It’s amazing how Google Docs has evolved and continued to gained features over the years. So much so that it has now become the go-to tool for writing and collaboration for a huge number of people, most of whom used to depend on a desktop tool like Microsoft Word (or Excel) for the job.
If you’re a freelance writer using Google Docs as a word processing software (Office Web Apps is also an option), these Google Docs add-ons will make your life much easier, so you can focus on your content more.
Google Docs Add-ons for Writers
Google has recently announced that Google Docs and Sheets would start supporting third-party add-ons. Developers have received Google’s message loud and clear, and there are already some very useful Google Docs add-ons, which could make your life as a writer much easier. I’ve picked the most useful ones for you.
1. Pro Writing Aid
This is one of the most useful add-ons you can get if you’re a writer. It provides you with a plethora of tools to make your writing better.
Basically, you get a set of tools which will scan your article for various common mistakes and provide you with reports.
Now, some of these tools, namely Consistency Check, Acronym Check, Corporate Wording Check, or Cliches and Redundancies Check are free, while the rest of them are available for a fee (you can get a 14-day trial).
The license for the Pro version costs $35 a year. It’s a useful set of tools, even if you use the free version.
Your writing might be good from a grammar and consistency point of view, but what do you do when you’re re-reading what you just wrote and you realize that you’re using the same word too much? And that, even more annoyingly, you can’t think of anything to replace it with?
It’s easy, you just use the Thesaurus add-on. After installing it, just select the word you want synonyms for. Then, click Find Synonyms for Selected Word.
A result area will appear, with your synonyms.
If you’re writing in a different language than your own (a lot of people are, especially in English), you might sometimes find yourself not knowing how to call something in that language. In my case, it’s usually an object.
The (Google) Translate Docs Add-on is here to help you. After installing it, start it from the Add-ons menu.
From then on, it will work as you’d probably expect it to. You can just write or paste the word or phrase you want to translate into the box appearing on the right side of your window, choose the languages and you’re all set. You can then insert the translation into your document.
4. Abbreviation Lists
Free while it’s in beta, this add-on is for you if you’re constantly using abbreviations in your articles. After opening it, you can just click Scan for it to go through your text. It will find things such as abbreviations you haven’t defined or written two ways.
Then, you’ll get a results list. If it looks like this, good on your part!
5. Track Changes
This one can also be extremely useful if you’re a writer. It allows you to track changes you’ve made to a certain text. You can Start and Reset it from the Add-ons menu.
It will appear on the right side, like almost all add-ons do. You can set it to start tracking changes automatically and, as you progress through your writing, you’ll see a list of changes, which you can accept or not.
If you’re a writer, these are some very useful third-party Google Docs add-ons to install. They can make your life much easier, so give them a try!