Google Workspace Announces the Next Evolution of Collaboration with Smart Canvas

Smart canvas provides a new product experience in Google Workspace, making it easier to connect to the information, insights and people needed to bring ideas to life

Mountain View, CA (May 18, 2021) – Google Workspace today announced smart canvas—a new collaboration experience that builds on its vision for the future of work. Smart canvas makes it easier for people to stay connected, focus their time and attention, and transform their ideas into impact. With smart canvas, Google Workspace is enhancing Docs, Sheets, and Slides to make them even more flexible, interactive, and intelligent.

“For too long, the ways people have worked together have been defined by legacy tools developed last century that simply cannot support the collaboration needs of the future,” said Javier Soltero, VP and GM, Google Workspace. “At Google, we pioneered modern collaboration and see it both as our responsibility and opportunity to steer Google Workspace toward enabling new ways of working. Smart canvas is the next step in delivering on this promise.”

“Richer content collaboration is the foundation for creating competitive advantage,” said Maribel Lopez, founder and principal analyst at Lopez Research. "As many organizations look for better ways to enable workers to connect information, data and people in a hybrid workplace, Google Workspace is well positioned to bring new features and functionality to help."

Making collaboration more flexible and helpful

New interactive building blocks connect people, content, and events into one seamless experience, while flexible formats remove unnecessary constraints. 

New building blocks: 

  • Smart chips in Docs allow users to type @ to see a list of recommended files, people and meetings to include in their work. In the coming months, smart chips will be available in Sheets as well. 
  • Checklists help users quickly capture tasks in Docs. This feature will soon integrate with Google Tasks, allowing teams to assign tasks to specific people and better manage To-Do items across Google Workspace.
  • Table templates in Docs enable users to create topic-voting tables to gather team feedback and project-tracker tables to help users capture milestones and statuses on the fly. A new document template for capturing meeting notes will automatically import any relevant information from a Calendar meeting invite.

New formats: 

  • Pageless format in Docs allows users to remove the boundaries of a page to create a surface that expands to whatever device or screen they’re using.
  • New views in Sheets help users better manage and interact with data. A timeline view will make tracking tasks easier and faster, allowing users to organize data by owner, category, campaign, or whichever attribute is most important.

Enabling human connection wherever people work

Google Workspace is building tighter integrations between its communication and collaboration tools so users can pull content into conversations and conversations into content. 

  • Present content to Google Meet directly from Docs, Sheets, and Slides on the web.
  • Meet directly in Docs, Sheets, and Slides, which will launch this fall, will allow people to see and hear each other while they’re collaborating.
  • More space to see people and content in the recently refreshed Meet experience allows users to pin content and video feeds as well as turn off their self feed to stay focused and help with meeting fatigue. 
  • Creating and editing Sheets and Docs in Chat rooms, which is already live on the web experience, enables teams to jump from a discussion in Google Chat straight into building and reviewing content together. This capability is coming to Slides in the coming weeks. 
  • Emoji reactions in Docs, which are coming in the next few months, allow users to gauge the team’s reactions as they collaborate.

Working smarter and safer 

Google Workspace already surfaces two billion grammar suggestions in Docs every month and cuts file finding time by 50% through intelligent file suggestions with Drive’s Priority and Quick Access features. Today, Google Workspace is expanding its powerful intelligence in a few key ways. 

  • Additional assisted writing features in Docs will surface warnings about offensive words or language, as well as other stylistic suggestions that can speed up editing and help make writing more impactful. 
  • More assisted analysis functionality in Sheets on the web makes suggestions that help build and troubleshoot formulas, making it easier for everyone, not just analysts, to derive insights from data. 

Trust is at the center of all collaboration within Google Workspace. Today it’s also launching advanced capabilities that help protect users against security threats and abuse. 

Additional resources:


About Google Cloud

Google Cloud accelerates organizations’ ability to digitally transform their business with the best infrastructure, platform, industry solutions and expertise. We deliver enterprise-grade cloud solutions that leverage Google’s cutting-edge technology to help companies operate more efficiently and adapt to changing needs, giving customers a foundation for the future. Customers in more than 200 countries and territories turn to Google Cloud as their trusted partner to solve their most critical business problems