Google Apps is core to the way we work here at Brightcookie. Especially when you realise how well it can integrate with Moodle. So, every update is an exciting little gift waiting to be unwrapped – most of the time, anyway.
However, one of the latest updates has included what seems to be a step backwards. The removal of the ability to edit CSS and HTML from Google Docs.
For me, this finite control over documents was what made Google Docs so wonderful. For those of us who can remember way back when WordPerfect existed alongside Microsoft Word, you’ll also be able to recall the beautiful Reveal Codes function. When a document wasn’t behaving as expected, just hit Reveal Codes, tidy up the messy nested string of commands and, hey presto, a file reduced in size and working as advertised. WYSIWIG? Actually seeing what you expect to get: what a refreshing change.
Similarly, for anyone at ease editing and validating html, the ability to edit the HTML behind the scenes of a Google Doc is like gold. Whether you’re into fine, fine-tuning the CSS for your own organisation’s corporate styling needs or just wish to ‘tweak’ the HTML of the document itself, this feature was unbeatable.
The Google Apps forums have been full of vocal dissent about this for quite a number of weeks now. A temporary solution is available, however. To keep the Edit CSS and Edit HTML ability:
- Log in to Google Docs
- Click on Settings > Documents Settings
- Click on the Editing tab and deselect Create new text documents using the latest version of the document editor
Of course, that’s far from ideal. I want the latest version! And this workaround is only, according to Google, “for now”.
Fingers crossed that this option instead becomes I want to be able to edit CSS/HTML – because it was wonderful.