U-M Google Updates

U-M Google August Monthly Summary


The monthly U-M Google summaries inform the university community of new Google releases and previously communicated updates.


In Google Docs, you can now choose to receive email notifications for document changes on a per-file basis. New notification emails detail what changes/edits were made, when the changes/edits were made, and who made them. Learn more about enabling “edit notifications” for Google Docs.

Example notification email for Google Docs edits

In the Google Chat emoji picker, your most frequently used emojis can now be found under the new “Frequently Used” section.

  • Extending grammar features to German

Google has expanded their grammar features in Gmail and Docs to include German.

You can now select a new RSVP join method that’s integrated with your working location. With the new option, Calendar will automatically update how you intend to join the meeting if your working location changes. In addition, others will now see your working location or out-of-office status directly in the guest list section of a Calendar event to which you’re invited. Learn more about setting your working hours and location and responding to event invitations.

New Google Calendar RSVP join option

You can now toggle between mute and unmute using headsets, speaker microphones, and other USB peripheral devices in Google Meet. This feature is currently only supported in Google Chrome or Chromium-based web browsers. Call control will work with most USB telephony peripherals, however, the experience may differ from device to device. Bluetooth devices are not supported at this time. Call control can be found under the Call Control section of your Meet settings (before and during a call). Learn more about Meet-certified headsets or speaker microphones.

  • Seamlessly delete subsets of Google Sites

Google Site editors can now delete a page with subpages and delete pages that were copied into another site during a partial site copy.

You’re now able to adjust your accessibility preferences for each product separately in Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings. In your document, spreadsheet, slide deck, or drawing, navigate to Tools > Accessibility > and select your preferred settings.

Google Site editors can now insert stylized social media links into pages within their site. Learn more about inserting social links in a Site.

Inserting new social links into a Google Site

Previously Communicated:

No updates this month!

U-M Google July Monthly Summary


The monthly U-M Google summaries inform the university community of new Google releases and previously communicated updates.


You can now view participants who were invited to the meeting but have yet to join the call from within Google Meet. These participants can be found under the “Also invited” heading in the People section. Additionally, you can also view the RSVP status of everyone on the invite, including optional attendees and RSVP notes. From here, you can reach out to invited participants via Google Chat to confirm whether they will be joining directly from Meet.

Google Meet call in browser showing the People tab with a list of individuals in call and invited

Rich text formatting is now available in Google Forms, which allows you to use bolding, underlining, italicizing, hyperlinks, and lists in titles, question titles, and descriptions. Learn more about formatting text in your form

Google has added additional font styles, sizing options, and the ability to customize header, subheader, and body text separately in Google Forms. This update allows you to use different typefaces and sizes for different parts of your form.

Site editors in new Google Sites can now adjust the spacing between the content on their site with a custom theme setting that offers Compact, Cozy, or Comfortable spacing options. By default, all newly created sites will start with the Comfortable setting. To edit spacing in a new Site, navigate to Themes > Custom > Edit > Spacing > Density.

  • Drag out from Keep

You can now insert images saved in your Keep notes into other apps by dragging them out from the image carousel on Android devices. Learn more about using Keep on Android.

Google has increased the number of members you can add to a space in Google Chat from 400 to 8,000. This change only applies to newly created spaces.

In Google Chat, Space Managers can now change access to new and existing spaces by making them either “Restricted” or “Discoverable.” To change access in a space, click the name of your space, select View Members from the drop-down menu, click the drop-down arrow under the Space Access section, and select either Restricted or University of Michigan (i.e., Discoverable).

Google has added a new Share button to appointment schedules on web and mobile. This update allows appointment hosts to copy a short link to all appointment schedules or a specific booking page, or add HTML to embed a booking page on a website.

Google Calendar and the new Share your booking page dialog

Google Chat Space Managers can now delete a space, which removes all owned content of the space, space tasks, and files/attachments not saved elsewhere. In addition, members will no longer be able to access the space, its files, tasks, or the member list after the space has been deleted. To delete a space, click the name of your space and select Delete space from the drop-down menu. Learn more about deleting a space in Google Chat

You can now select an option to display events on your Google Calendar only if they come from a sender you know. If you select this option, you will still receive email event invitations from unknown senders, but they appear on your calendar only after you accept.

