Google Docs ventures closer to Word territory with print view

Google Docs edges closer to the behemoth that is MS Word, with a long sought-after editing view.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn

One of my pet peeves with Google Docs has just been remedied. The company quietly released a new view that users can see when editing documents. It's called "fixed width page view," which is a somewhat verbose way of saying print preview.

The view gets rid of the often annoying occurence of writing and editing documents in Google Docs that would stretch the writing canvas across the maximum width of your browser window. On wide-screen displays, this often meant viewing entire paragraphs on just a line or two of the display--something that wouldn't be noticed until it was printed out or sent to another medium where the width was sized down to something reasonable.

The new look shares a lot in common with Microsoft Word's print layout view. However, one critical thing that's missing is a way to zoom in and out--a feature that's been in Word for years that I've long been pining for in both docs and spreadsheets. Ideally I'd like to see Google introduce something similar to what was added in Word 2007, with the little zoom slider that makes it incredibly simple to change the vantage point on the fly.

(Via Google Operating System)

View and edit documents like you would on real paper with the new fixed width page view mode. Seen here is a single document with a wide-screen layout that now has room on both sides instead of stretching the content. CNET Networks