Google Spreadsheets updated gets Gadgets, Directory and more

Google Spreadsheets, which’s a part of Google Docs suite (Google's online office suite) is updated and has added added several new features; better revisions comparison through color highlights, change notifications, and a Google spreadsheet gadgets directory. Now you can get email notifications when your collaborators make changes or edit some specific cells. You can also get […]

Google Spreadsheets, which’s a part of Google Docs suite (Google's online office suite) is updated and has added added several new features; better revisions comparison through color highlights, change notifications, and a Google spreadsheet gadgets directory.

Now you can get email notifications when your collaborators make changes or edit some specific cells. You can also get notifications when someone submits new data using a form.

Google Spreadsheets autocompletes the value from a cell so it's much easier to enter repetitive data in a column.

Changes of revisions are now highlighted for easier reference; see the Revisions tab. This is especially useful as Google Spreadsheets allows collaboration on the same document among different people. The Google Docs documents editor too already has comparision highlighting.

If the existing features aren't enough for you, there's a new directory of gadgets that can be added to a spreadsheets and use existing data. You can now add gadgets to the spreadsheet by picking a cell range and then clicking Insert ==> Gadget at the top. To add a gadget, click on the "Insert" dropdown and select "Gadget". Each gadget can be embedded into web pages or added to iGoogle, which is extremely cool because the data is updated automatically. Currently available gadgets include:

  • Motion chart: A Flash-based gadget animates certain numbers over time
  • Gauges: Adds gauges (as pictured below) with dials visually indicating the cell values
  • Table: Adds grouping and filtering features
  • Heatmap: A world map is connected to your cells containing an ISO country code, and then add color of different intensities to the countries
  • Web search and image search: Displays a result from Google by searching for your cell value
  • Organization chart: Draws a hierarchy based on cells containing names (pictured)

  

A cool visualization gadget based on GapMinder World, you'll find in Google Docs as "motion chart".

Googlesystem explains that the “Gadgets-in-Docs for spreadsheets API” utilizes the existing Google gadget framework, adding a Google Visualization API on top (the link to the Visualization API is broken at the time). Google explains:

Developers using this method should already be familiar with the development of Google Gadgets, and then only need to learn some basic additions provided by the Visualization API. Note that this approach currently only supports one-way interaction with the underlying spreadsheet (reading data)

As an example, take a look at the source for the organization chart gadget.

Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, Gadgets, API