Senders you know include:

  • People at the University of Michigan (i.e., @umich.edu)
  • People in your contacts list
  • People you’ve interacted with before

The default option is invitations from everyone, and you can still choose to have all invitations appear on your calendar or only those you’ve accepted.

Learn more about managing your incoming invitations and notifications in Google Calendar.

Google Calendar Settings, "Add invitations to my calendar" option highlighted

Previously Communicated:

Coming soon: Visual changes to email compose fields in Gmail

U-M Google June Monthly Summary


The monthly U-M Google summaries inform the university community of new Google releases and previously communicated updates.


In Google Docs, you can now make multiple text selections and apply actions such as delete, copy, paste, or format to all selections at once. To make multiple text selections, triple-click the first text selection to highlight it, and then while holding down the Ctrl or Cmd key, triple-click on any other text selections. When done, you can then take action on all text selections at once.

Selecting multiple text snippets and formatting them all at once in Google Docs

Editors of new Google Sites can now add content as a full page from the following sources: custom code, other websites, and Google apps such as Maps and Docs. Previously, editors could only add these elements as part of a page. Learn more about embedding content in new Google Sites.

You can now use familiar keyboard shortcuts Ctrl + C (or Cmd + C on Mac), Ctrl + X, and Ctrl + V to cut, copy, and paste Google Drive files in your Chrome browser. Additional things to note:

  • A link to the file and its title will be captured when copying, so you can paste the file directly into a document or email.
  • Ctrl + C, Ctrl + Shift + V will create shortcuts to keep files in multiple locations organized without creating duplicate files.
  • Open files or folders in a new tab using Ctrl + Enter to view multiple files at once.

Multiple examples of using keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl + C to cut, copy, and paste files in Google Drive

In addition to seeing a file’s name, owner, modification date, and size, Google has added a column to include location information in the Search, Recent, Starred, and Trash Google Drive views on the web.

Google Drive search results with a file's location selected from the new location column

In Google Tasks, you can now mark important tasks with a star (similar to functionality that currently exists in Drive). Additionally, you’ll be able to view or sort your starred items across various task lists in the new starred view.

  • Set a custom duration for "Do Not Disturb" in Google Chat 

You can now set the duration of your "Do Not Disturb" status in Google Chat to a specific date and time. This feature is now available on the web, Android, and iOS devices. Learn more about changing your Google Chat status.

Google has refreshed the layout of email notifications sent by Google Calendar to make key event details more accessible. In addition, when you receive an email notifying you of a modification to an event, such as a time or location change, it will display both the old and updated information.

Google has updated the experience for removing participants from a meeting in Google Meet. Now, when a host or co-host removes a participant from a call, they will be prompted with additional actions. Specifically, they can opt to: 

  • Remove the user from the call
  • Fill out an additional abuse report 
  • Block the user from rejoining (Only use the “block” functionality when absolutely necessary)

Learn more about adding or removing people from a Google Meet video call.

Picture-in-picture mode and multi-pinning are now available in Google Meet in Chrome web browsers. You’ll be able to see up to four video tiles of meeting attendees in a floating window on top of other applications. Additionally, you can now pin multiple video feeds. Learn more about multi-tasking with picture-in-picture mode in Meet.

Entering Picture in Picture mode while using Google Meet in the Chrome web browser to navigate to different tabs while still paying attention to the meeting

You can now print personal and Google Chat spaces Task lists on the web. Learn more about printing your Google Tasks

In 2019, Google released the ability to edit Microsoft Office files in Docs, Sheets, and Slides and sync Docs, Sheets, and Slides for offline use. Google has now announced the ability to sync your opened Microsoft Office files offline via Google Drive on your desktop. (Note: This change only applies to files that have already been opened in Office editing mode.) Learn more about enabling offline access in Google Drive.

