9 Great Google Docs Add-Ons for Students, Writers
- Google Docs supports hundreds of add-ons that offer new features, quality-of-life improvements, and more.
- The best Google Docs add-ons will streamline your writing process and save you time.
- Here are nine of our favorite Google Docs add-ons, along with a guide on how to install them.
- Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.
At its heart, Google Docs is a simple program. It opens you on a blank white page with some basic formatting options and lets you run wild. But if you look deeper, Docs offers a whole lot of unique features that other word processors lack.
Most of these features come from Google Docs’ add-ons program, which lets developers create new features for the app. Anyone can install and use these add-ons, and they’re great for boosting your productivity.
Here’s a quick guide to installing Google Docs add-ons, along with nine of the best ones to try out.
How to install Google Docs add-ons
You’ll install any add-ons you want through the Google Workspace Marketplace. To find it, open a Google Docs document (new or old), click Add-ons in the top toolbar, then select Get add-ons.
Once opened, click the add-on that you want and select Install. Give the add-on permission to connect with your Google account, and it’ll install itself.
You can find all the add-ons you’ve installed in the Add-ons menu at the top of any Google Docs document.
Writing Habit helps you hit goals
It’s true that Google Docs has its own word count feature built right into the app. But it’s pretty barebones — all it shows you is how many words you’ve got.
Writing Habit, meanwhile, tracks that and more. This add-on lets you set both daily and weekly word count goals, and will show you how close you are to hitting those goals at all times. It’ll even look at how many words you type per minute to predict how long it’ll take to finish a project.
If you need a way to track your writing progress, Writing Habit can keep you up-to-date.
Easy Accents supports over two dozen languages
The most frustrating part of writing in a different language is having to constantly remember how to type special accented characters.
Easy Accents speeds up that process by putting a menu with every possible accented letter on the side of your screen. Just click a letter to insert it into your document. Hold Shift while you click to capitalize the letter.
Docs Paragraph Translate gives speedy translations
Google Translate might only be a few clicks away, but the Docs Paragraph Translate tool sticks it right into your document.
To use Docs Paragraph Translate, just highlight a sentence or paragraph, select what language it’s in and what you want to translate to, and click Translate. And once you’ve got your translation, you can click one button to paste it into your document.
Like all online translators, it’s not perfect. But if you’re looking for a quick conversion, it’s got your back.
Automagical Forms turns any document into a Google Form
Google Forms is a separate app that lets you create questionnaires, quizzes, and surveys. But if you’ve made your quiz in Google Docs instead (either purposefully or accidentally), there’s a quick way to port everything over.
The Automagical Forms add-on will scan your Google Doc for questions, which it’ll then convert into a Google Form. And if you don’t like its automatic results, you can instead manually select what you want to be turned into questions.
Automagical can be a lifesaver (or at least a timesaver) for anyone who regularly makes tests or surveys.
MathType lets you type equations
Word processors like Google Docs are great if you’re typing in plain text, but struggle when trying to handle special symbols, like the ones used in math equations.
That’s where MathType comes in. MathType adds a new keyboard to Google Docs that’ll let you type out and insert nearly any kind of math or chem equation to your document. There’s also a handwriting mode you can use to draw your equation and have the add-on convert it to text.
The equations can be as long and complex as you need — MathType will turn whatever you type into an image, so there shouldn’t be any formatting problems.
MathType is a must-have for mathematicians and data scientists working in Docs.
Diagrams.net is a free and fully featured diagramming app
Lots of Google Docs add-ons claim that they support diagrams, but most hide it behind a paywall. Diagrams.net offers all its features right from the start, and you don’t even need an account.
When you launch it, Diagrams.net will open a new window where you can pick from a pre-existing template or start entirely from scratch. Your diagrams can sprawl out as far as you’d like, and anything you make will get saved directly to your
account so you don’t lose it.
Beep for Google Docs records quick voice notes
Voice typing is one thing, but what if you just want to speak off the top of your head, away from your actual document? Beep for Google Docs lets you record yourself speaking and play it back, without adding anything to your document.
It’ll also save your recordings to a unique URL, which you can copy and paste to share with others. The URL can last for as long as you want, or just delete itself after a day.
Rhetoro will read your writing to you
But it doesn’t just read the text and then disappear — it’ll also create an MP3 file of the reading, which you can download and share with anyone. You can also control how the AI’s voice sounds, and how fast or slow it reads.
FAX.PLUS brings fax machines into the Internet Age
Very few companies use fax machines anymore, and even fewer households even own one. This makes it incredibly frustrating if you ever run into a situation where you need to fax something.
The FAX.PLUS add-on will turn any Google Doc into a fax, which you can send to any fax number, even outside the United States. It also lets you schedule your send, retry the fax if it can’t get through, and email a PDF version of your fax to the recipient too.
The add-on lets you send up to 10 pages for free — after that, you’ll need to pay to add more.