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March 13, 2008

Google Docs to Add a Menu and Print Layout

The new toolbar from Google Docs is just a part of a bigger redesign. Apparently, Google Docs will replace the tabs with a traditional menu and will switch to a "print layout", the default view in Microsoft Word. It's not clear whether Google Docs will also add pagination, but I don't see the point of adding a print layout without actually showing pages.

The slightly-edited screenshot is from a presentation that shows some of the tools used by Google employees, who have access to not-yet-released versions of Google's products. Philipp Lenssen describes some of Google's internal tools, while Brian Ussery has more details about the presentation.


  1. Well thank *deity* for that! I started adding some custom CSS in at first to do this then gave up and went back to OpenOffice. Just add pagination and (for some anal reason it bugs me) make the (X)HTML less ugly and I'll be happy.

  2. How can you do pagination with custom CSS? Please! I can't wait for Google to release it, and I need this yesterday.

  3. Call me a lazy techie but I gotta say, it's nice using Google Docs. They're slowly but steadily adding in all the features we really want (and leaving off all the extra) and I don't even have to upgrade to a new version.

  4. Or, you could just hop over to Buzzword ( and find yourself writing in a beautiful, paginated environment that leaves Google far behind. (See also

  5. Buzzword doesn't have real-time collaboration, you can't publish a document online, has a non-intuitive interface and it uses a lot of memory. Other than that, it's pretty cool: you don't need an account to edit documents, you have pagination, zoom, find & replace and the documents look better.

  6. I agree with kenbw2 - (X)HTML clean-up is seriously important. I was editing a document the other day and had to edit the HTML - the first page or so was fine (nice layout and perfectly-clear indentation), and then it went all horrible (all bunched into one hideous block). Incidentally, due to its use of <br> instead of <br />, I think Gdocs are stored in HTML rather than XHTML.

    I like the idea of the print layout and pagination, though.

    What I'm not so sure about is the introduction of the menu bar - I quite liked the idea of the tabbed toolbars (although, with the File menu there, it kinda sucked). Just so long as they don't go all Office 2003 on us and have two dozen items and a dozen extra sub-menus in each menu. :D


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