I didn’t quite catch what they typed, but a colleague appeared to type something like ‘new.doc’ in Chrome to jump directly to a new Google Docs document. I tried to do the same and it just said site not found. What’s the secret?
You were so close! What Google has added to Chrome is a handy shortcut that relies on you using specific words ending with a “.new” suffix, just as you’d use “.com” to get to, say, this Web site. It’s a reminder that the address bar in Chrome – and other browsers – is really a search tool with some level of sophistication, not just a place to type in or copy/paste URLs. In fact, for years pundits have been saying that we’re going to leave domain names entirely behind but so far I don’t see that happening and I’ve been on the Web for quite a while now.
Anyway, so far Google has announced a set of “.new” shortcuts that work with Google Docs, but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t see new ones down the road like ‘tweet.new’ to jump right to where you can type in a tweet, or ‘the office.new’ to jump right to the next episode of The Office in your browser. Okay, so maybe those won’t happen f0r a while, but it’s still a pretty neat idea. I’ll show you how it’s done, then talk about all the shortcuts I know about…
To start out, here’s an empty Chrome browser window. You’ve seen hundreds of ’em:
I can remember when it really was blank other than the Google logo and search box, but now various additional elements have crept onto the screen. Still, no ads, so there’s that.
Now in the address bar type in docs.new without any space:
There’s a hint that it’s doing something special with the first option, but just finish typing and press Return [or Enter, depending on your keyboard layout].
POOF! A blank Google Docs document opens up:
In fact, that’s a darn fast and easy way to get to a new document!
You can also do this with a spreadsheet by typing in sheet.new:
I actually really like working with spreadsheets so I’m a bigger fan of Google Sheets than I am Google Docs. Go figure. Comes from getting an MBA: You create a lot of spreadsheets along the way.
You can also use forms.new to begin building a new Google Docs FORM:
But the winner for most useful shortcut is unquestionably being able to add a new calendar event with a simple cal.new shortcut entry in Chrome. It pops up an event entry form that offers everything you’ll want in one place:
Honestly, if you’re a big Google Calendar fan, that shortcut by itself might have just changed your life. Well, in a little way, at least.
Anyway, that’s it. There’s no documentation I can find so it’s a matter of guessing and experimentation. The shortcuts I have found are doc.new for a document, sheets.new for a spreadsheet, form.new for a new form, slides.new for a presentation, and cal.new for a calendar event. Now go save some time!
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about Google Docs and other tools for quite a while, please check out my Google Docs Help pages while you’re here on the site!