ITS Staff Summer 2018

Google Updates

September 13, 2019
By Paula Lackie

Google never sits still, so it takes all of us to keep up with the changes they are GoogleIconpushing through. (And no, we can’t schedule the changes Google will deliver - but you can look at their G Suite update blog.) Below is a selection of new and coming features that might have slid past without your noticing.

Smart Compose: auto-complete in Gmail  

You may have noticed that Google thinks it knows what you are about to say and offers words that you can hit the “Tab” key to accept. Some love it but many don’t. This “smart compose” feature can be disabled using these directions

Working Hours in Google Calendar 

The newly updated Working Hours is now ON by default. This is a feature of Google Calendar where you can reflect your preferred working hours. Before someone invites you to a meeting outside your regular hours, they will get a prompt to consider another time. When it is first enabled, you will see a new dialog with a default for your start time and end time. You can confirm, change, or disable the feature by selecting “Settings” in the dialog. Visit Help Center: Set your working hours & availability.

“Out of Office (OOO)” messages in Gmail & Hangouts Chat

Since September 2, if you’ve added an Out of Office (OOO) entry on your Google Calendar, a notice of that OOO status will appear in Gmail and Hangouts Chat when people try to contact you. 

Look for the yellow highlight indicating that someone is away. This will provide more confidence that you are messaging people at an appropriate time. Before people hit “send” in email or chat your out-of-office status will be visible, making clear right away that you are currently unavailable.

If you’d like to disable sharing of availability information to other G Suite apps, you can do so in Calendar under Calendar settings > Access permissionsJust deselect “Show calendar info in other Google apps, limited by access permissions.”

Scheduled Send in Gmail

For those times when you are managing email outside of work hours, you have a new option to delay the time when it will show up in the receiver’s mailbox. This is another way to respect each others’ work hours. Learn more in Google’s support article for scheduled send.

Blanking the screen in Google Slides

Google has added a new feature in Slides to help you better control and customize your presentations. You’ll now be able to change to an all white or black screen while presenting. This can be helpful when you want to pause a presentation to answer a question or conduct an activity without any material on screen.

While presenting, press “B” to turn your screen black or “W” to turn your screen white. You can resume presenting by using any other keyboard or mouse action. Visit the Google Help Center to see more keyboard shortcuts for Google Slides.

Shortcuts! Coming soon to Drive

This one is a great advantage! Google Drive is a very robust file storage and access platform, and it’s also kind of confusing.   Here is more information about how to use shortcuts to help sort out your google doc organization.

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