Mobility

Google's new Document Shortcuts feature increases user efficiency

Google now makes it possible to quickly create a new document with a simplified URL. Find out how below.

Every once in a while Google creates something that makes a power user's life slightly more efficient. Be it a feature tucked within one of their tools or something with more overreaching power. Sometimes Google will roll out a new feature that makes me think, "Why?", and then they'll create a new tool that makes me think, "It's about time."

Document Shortcuts falls into the latter category. What are these shortcuts? Simply put, they are URLs that you can type into a browser (or use as shortcuts) that will automatically create a new document, spreadsheet, presentation, website, or form. You no longer have to open Google Drive, click on the New button, and then click to create the new document you want. Instead, type (or click on a bookmark) the proper URL, and the new document will be ready for work.

SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)

It's really that simple.

The URLs

But what are these fancy new URLs, that create new documents? The list is simple:

  • doc.new
  • sheet.new
  • slide.new
  • site.new
  • form.new

Of course, Google anticipated that users might think of this in the plural, so the following will also work:

  • docs.new
  • sheets.new
  • slides.new
  • sites.new
  • forms.new

There are also a couple of variations, such as:

  • website.new (another way of creating a new website)
  • presentation.new (another way of creating a new presentation)
  • deck.new (another way of creating a new presentation)

Make it even easier

I've been using the new feature but wanted to make it even easier. I created a browser folder, called DRIVE SHORTCUTS. In that folder, I created bookmarks for each. How this is done will depend upon the browser you use, but in Firefox it's as simple as creating the new folder in your bookmark hierarchy, and then right-clicking the new folder and selecting New Bookmark. The bookmark for each Google service only requires a name and an address (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

A bookmark for the doc.new URL shortcut.


If you use a browser bookmark toolbar, you could always just create individual links for each, so the shortcuts are only a click away. Or, if your desktop allows, create desktop shortcuts for each service, making the creation of a Google document, spreadsheet, presentation, form, or site incredibly efficient.

The caveat

You guessed it, there's a caveat. But fear not, the caveat won't be a deal breaker. When you create a document via this method, the new file will always be created in the root of your Google Drive directory. If you're one who prefers things to be in the right place, you'll have to move that file into its proper home from within Google Drive. This is a small price to pay for having the most efficient means of creating new Google documents.

Image: Jack Wallen

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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