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Google Docs is getting a big upgrade to save you time — here's how it works

A magnifying glass over the Google Docs logo on a computer screen, representing an article about how to change cases on Google Docs
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’re a regular user of Google Docs, like me, then you’re going to be thrilled at the prospect of this latest upgrade (opens in new tab). Google Docs is about to give you the ability to select multiple blocks of text at once. That has the potential to save you a lot of time during the editing process.

Imagine that you want to bold specific blocks of text, or need to copy blocks that are separated by something unnecessary. As it stands right now, Google Docs forces you to handle each batch of text separately. Or you can delete separate sections without having to hunt them down one at a time.

It’s not a huge time sink, but those extra fractions of seconds do add up if you’re working on a particularly large document. Google Docs’ new change means all you need to do is hold down the Control key, or Command ⌘ if you’re on a Mac, and select whatever text you like. So long as you keep that key held down, you can select whatever text you like and do as you please.

google docs multi-select tool

(Image credit: Google)

This isn’t the first productivity-inspired upgrade to Google Docs that’s been announced in recent months, either. Back in February, Google announced the upcoming launch of a “Smart Canvas” feature. Among the changes coming to Google Docs were pageless documents, which removed page breaks that would disrupt the flow of your work. It also prevented random blank spaces muddying up the aesthetic of your work.

Last month Google started reorganising Docs menus as well, with the goal of putting the tools you need in much easier-to-reach places. That particular update still appears to be in the process of rolling out, if my two Google accounts are anything to go by.

By comparison, the ability to select multiple blocks of text at once is pretty minor. But it’s the one thing I’ve always felt Google Docs lacked. Especially since it’s possible to use the Control/Command key to do similar things in various other bits of software.

It’s been a life-saver at organizing all the random stuff that winds up in my download folder, for instance. Without it I’d have to delete each dud file individually, rather than selecting them en masse and deleting them in one fell swoop.

According to Google this feature launched on May 25, and will have a gradual rollout that could take up to 15 days. So if you’re like me, and don’t have this multi-select feature just yet, have a little patience and keep your eyes open.

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.