If you begin to see purple squiggles underlining what you’re typing in a Google Docs document, don’t worry: That’s just Google trying to be helpful. Here’s what the purple squiggle in Google Docs means.
Google said Thursday that it’s adding stylistic suggestions to Google Docs within Google Workspace, designed to “help elevate your writing style and make more dynamic, clear, inclusive, and concise documents,” according to a blog post Google issued on Thursday. Actual errors will be highlighted in red, while the new suggestions will receive the new purple squiggle.
“You’ll see suggestions when there are opportunities to structure a sentence with an active voice or when a sentence can be more concise, helping to make your writing more impactful,” Google said. “Potentially discriminatory or inappropriate language will be flagged, along with suggestions on how to make your writing more inclusive and appropriate for your audience.”
Like Google’s existing suggestions, you’ll have the option to either accept or reject the suggested language. These suggestions will be on by default, though you’ll have the option to turn it off as well.
Specifically, Google will suggest alternate wording, including the use of the active voice, making sentence structure more concise, plus encouraging you to use more inclusive language and avoid potentially inappropriate words. In this Google lags well behind Microsoft, which first suggested these within Ideas in 2019, then began incorporating them into Editor.
Like Microsoft, these new features will be aimed at paid customers as a way to encourage them to use paid plans. They’ll begin rolling out on March 31 for Rapid Release domains and on April 14 for those who use Scheduled Release. If you or your workplace uses Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Plus , you’ll see them then. Otherwise, they won’t be available to those on Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Enterprise Essentials, Frontline, and Nonprofits, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers, Google said.