Google Docs Add-Ons: How-To and Recommendations

Google Docs is a well-known component of Google services, but did you know it has add-ons of its own? I don’t mean browser-side extensions either. I mean actual add-ons for the web app itself, with their own front on Google’s Web Store. These add-ons also work regardless of what browser you’re using, due to being tied to Google Docs instead of your browser.

Fortunately, Google Docs Add-Ons require minimal setup to get up and running.

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Once you open Google Docs, all you need to do is click “Add-ons” in the Toolbar and then select “Get add-ons.”

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Doing so will bring you to this screen where you can select from various Add-ons made for Google Docs. Using the drop-down menu on the top-left of this window you can also browse categories of add-ons.

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There aren’t a whole lot of Docs add-ons available, but here’s what “Social and Communications” has.

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Here is where “Docs to WordPress” catches my eye. All I have to do is click it, and I’m brought to this screen.

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It shows a screenshot of how it works, among other information. To anyone used to using the Chrome Web Store, this page likely looks fairly familiar. At this point I notice the review score for this add-on, and I decide to see what the recent reviews are saying.

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It turns out that recent reviews are saying this add-on doesn’t work properly. Bummer.

For add-ons that you have installed, however, most of them operate in a sidebar on the right of your screen. To pull this up, use the same menu you did for looking at them in the first place, and instead select the menu of the extension you want to use.

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Due to the relatively low support for this platform extension-wise, it’s wise to check reviews and details for add-ons before installing them.

I’ll do some of the work for you, however, and go over some of the best ones that I’ve found.

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These are my four favorites. They don’t add a whole lot to the experience, but they work as they’re intended and are nifty for my uses.

  • Better Word Count offers quick access to a word count, character count, and a characters with no spaces count. This list can be kept open in real-time, and as someone who likes minding wordcount, it’s a personal favorite utility of mine.
  • Paperpile factors in whenever I’m working on more formal papers. Creating a proper list of citations is incredibly easy with Paperpile and saves me a lot of the headaches inherent in writing academic papers.
  • Table of contents does what it says but also functions without a pre-existing TOC integrated into the Document. It’s ideal for dealing with longer documents.
  • Translate is just Google Translate in the sidebar. Whenever I’m working on my fiction, I like to use other languages and cultural influences in certain story aspects – as silly as it sounds, Google Translate is often helpful in that manner.

Google Docs doesn’t have the largest selection of Add-ons, and a lot of them aren’t really my thing. However, they’re fun to explore and experiment with. If you want more power and utility in your Google Docs, feel free to install them!

Do you have any preferred Google Docs add-ons? Need any assistance? Feel free to sound off below.

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