Google Apps highlights – 2/19/2010

This is part of a regular series of Google Apps updates that we post every couple of weeks. Look for the label "Google Apps highlights" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

Over the last couple of weeks we've been busy adding new functionality to make communicating and sharing with Google Apps easier than ever, whether you use Google Apps for work, for school or at home.

Web clipboard for Google Docs
As more and more people are getting work done in the cloud with Google Docs, a common stumbling block has been copying and pasting formatted content between documents, spreadsheets and presentations. On Wednesday we made this a whole lot easier with a web clipboard for Google Docs. Just highlight what you want to copy, select from the web clipboard menu, move to your other Google Docs window and choose what you want to paste from the web clipboard menu. Your pasted content will retain its original formatting so you don't have to spend time reformatting.

New saving buttons in Google Docs
One of the most frustrating things about using traditional software is losing your work if something unexpected happens before you remember to save. Google Docs helps solve this problem by frequently saving your latest changes automatically. Still, we've heard from people that they want that extra reassurance that autosave is happening, and to be able to manually save their work more easily. New saving buttons in Google Docs do just that. The buttons let you know when your document is fully saved, in the process of being autosaved or has unsaved changes that haven't been picked up by autosave yet. Now, if there are unsaved changes the "Save now" button is clickable.

Google Buzz
Last week we launched Google Buzz, a new way to start conversations about things you find interesting, like photos, videos, webpages or whatever might be on your mind. Buzz lets you share right from Gmail, or from your mobile phone. You can connect other sites you use like Twitter, Picasa, and Google Reader, and you can post buzz privately or publicly. Since we released Google Buzz, we quickly made a number of improvements based on input from users, and we're committed to keep improving it. Individuals can use Google Buzz now, and we plan to make it available to businesses and universities using Google Apps within a few months.

Google Apps Script for Google Sites
Google Apps Script lets you create programmatic interactions between a whole variety of Google services including contacts, calendars, email, finance data, spreadsheets and more. Businesses often use scripts to automate repetitive processes. Last week, we added Google Sites to the list of products that you can control with scripts. Now, instead of manually updating the content in a site, you can use Google Apps Script to automatically populate pages in your site with calendar data, contact information and data from the other services that work with Google Apps Script. Scripts can even add attachments and be used to update the sharing preferences for your site.

Who's gone Google?
With 3,500 employees, Lincoln Property Company is one of the largest property management firms in the United States. Recently, Lincoln Property made the decision to switch to Google Apps from their complex and costly Novell Groupwise email infrastructure. Not only will they save an estimated $200,000 per year, they'll finally be able to equip every single employee with email, instant messaging and calendars — not just the 950 desk-based workers who previously had email access.

The Google Apps train keeps rolling in the education space as well. Seven million students around the world are now using Google Apps at school! DePauw University, Yale University, Davenport University and the College of William and Mary are just a handful of the most recent schools to switch to Google Apps.

Hope you're enjoying the latest round of new capabilities, whether you're using Google Apps with friends and family, with work colleagues or with classmates. For details and the latest news in this area, check out the Google Apps Blog.