Google fans no longer need the Internet to count their inventory or tabulate a budget. The company recently rolled out a new update to Google Sheets, the spreadsheet web app in Google Drive, that finally--finally--includes offline editing support in Chrome. The new feature will be a welcome addition to Chrome OS users and other Chrome fans who keep all their data in Google's cloud.
Offline editing is already available for Docs and Slides, making Sheets the last of the three major Google Drive apps to get the feature. But the new Sheets offline implementation isn't perfect.
Google says offline editing will only work with spreadsheets created after you switched over to the new version of Sheets. Anyone who needs offline access may have to do a little copying and pasting into a new document to edit their older spreadsheets when an Internet connection isn't present.
But wait, there's more!
Offline support was just one of several changes to Sheets that Google introduced. Sheets now supports millions of cells on a single sheet and Google dumped the limitations on how many columns and formulas you can use. Limits on the number of cells you can copy and paste are also gone.
The company added a new feature called filter views that lets you change the layout of a spreadsheet without affecting it for other users--a handy feature if, for example, you need to filter a column in descending numerical order, but everyone else needs to see it in ascending order. You can also save and share your personalized filter views with others.
Google is also simplifying the help links you see as you type formula commands, and the new Sheets also has error highlighting to help you spot and fix your formula mistakes as you go.
Finally, Sheets now pushes overflowing text into adjacent cells instead of creating a new line in the current cell.
My account was switched over to the new version of Sheets automatically, but if you don't see the new features, you can make the switch manually by visiting g.co/newsheets. Offline access to Google Drive requires a simple one-time set-up process and is available only in the Chrome browser. Check out this Google help page for instructions.