Last month Google unveiled a new development for Google Drive (Google’s web-based office suite) called Add-ons. Essentially this introduces an app store for Google Drive, although it is only in place for Google Docs and Google Sheets at this time. Add-ons are tools created by third-party developers that greatly expand the capabilities of Docs and Sheets. They can easily be ‘added on’ to your Google Drive account and can be removed at any stage if you so wish.
To install one of the add-ons (or just browse through them) simply open up a Google Doc or Sheet and you will notice a new menu item in the menu bar at the top (to the left of the ‘Help’ menu):
The add-ons store will then appear. You can browse through all of the add-ons, filter them by category (by using the menu in the top-left corner) or search by name (using the search box in the top-right corner).
Hover over any add-on to learn more about it and to reveal the ‘install’ button for that add-on. Simply click this button if you wish to install the add-on in question.
You will then be required to give this add-on permission to access your Google Drive account:
And that’s it. The add-on is now installed and you can access it from the ‘Add-ons’ menu at the top of the page. If you wish to install any further add-ons, simply repeat this process.
The following video demonstrates a small number of the add-ons and illustrates just how useful they are.
A quick browse through these add-ons will reveal a number of ones that are particularly well suited to education, including EasyBib (a personal favourite), a thesaurus, a table of contents generator, mind-mapping and diagram tools to name a few. Into the future I expect we will see this range of add-ons expand greatly and also see the add-ons functionality rolled out to Google Slides.