How to Unlock Google Docs' Hidden New Look

Ever since launching Google+, the Mountain View team has been rolling out a new look for its myriad services one by one, and now it's Google Docs' turn for a freshening.

Google Docs before (click to enlarge)
Some users may spot the options in the upper right of their main Google Docs screen after logging in to "Try the New Look." Click it and your screen will refresh with the cleaner, new design that comes with much more white space. In fact, everything's now double-spaced. Icons and colors are also now more muted and easier on the eyes. If you don't have the new look option on your GDocs home screen, click on the gear icon in the upper right corner. It should be an option in that drop-down.

Google has also added some keyboard shortcuts that let you create a new document, presentation, drawing, spreadsheet or collection right away. All the shortcuts can be found in a pop-up accessed by typing "?" from the main screen.

Google Docs after (click to enlarge)
A full list of all the recent improvements to Google Docs made in the past few months can be found here. It's a long list, but taking a gander is worthwhile to become familiar with what GDocs is now capable of, especially if you're a power cloud user. More fonts, deeper revision histories, optical character recognition in more formats and languages are all there.

As for the new look, check it out and let us know what you think. I've already switched back to the Classic design. I don't mind the brighter look, and all that wasted space on the new design drives me nuts. The last thing I need is more scrolling in my life. Perhaps the next update will give users direct control of font size and spacing.

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