Collaboration Services News and Updates

Please email drgee@vcu.edu with any questions

Important Notices

Don’t forget about Spring Cleaning!

Have you cleaned up your VCU Google account lately? Google’s data limits officially began on May 1, 2024, and while there are no account limits, it is important to practice good data hygiene in your VCU account and clean up unneeded emails and Drive files. Remember: Maintaining the VCU Google Workspace storage limit is all of our responsibility.
For more information and steps for cleaning up, please visit: go.vcu.edu/cleanup.

Jamboard is winding down

Google has announced that Jamboard, their collaborative whiteboarding tool, is winding down. Jamboard files will become view-only beginning October 1, 2024, and after December 31, 2024, Jamboard will no longer be accessible and all Jamboard files will automatically be converted to a PDF format. 

Please stay tuned for additional information. For any questions, please email us at drgee@vcu.edu.

Gmail

Create fully customized email campaigns using new layout editor tool

In 2022, Google released a feature for Gmail to allow you to create and design email templates for sending attractive email campaigns. Now, this feature has received a dedicated layout editor for creating even more customizable templates. 

For more information about sending personalized emails using mail merge and the new layout editor tool, visit: Send personalized emails with mail merge – Gmail Help.

Feature Availability: This feature is now available.

Google Chat

Send voice messages in Google Chat

In the Chat mobile app, you can now send voice messages in direct messages, group chats, and Spaces. To get started, tap the microphone icon once to begin recording, then hit the stop button to finish recording. You will be able to play back the audio recording before it is sent, and then either delete the recording or send it.

For more information about sending voice messages in Google Chat, visit: Send a voice message in Google Chat – Android.

Feature Availability: This feature is now available for Google Chat on mobile devices, with web support and transcriptions coming later.

Access and sort shared files within a space in Google Chat more easily

In Google Chat Spaces, the “Files” tab has been renamed to “Shared” and comes with a refreshed layout including a sort drop-down menu and support for shared links and media files.

For more information about sharing files and media in Spaces, visit: Send & share files in Google Chat messages.

Feature Availability: This feature is now available.

Google Docs

New ways to annotate Google Docs on Android

Markups is a new way to annotate Google Docs on Android devices. This allows for handwritten/drawn feedback, such as colleagues writing on graphs or instructors writing on student coursework. 

On an Android device, you will have the options to:

  • Enter the markups mode and annotate using pen or highlighter tools 
  • Hide/show markups 
  • Erase markups 
  • Insert suggested markups 

On iOS and Desktop, you cannot create new markups, but you will be able to view, delete, and hide/show markups. 

To get started, on an Android device: Open a document, then select the markups tool from the contextual toolbar, then draw on the Doc with your finger or stylus.

For more information about using markups, visit: Learn how to use drawings & markups – Android – Google Docs Editors Help.

Feature Availability: This feature is on a delayed rollout and is anticipated to be available on or before June 4, 2024.

Google Drive & Docs Editors

Input numbers into slider controls across Google Docs, Slides and Drawings

Number sliders in Google Docs, Slides, and Drawings now have a number field to allow precise entry of a desired value. Previously, it could be challenging to set a specific value and required use of the arrow keys to increment/decrement the value.

Feature Availability: This feature is now available.

For shared drives you are a member of, if your shared drive is reaching the item capacity limit (400,000 items), you will now see a banner warning your shared drive is approaching capacity when you are less than 20% capacity remaining.

Feature Availability: This feature is now available.

Search for files directly using new search bar in Google Drive

The search bar in Google Drive has been improved with upgraded search and search chip functionality. Now, you can search for items directly in the search bar and the results will be populated from all of your My Drive and all of the Shared Drives you are a member of.

Feature Availability: This improvement is now available.

Dark mode now available in Google Drive web

Dark mode in Google Drive, a highly requested feature, is now available.

To use Dark Mode, go to Drive → Settings → Appearance → Dark. You can also use “Device default” to follow your device’s current mode.

Feature Availability: This feature is now available.

Google Meet

Subtly enhance your appearance with portrait touch-up when using Google Meet on the web

Google Meet has a new effect called “Portrait touch-up” which allows you to apply a subtle or smooth touch-up effect to your face during a meeting. 

You can choose from two portrait touch-up modes:

  • Subtle: very light complexion smoothing, under eye lightening and eye whitening.
  • Smoothing: slightly more complexion smoothing, under eye lightening and eye whitening.

For more information about portrait touch-up, visit: Improve your video & audio experience – Android – Google Meet Help

Feature Availability: This feature is now available.

Google Sheets

Improving filtering for merged cells in Google Sheets

Users can now filter ranges with merged cells in Google Sheets:

  • For ranges with vertical merges, users can create a filter and apply various filter types (condition, values, and color). 
  • For ranges with horizontal merges, users can create a filter, apply various filter types (condition, values, and color), and sort by values or color

For more information about sorting and filtering in Google Sheets, visit: Sort & filter your data – Computer – Google Docs Editors Help

Feature Availability: This feature is now available.

Categories Gmail, Google Chat, Google Docs, Google Drawings, Google Drive, Google Feature Updates and Changes, Google Meet, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Workspace News, Storage Cleanup

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