Google beefs up Apps Scripts for Docs


    Google announced a slew of new features this afternoon for its Google Docs suite, hailing the addition of 450 new fonts for creating pamphlets and invitations in Docs, but also mentioning some new features for its application scripting language that will allow developers to build some interesting programs on top of the cloud service.

    Google introduced a scripting language for Google Docs, Google Apps Script, in early 2010 so users could automate certain tasks in spreadsheets. Apps Scripts also permitted users to mesh certain third-party services with Google products to make sending e-mails and posting dates on a Google calendar automatic. Scripting is something that few other cloud services offer, and it puts Google ahead of the game in that respect.

    Google’s latest edition to Apps Script, called ScriptService, allows scripts to be published as a service program and provides control over when scripts run via timers and other “trigger” events—permitting Docs to perform automated functions. Another new feature of Apps Script integrates with Google Drive, allowing your script to find the root folder of someone else’s Google Drive account so that published scripts can create and manipulate files in them. Finally, the revamped scripts now permit e-mail attachments of 25 MB (up from 5 MB), and can create docs up to 50 MB (up from a 2 MB limit).

    Google has been aggressive in building out Apps Script’s functionality—in early April, the company announced the ability to add HTML to a script’s dialogue, and to program sheet protection in spreadsheets so a manager could control which collaborators see what.

    Along with the font and scripting announcements, Google also said its service will allow importing photos into docs from Google Drive, and show bidirectional controls for people typing in right-to-left languages. Google Docs also has 60 new document templates in the template gallery.

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