Google is constantly refining its Workspace cloud platform to become more efficient and user-friendly, and its newly expanded smart chips feature delivers on both counts. Confusingly, Google calls them “people chips” in its apps such as Google Sheets and Docs, but the official blog and other materials call them “smart chips.” 

This handy tool allows you to tag people, files, or events within the document you’re working on. Easy to use and implement, it’s a navigation aid that gives you instant access to relevant materials - almost like an interactive footnote or citation.

What are Google smart chips?

Also known as people chips, smart chips aren’t new to Google. If you’re a regular Workspace client, you’re probably well used to tagging colleagues using the @ symbol when you need their input on a file or want to reference them. 

That same function has now been extended to give users more options. No longer confined to tagging accounts, you can also use your @ key to insert files from Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides, as well as calendar events. 

Once it’s added, you hover over the smart chip to see where it leads, get a preview, and click through if needed. No hunting through documents, opening other apps, or looking up a contact’s email - it’s all there in the drop-down menu once you add your @. And if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, the menu contains a search function. Start typing your keywords, and Google will search through your drive to find what you’re looking for.

Using smart chips

There are a few things to bear in mind if you want to make the most of the smart chips tool:

  • While it can be used to add others to your document, it doesn’t automatically grant those users access. You still have to permit them by adjusting your sharing settings as usual. And you can only add users who have a Gmail account or Workspace email. 
  • If you’re using smart chips in Google Sheets, you’re limited to tagging just people. As yet, you can’t add files or events.
  • If you want to add a date to your document, hit the @ key and type a specific date or ‘today,’ ‘tomorrow,’ ‘yesterday,’ or ‘date.’ Once you’ve selected the correct date, it creates a chip. Move your cursor over the chip to book a meeting and see what’s scheduled on that day. You can also go back and edit the date or change its format by clicking the settings icon.
  • Working on a spreadsheet filled with email addresses? You can convert those addresses to people chips by selecting the appropriate cells, going into the Insert tab, and selecting ‘People chip.’

Google Workspace is a full-service office suite that can deliver significant efficiency gains across your organization - if you know how to use it. As a Google Premier Partner, UpCurve knows the cloud-based platform inside and out and can help guide you through its installation and implementation while advising on making the most of Google’s transformative tools. Book a consultation with our experts today to see how we can help you maximize your workflow and boost productivity.

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