Learn about the most recent Google Workspace updates that were announced in August 2023. The list of new features includes eSignature for Docs, smart canvas in Google Sheets, and a new annotation tool in Google Slides.

The features mentioned here will be rolled out gradually over the coming weeks, so not all users will see them at the same time.

eSignature for Google Docs and Google Drive

Google is launching an eSignature feature in beta testing. This will allow Google Workspace users to request signatures, check the status of pending signatures, find completed contracts, sign contracts directly from Drive, and use a template to initiate signature requests.

eSignature example in Google Docs

Image: Google Blog

Later this year, Google will also add the following additional options:

  • An audit trail for all completed contracts.
  • The ability to request signatures from more than one signer.
  • The ability to request signatures from people who do not have a Google account.
  • The ability to sign PDF files directly in Drive.

Google Workspace admins can sign up for the beta using this form.

Google Sheets

Smart canvas, also known as smart chips, are coming to Google Sheets! To use them, simply type ‘@’ in a cell. You can use smart chips in your Google Sheets to include information about people, files, events, places, financial entities, and even YouTube videos. Find out more about this feature here.

Smart canvas in Google Sheets

Google Sheets has also introduced a new pre-fill feature that makes it easy to set up dropdown chips. Simply select a range of cells, insert a dropdown chip (using the right-click menu), and the cell data will automatically be converted to pre-filled dropdown values.

Google Slides

A new pen tool will allow you to annotate your presentations in real time. This means you can highlight, circle, underline, draw connections, or make quick notes on your slides as you present.

Annotations in Google Slides

Image: Google Blog


Translations are now available in the Gmail mobile app. This will allow you to seamlessly communicate with people who speak other languages.

To translate an email in the Gmail mobile app, simply tap on the “Translate” button on the dismissible banner. This will open a translation bar where you can choose the language you want to translate the email to.

Here are some additional details about the new translation feature:

  • It is available in the Gmail mobile app for Android and iOS.
  • It supports over 100 languages.
  • It can be used to translate both incoming and outgoing emails.
  • It is powered by Google Translate, which is one of the most accurate translation engines available.

Google Meet

Meeting hosts can now enable question moderation. This means that as a host, you can review and approve questions before they are shared with other participants. This can help to ensure that questions are appropriate and on topic and that they do not disrupt the meeting. The feature can be turned on from the host controls menu, under the “Meeting activities” section.