This week, Google updated Google Drive to make it smarter than ever. In the same way that you can search Google Photos for things like “photos from last month” you can do the same for files in Drive.

Natural Language Processing

If you have a lot of files in Google Drive, you’re going to love this. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a technical term for “search like you talk.” You can type things like “show budget spreadsheets” and Google will give you a clickable suggestion to use.

Technical people will probably search something like this:

Type:spreadsheet Date:2014

Now, the suggestion that Google gives you with the natural language search will be that same technical search. “Show budget spreadsheets” gives us:

budget Type:spreadsheets

You don’t even have to worry about spelling correctly. Like regular Google search, using NLP in Drive means that you can misspell “scedule” and every file with “schedule” in its name is brought up. NLP is supposed to get better over time as the company tweaks its algorithms.

Other Features

Google added a couple of smaller features in Google Docs:

  • You can split documents into columns in Docs. Select Columns in the Format menu for more viewing options
  • When you open, convert and edit non-Google files across Docs, Sheets and Slides, a copy will get automatically saved. You can view/download the original file directly from Revision History.
Column View
Column View

The new update will gradually roll out around the world over the next several days. There’s no word yet, but I’m assuming this will eventually make its way over to Google Drive on mobile as well.

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