Previously Communicated:

Coming soon: Visual changes to email compose fields in Gmail


Google has announced several improvements in Gmail to help you compose email more efficiently. When interacting with the “To,” “Cc,” and “Bcc” fields, key changes include: 

  • New right-click menu to view a recipient's contact information
  • Recipient profile pictures

Address fields in Gmail Compose box shows profile pictures with the names of the recipients

  • Better indicators when emailing an external recipient
    • External recipients you’ve interacted with before will be highlighted in yellow. 
    • External recipients you’ve not interacted with before will be highlighted along with an external icon and warning banner.

Two Gmail Compose boxes side by side, both have a recipient highlighted in yellow and the right image has a yellow warning box at the bottom

  • New indicators when adding a duplicate recipient
    • Duplicate recipients will be grayed out with a checkmark to indicate they have already been included in the email.
    • Gmail will automatically remove duplicate entries within the same field when dragging and dropping between the To, Cc, and Bcc fields.

Gmail Compose box shows a duplicate user grayed out in the recipient drop-down selection

  • Improved email formatting validation
    • To prevent errors, Gmail will validate that email addresses are entered in the correct format (e.g., username@domain.com) and will prevent any incorrect formats from becoming a recipient.
    • If you add an incorrectly formatted email address in the address fields, you’ll see an error message prompting you to fix the error before sending.
    • Validation is only performed on email address formatting and does not check the accuracy of the email address itself.

Note: These updates may impact some Chrome extensions using the current Gmail Compose interface.

According to Google, these improvements should begin showing up in U-M Google sometime between July 7 and the end of September 2022 but could take longer to become fully visible to everyone.

U-M Google May Monthly Summary


The monthly U-M Google summaries inform the university community of new Google releases and previously communicated updates.


You can now join a Google Meet call from Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. In addition to the "present to Meet" option, you can select “Join the call” to quickly join and present a document, spreadsheet, or presentation to all meeting attendees. Learn more about using Google Meet with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

User joins a Google Meet session from their Google Doc

You can now import a custom theme from one new Google Site to another. In a new Site, navigate to Themes > Custom > Import theme. Learn more about changing how your new site looks.

User importing an existing custom theme into their Google Site

When using the new appointment scheduling feature in Google Calendar, you can now opt to have individuals verify their email before booking an appointment with you. When enabled, the individual must be signed in to a Google account or, if they’re not signed in to a Google account, validate their email address using a PIN code to complete the booking.

This setting is off by default and is “sticky.” This means that if you turn it on or off, the setting will be saved for any new appointment scheduling series. Learn more about appointment scheduling and requiring email verification for appointments

In Google Drive, you can now use app:”Google Meet” in your search query to easily find Meet content such as meeting recordings and chat transcripts.

Google Drive search results for Meet content

Similar to Google’s updates to the Google Sheets menus earlier this year, you’ll now notice they have updated the menus in Google Docs to make it easier to locate the most commonly-used features.

You can now set the end options for recurring tasks directly in Google Tasks. Previously, you could only set the end option for a recurring task by opening the task in Google Calendar.

  • New idle status in Google Chat 

In Google Chat on the web and in Gmail, you'll now see an orange clock icon for users that were recently active in Chat but aren't currently active. Learn more about availability statuses in Google Chat.

In Google Chat, you may now encounter banners warning against potential phishing and malware messages from individuals with external (non-UM) Google accounts. These warning banners are already available in Gmail and Google Drive and help protect you against malicious users.

Google Chat messages with the new red warning banners

In Google Chat, you can now create personal tasks from individual or group messages. These tasks will then be viewable by you in Google Tasks, the quick-access side panel, and Google Calendar (if the task has a set date). Once you’ve created a personal task, you can add a due date and description, then quickly navigate back to the conversation. Learn more about adding or editing a task. (Currently, this feature is only available for Chat on the web and Android devices. The feature will come to iOS devices in the coming months.)

Previously Communicated:

None for the month of May!