Google on Monday unveiled its latest set of upgrades to Google Docs. The new improvements clearly aim to make the free online service a more robust competitor to Microsoft’s Office applications.
The word processing editor in Google Docs will now offers simultaneous collaboration. That addition comes just months after Google bought AppJet, whose EtherPad product offered very similar functionality.
The rebuilt word processing editor also offers more accurate import of third-party documents (such as Microsoft Word), tab stops, a ruler for adjusting margins, and better in-document image handling. And, in an obvious nod to Word’s change-tracking tools, Google’s editor will now allow notes and comments to be linked to any part of the document.
Finally, Google announced a new standalone, collaborative drawing editor for Google Docs, as well. The company says that the new tool will be useful for creating charts, diagrams, and other schematics.
Google plans to roll these new Docs features out over the next few days.