Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Google is constantly rolling out new features and changes to Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and the rest of the Workspace suite. Now, a helpful preview feature has arrived in the Drive desktop web app.

Google said in a blog post, “we’re introducing file hovercards in Google Drive to improve this experience and help you complete tasks faster without having to open multiple tabs. Now, when you place your cursor over a file icon in Google Drive on the web, a hovercard will appear with a thumbnail of your file and other relevant information, such as file type, file owner, who recently modified the file and when they last modified the file.”

Google Drive screenshot showing a preview of a Docs file.

The new previews are similar to the cards that already appear when hovering over external links in Docs, Sheets, or Slides documents. Hovering over an image file will show a small preview, hovering over a Docs file reveals a snippet of the first page, and so on. The previews aren’t interactive, though—if you want to scroll through a Docs or Sheets file, for example, you’ll have to open it as usual. The info panel will also still be required to see detailed information about the file and how it is shared.

The feature should also be familiar to anyone who has used Peek in macOS, which gives you an interactive preview for many files without opening the dedicated application. Microsoft also has similar functionality in its PowerToys utility for Windows 10 and Windows 11. Some other web apps have similar link previews.

Google also said, “This new experience may help save time by enabling you to gain context on your files without having to open the information sidebar to view details and recent activity.”

Hover cards are rolling out now to all Google Workspace customers, Google Workspace Individual subscribers, and everyone with personal Google accounts. Not all features in Drive and the Workspace suite are made available to regular personal (Gmail) accounts, so it’s nice to see hover cards will be rolled out to everyone. It may take up to 15 days before the new functionality appears, though.

Source: Google Workspace Updates

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By John P.

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