The day after we launched Google Spreadsheets, one of the team said, "I can't believe you're already on the (Google) Groups page answering questions." After a late night-launch night? No way. "I'm definitely not posting, and I don't have the time even if I wanted to," I told him. Strangely, someone going by "Fuzzy" and/or "Fuzzy wuzzy" was answering everyone's questions! This unlikely-named person seemed to be very knowledgeable about Google Spreadsheets and spreadsheets in general. Well, the identity of that Fuzzy is still a mystery, but here's my chance to weigh in as myself.
I've been carefully watching the feedback we get on Google Spreadsheets, looking for people who may have discovered a bug or just need help using it. I'm also trying to judge our success in offering the right features. In a recent perusal of our Google Group (where interested people can discuss the product, help each other, and suggest improvements), it occurred to me that our growing body of users is about as diverse as a group can get, in terms of spreadsheet desires (if we can call them that!).
Here's a sampling of what people have been asking for:
- support for Open Document Format (handy for those who use linux-based machines and Open Office products)
- a way to force multiple line text in a single cell (like a street address in, say, a spreadsheet for planning a wedding)
- currency symbols in addition to $
- an option to create PDF files that will print nicely
- the ability to share a spreadsheet with anyone who receives the URL (without having to specify their email address).
This latest release of Google Spreadsheets that we just rolled out does all of these things and more. Here's a list of all the new features. I'm still watching the list of requests grow – and will keep trying to meet those needs -- unless of course the mysterious "Fuzzy wuzzy" beats me to it.