Assistive Writing Features in Google Docs
Updated: Mar 23
If you’ve ever used a tool like Grammarly, you may be familiar with the types of auto-suggestions that Google is currently working on. Google Docs will have new assistive writing features to help you perfect the style and tone of your work.
These assistive writing features will suggest the following:
A more relevant word choice to match the work you’ve already written
Where you should use active voice rather than passive voice
How to make a sentence more concise
The use of more inclusive language
A warning on inappropriate words or phrases so you can reconsider using them
These features were supposed to be fully available in April 2022, however as of May 20, 2022, they have paused the rollout to continue working on it, leaving some people with the features and some without. Unfortunately, I do not have the features yet.
I hope we will all have the features soon as I’ve been waiting a long time for these kinds of suggestions inside Google Docs, so I’m glad that they’ll finally be here soon. It’ll save me from checking out the free Grammarly extension during times when my writing is…too wordy. (Ahem.) These features can help you avoid repeating words or having to open the thesaurus in another tab. They will definitely save some time writing and revising. From an educational lens, the Word Warning feature can help students who don’t fully understand what’s appropriate to write yet. I would love to see this feature in the future inside of chats and emails.
The assistive writing features are available for Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, and Enterprise Plus users. Education Fundamentals, Education Standard, Education Plus, and Teaching and Learning Upgrade users will get the Word Warning feature.
For those of use who do not have the feature yet, note that when it is available the feature will be turned on by default and end users can turn off the feature in the Tools menu under Stylistic Suggestions. Your Workspace admin can also turn this feature off for organizations.
As a side note: Writing suggestions in Google Docs are powered by machine learning, using billions of common phrases and sentences to make sense of the world and suggest meaningful changes. Because of this, suggestions may reflect human cognitive biases. What this means is that you, as always, are the ultimate judge of what you choose to accept as a suggestion or not, and that over time the goal is to make suggestions less biased. “Google is committed to making products that work well for everyone, and are actively researching unintended bias and mitigation strategies,” and they, like the rest of us, are actively working on it. This is especially true as the rollout is currently paused while they actively work on it.
Hope your week is a good one,
Blanca E. Duarte, Chief Enablement Officer, LogicWing