Google Sheets, Slides update gives slow typists plenty to celebrate

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
Audio player loading…

Google has extended a popular feature for its Sheets (opens in new tab) and Slides (opens in new tab) services in a bid to help teams collaborate on spreadsheets (opens in new tab) and presentations (opens in new tab) more efficiently.

Already popular among Google Workspace (opens in new tab) users, the Smart Compose feature provides predictive suggestions as the user types, which can either be ignored or accepted with a press of the Tab key.

“Smart Compose saves you time by cutting back on repetitive writing, reducing the change of spelling and grammatical errors, and suggesting relevant contextual phrases,” Google explained in a blog post (opens in new tab)

Although Smart Compose was introduced to Sheets and Slides at an earlier date, it has now been extended to cover the comments system as well. This means users will benefit from Smart Compose suggestions when creating new comments and replying within existing threads.

As was already the case, the feature is enabled for all users by default, but can be deactivated via the Preferences menu, under Tools.

Google Workspace upgrades

The rapid transition to remote working (opens in new tab) last year required workers to find new ways to collaborate effectively from afar. Although live documents and spreadsheets were commonplace before the pandemic, these services have played an even more central role for many workers over the last 16 months or so.

Since rebranding G Suite to Google Workspace in October 2020, Google has made a concerted effort to expand collaboration facilities both across and within its individual productivity applications (opens in new tab).

The latest upgrade for Sheets and Slides update can be considered an extension of these efforts, incentivizing workers to make better use of the comments system, as opposed to making changes without providing rationale or consulting within their team.

Although the Smart Compose upgrade is minor in isolation, small optimizations combine to create a much more significant effect in aggregate, minimizing small frictions to create a more fluid user experience overall.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.