Google Docs get summaries and pageless formatting as part of “smart canvas”
Last year, Google introduced smart canvas, a new product experience for Google Workspace apps such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides. At the time, Google debuted several new features for Google Docs, including new smart chips for recommended people, files, and meetings. As part of its push to create a more integrated and cohesive collaboration experience, the company is bringing some new smart canvas features to Google Docs.
In a blog post on Tuesday, Google announced two new smart canvas features for Google Docs: summaries and a pageless format for documents. When you open a Google Doc, you’ll see a summary appear on the left side, providing a broad overview of the contents. Summaries are generated automatically, but you can edit them and even create your own.
Summaries in Docs provide a brief overview of the main points in a document, so you can quickly parse the information that matters and prioritize where to focus.
Google Docs is also getting pageless formatting for documents. This format removes the boundaries of a page to make it easier to collaborate on documents when dealing with wide tables, large images. You can easily switch back to the paginated view if you want to print or convert the document to PDF.
“With our new pageless format in Docs, you’ll be able to remove the boundaries of a page to create a surface that expands to whatever device or screen you’re using, making it easier to work with wide tables, large images, or detailed feedback in comments,” wrote Google in a blog post dating May 2021.
Pageless formatting and summaries are now available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers. Meanwhile, automatically-generated summary suggestions will be available to Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Plus, Frontline, and Nonprofits users.