alongside you.

Refreshable Braille display support 
If you use a Braille display, you can now use it to read and enter text in Docs, Slides and Drawings. Even if you don't use a Braille display, with Braille support, your screen reader’s settings for character echoing are automatically followed. Enabling Braille also dramatically reduces the lag between when you press a key and when it’s announced by your screen reader, and improves the announcements of punctuation and whitespace. Learn how to enable Braille support in our Help Center.

Get up and going faster
The first time you use a screen reader or a Braille display, getting up to speed can be a daunting task. But it’s simpler with new step-by-step guides for Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Drawings.
You can also access the in-product “Help” menu at any time without interrupting your work, or use the updated shortcut help dialog to easily search through keyboard shortcuts if you don’t remember them.

Finally, we’re offering phone support for Google Drive accessibility questions. If you get stuck, visit support.google.com/drive to request a phone call and someone from our team will reach out to you.

What’s next
Referring to recent updates to Google Drive, Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said at this year’s National Convention: “The progress...during the last few months has just been positively extraordinary.” We’re pleased the community has welcomed these improvements, and will continue to work with organizations like the NFB to make even more progress.

Everyone, regardless of ability, should be able to experience all that the web has to offer. To find out more about our commitment to a fully accessible web, visit the new Google Accessibility site at www.google.com/accessibility.

Posted by: Alan Warren, Vice President, Engineering

Posted:
One of the perks of using Docs, Sheets, and Slides—along with any other file types you’ve saved in Drive—is that you can invite others to view, edit, or comment on any file or folder you choose.

Today we’re introducing a new sharing experience that makes it easier and faster to invite others to access your files.

As you may already know, anything you create in Docs, Sheets, and Slides or upload to Drive is automatically set to private, which means only you can view it. But when you do want to share a file or folder, there are a few easy ways:
  • Like always, just click the big, blue “Share” button at the top of an open file, or if you are in your Drive list, you can now click the person icon at the top of the page after you’ve selected one or more files.
  • A box will pop up, and from there, you can add individual people to share with directly. But as a new addition, if you want to create a unique shareable link, you can now just click the “Get shareable link” button.
The shareable link will be set to view-only by default. And if you are ever wondering whether you’ve already made the link shareable, just look at the icon next to the button. Green means yes, grey means no, just like on your Android device.
If you want anyone with the link to be able to do more with your file, like leave comments and suggestions or make edits, just change “can view” to “can comment” or “can edit” in the dropdown. Check your accounts for these updates over the coming days.

Posted by Ajay Surie, Product Manager

Posted:
Google Forms makes it easy to gather information from a group, whether it’s something as important as requesting RSVPs for your rehearsal dinner, collecting attendance from students for a class trip, or just keeping track of who’s bringing what on a camping weekend with your friends.

One of your top requests has been the ability to add your own personal touch to forms, and starting today you can with custom themes.

To add a custom theme, just create a new form and click the “Change theme” button in the toolbar.
From there, you can add your own photos or logos to the header, customize fonts and colors, pick a background, and more.
If you don’t want to use one of your own images, you can also choose from tons of brand new themes, like the ones shown below.
Posted by Bay Gross, Associate Product Manager

Posted:
You suddenly remember you need to add "buy milk" to your grocery list, but don't have a pen or paper in sight. You’re on the subway with no reception and need to update your soccer club spreadsheet before you get to practice. You desperately need to make edits to your marketing strategy PowerPoint before you present, but you only brought your iPad to the meeting.

We've all been in binds like this before, but the good news is, now there's a way out.

With today’s launch of the Slides app for iPhone & iPad and updates to the Docs and Sheets apps, we’re delivering on our promise to make it possible for you to work with any file, on any device, any time. You can now create that grocery list, edit that spreadsheet, and update that slide deck with no problem.
Here's the lowdown on what you can now do with Docs, Sheets, and Slides:
  1. You can truly get stuff done from any device—your iPhone, iPad, Android phone, Android tablet, laptop or desktop computer. Any change you make on any of these devices is saved automatically, so you can pick up right where you left off any time, anywhere that you can sign in. 
  2. The Docs, Sheets and Slides apps come with offline editing built right in. Just make the files you want to edit available offline. Any changes you make offline get automatically synced when you reconnect, just like when you make offline edits from your computer
  3. And while converting Office files to Docs, Sheets and Slides is a cinch, the new iPhone/iPad apps also let you edit Office files directly -- just like on the Android apps and the web. 
Simply put, no matter where you are, how spotty the WiFi is, or what file type you're working with, you can get stuff done your way.

