Google Drawing and Slides Now Have Gradients

Sometimes it really is the little things that make a big difference.

I love using Google drawings with my students and today we noticed that they added gradients to the fill tools in both Drawing and Slides.

There are two types of gradients: linear and radial.

Drawing

In Drawing the fill menu looks like this:

graddraw

Slides

In Slides, they added a section of colors that matches the slide color theme.

The Slides fill menu looks like this:

gradslides

I would love to see more choices. More colors, blending multiple colors, changing the direction of the linear gradient or changing where the gradient starts and stops would be great tools to add. Hopefully. this is just the beginning. Meanwhile, my students and I will have fun playing with them.

Cool New Things in Google Drive

Google has been busy. Updating its logo was a big deal, but there are some pretty cool new things in Google Drive.

I have been creating a ton of new docs, sheets, slides, forms, etc for the new school year and I noticed several new things popped up as I was working.

Templates
So, I go to start a new Doc and a pop-up message asks me about templates, so I clicked on it. There are now bunch of professionally made templates that you can use. The templates have a very clean look with placeholders for text and images. Sheets and Slides have Templates too!

DocsTemplates

Sheets and Slides have Templates too!

Spreadsheet Template

Slides Templates

Voice Typing
Under the Tools menu they now have “VoiceTyping.”

Voice Typing

A big microphone icon pops up and turns red when you click on it to talk.

totalktalking

(Parts of this post were written with voice typing. It did get a little glitchy so I had to start and stop it to work a little better.) If you want punctuation you just say that punctuation. For example “period”, it will place a period at the end of the sentence and start a new sentence with a capital letter. If you want to start a new line, you just say “new line.”

***Google Support Blog Post with punctuation, languages, and trouble-shooting.***

Sharing
When you open up a shared  document, you might see this blue icon that says “See new changes”. Click it and it will walk you through the most recent changes.

NewChanges

Sheets
When I opened up a spreadsheet a green explore symbol came up and charts were created on the right side window.

Explore

You can click on the charts and either make them bigger or bring them into the document to edit them.  You have to mouse over to get the symbols on the left of the graph below.

Graph

Now I know those items are brand new, but also played with the new changes below and they are pretty awesome too.

Forms
 I absolutely love the fact you can really customize forms. You can add image to the background, change colors for the form background, and have all sorts of fun with fonts. This was such a needed an update.

CustomizeFOrm

FOrmsCustom

File Types
I noticed that every document now has an icon in the upper left corner that shows its filetype.

Icons

If you click on the icon it takes you to a page that just shows all the items you have that file type. for example I click on the Docs icon  and it took me to a page with all of my docs. (This is very similar to the apps I have on my mobile devices.)   

If you click on the upper left hand corner again, you will get a drop-down menu that takes you to the other file types as well as a link back to Drive.

DriveMenu

I can’t wait to see what else I discover over the next few days.

Google Search/Docs/Maps & Earth

These are some of the materials I used in my presentation on Google. I did not do a formal presentation. We just work though many of Google’s features.

Google Search (Tuesday)

iGoogle
iGoogle gadgets
Google Docs (Wednesday)

A Vision of Students Today
The Networked Student
Word Processing
Spreadsheet
Presentation
Forms
Google Docs Templates
Google Maps and Earth (Thursday)