Tech innovation can come in the form of massive breakthroughs like driverless cars, but more often it comes as small features that make our lives easier and more productive. A new Google Docs invention falls in the latter category—but it’s pretty sweet all the same.
The feature lets you skip the tiresome process of starting a new document by going to Google Drive, selecting “new” and then specifying whether you want a new Doc, spreadsheet, or slide.
Now, you can simply type “doc.new” into your browser and, voila, the document is teed up and ready for you to type. Likewise, you can type “sheet.new” or “slide.new” if you want to begin a new spreadsheet or slide respectively.
Google Docs announced the feature on Twitter late last week:
The new productivity trick is possible thanks to Google’s decision several years back to purchase a batch of so-called top level domains, including the “.new” one, which the company has apparently dedicated to instant document creation.
Google has also configured the tool in a way that users can type in a variety of phrases—for instance “docs.new” or “deck.new” or “spreadsheet.new”—to call up a document. (Obviously, a user requires a Google account for this to work).
As TechCrunch notes, users are already asking Google to create more shortcuts such as “email.new” and “drawings.new.” It seems likely the company will expand its offerings in coming months.
The “new” feature is not a technology that will change the world but still offers a welcome way to boost productivity by 10 or 20 seconds every day.
Google first launched Google Docs as a test feature in 2006 and has since expanded the product significantly. In recent years, the service has begun to challenge the all-powerful Microsoft Office suite as a mainstay of enterprise software.