Posted by Li-Wei Lee, Software Engineer

Posted:
Odds are, you don't use just one device throughout the day—maybe it's a tablet at home over breakfast, a phone on the train to work, and then a computer or laptop once you're in the office. In other words, you expect to be able to get stuff done no matter where you are, which device you’re using, or what you’re working on.

That’s why today, Docs, Sheets, and Slides are getting major updates on both mobile and desktop. With this release, you can now work on any document, at any time, on any device, both with and without an Internet connection.

Mobile apps for Docs, Sheets and now Slides 
We recently launched mobile apps for Docs and Sheets that allow you to create and edit files on the go, even if you’re offline. We’re rounding out the trio with a new Slides mobile app that’s available starting today on Android and in the coming weeks on iOS.
Edit and share Office files — without Office 
Sometimes people send you files and you need to be able to open them, make some edits, and send them back. If they don’t use Docs, Sheets and Slides it can be a challenge. Starting today, you no longer have to worry, because both the web and mobile apps for Docs, Sheets, and Slides let you edit Office files—without conversion—so you can now edit and send back files in their original format.

The updated mobile apps for DocsSheets and Slides come with Office editing built right in, and our new Chrome extension allows you to edit and share files directly from Google Drive, Gmail or from your Chromebook, where the extension is pre-installed. These updates will be available starting today, but may take a couple of days to fully roll out.

Of course, if you want to collaborate seamlessly with others at the same time, simply convert the files to Docs, Sheets or Slides.
Suggested Edits: a new way to collaborate 
People love using Docs because it’s so easy to work together in one place, rather than making edits and giving feedback by emailing multiple versions of the same document.

But sometimes instead of giving your collaborators free reign to edit away, you’d rather they make suggestions that you can accept or reject later. That’s why today we’re excited to add Suggested Edits in Docs. This new feature is now available for anyone with commenting access in Google Docs on the web, and is coming soon to our mobile apps.

Work the way you want 
With today’s updates to Docs, Sheets, and Slides, we’ve got you covered, regardless of how, where, or when you need to get something done. You now have mobile apps for Docs, Sheets and Slides, the ability to edit and share Office files, and a brand new way to collaborate with Suggested edits. It’s a big update, but more importantly, we hope it’s a big improvement for you.

Posted by Ryan Tabone, Director of Product Management

Posted:
It’s been a little more than two years since Google Drive launched, and already, more than 190 million people are actively using it to safely store and access their files on their phones, tablets, and computers. This tremendous growth has allowed us to offer more affordable storage plans and, today, we’re updating Drive so it’s faster and even easier to use.
For mobile
If you use the Drive app for Android or iOS, you’ll notice everything is now a bit speedier and easier to navigate. Thanks to faster background syncing, the new mobile app makes it easy to find and quickly open files. Plus, you get a host of new features that let you see who has access, view recent changes, or grab a link to share with more people. You can even enable offline access or print a file directly from the app.

For the web
You’ll be offered access to the new Drive for the web over the coming weeks. When you agree to give it a try, you’ll experience a new look and better performance. It's also easier to take some of the most common actions — simply click once on a file to see recent activity, share with friends, or enable offline access. For you organizational fiends, you now have three easy ways to take group actions on multiple files: right click on the selected files, use the menu above the file area, or simply drag the group to a new location in Drive.

For everyone
We are committed to making Drive useful for everyone. This includes having it localized in over 70 languages and, with this latest update, making Drive much more accessible for our blind and visually impaired users. The new Drive includes improved keyboard accessibility, support for zooming and high contrast mode, and better compatibility with screen readers.

For now
That’s it. Get the mobile apps on Google Play and in the App Store, and then visit drive.google.com on your computer to use Drive on the web. Should you run into trouble with any of these new features, check out the Help Center or reach out to our support team.