Google Docs will soon let you select multiple blocks of text


Google Docs is getting an absolutely nice feature that can cut down on a lot of work when it comes to formatting your document correctly: the ability to select multiple sections of text at once† If you’ve separated two sentences by a heading, or want to apply the same effect to three different words in a paragraph, you can now do so by simply selecting the text at once and applying your changes.

Selecting multiple sections of text is extremely easy: select the first bit of text as you normally would, then press the Command (⌘) or Control key, depending on whether you’re using a Mac or Windows computer. Keep holding it and select the other bits of text you want. Once you’ve selected everything, you can let go and change the formatting bits you want using the toolbar.

This is what peak productivity looks like.
Gif: Google

It’s a small thing, but if you need to format a lot of text, using this feature will definitely be easier than, say, using the formatting tool that allows you to highlight a piece of text and copy the formatting to another. While that tool eliminates the need to set each parameter individually, it can still require a lot more clicks depending on how many bits of text you’re trying to change.

The feature can also be used for things other than formatting — say you want to cut a few paragraphs and move them around, or add a comment relevant to multiple sentences. Multi-select makes it easy.

There are a few situations where using the feature is not the best option. For example, if you’re trying to change every header in your document, it’s probably better to just change the style rather than manually selecting each header. To do that, you can format one header the way you want, then go to the style section, select the header level and click “Update”. [style] to match.”

Gif showing how to use the style update feature built into Google Docs.

With just one click, I can make all the text formatted as Heading 1 look like garbage.

While multi-select may not be the perfect tool for: each situation, it’s absolutely great that Google added it as an option – especially since there are some word processors for desktop apps that don’t seem to have this feature (if you know how to do this in Apple Pages let me know ). In an announcement postGoogle says the feature will be gradually rolled out to all accounts over the next 15 days, so if you don’t have it yet, don’t wait too long.


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