August 3rd, 2007 | Published in Google Docs
As we mentioned in the Docs & Spreadsheets help group last week, we added a few cool (in my opinion ;) features to the collaborative spreadsheets editor. What we didn't mention was the hard work of a few interns which led to these features.
Matt Ziegelbaum gave us the new Sortbar, which is a huge improvement to our old Sort tab. It's that new gray bar you'll see towards the top of your spreadsheets. You can drag and drop the handle at the left to quickly and easily freeze your header rows, but it also gives you one-click access to sorting. Just click it once above the column you want to sort; click again to reverse the sort.
James Walker gave us the collaborator location indicators. This one adds even more "wow" to the Real-time collaboration capabilities of the product. When you are working in the same spreadsheet with other people, you can now see where they are - as their selected cell will be highlighted with a colored box. If you don't see them, just click their name in the discuss tab and you'll be taken to the part of the spreadsheet where they are working and watch, in real-time, as they move around the sheet. You'll also be given a visual indicator when a cell is being edited (it turns gray) to help avoid those "oops - I think i just edited the same cell as you" moments. If you've never actually edited a spreadsheet at the same time as other people, go create a spreadsheet of your favorite videos or musicians and invite a few people to give their ratings... or whatever. Real-time collaboration might change your perspective on productivity... and fun!
If anyone ever tells you that interns do un-important tasks and get coffee for their managers - don't believe it. In fact, I'm going now to get coffee for James and Matt and the rest of the team who helped get these features done!