WordPress.com Releases Chrome Add-On for Google Docs

WordPress.com released its new Chrome Add-on for Google Docs today. The free add-on allows users to edit documents collaboratively in Google Docs and then send the document directly to any WordPress.com site as a draft post. The add-on can also connect to Jetpack-enabled sites, offering the same functionality for self-hosted WordPress users.

After installing the add-on from the Google Chrome Store, users will be asked to give permission for it to send posts to WordPress.com. Clicking on the Add-ons menu within the document will open a sidebar where you can add sites. When the document is ready to send to one of your sites, you can click on the “Save Draft” button. You’ll be given a preview link to check out how it looks on the site.

Ordinarily, copying and pasting content from Google Docs into WordPress results in a messy draft that lacks the same formatting. The new add-on was created to tackle this problem. It duplicates the document’s images and formatting into WordPress, cutting out a lot of secondary formatting that used to be required.

“Collaboration has been a big area of interest for us, and we want to investigate a lot of different approaches,” Automattic representative Mark Armstrong said. “Google Docs made perfect sense because it’s where a lot of people already do collaborative editing. If we could streamline that process for publishing a Google Doc on WordPress, that would help so many people. We’ve been testing it with publishers and heard a lot of great feedback.”

Armstrong didn’t have any data for how often users paste content from Google docs to WordPress.com, but making content more portable between the two platforms is an often requested feature. The WordPress Plugin Directory has several plugins for embedding Google documents inside content via a shortcode embed or oEmbed, demonstrating that thousands of users are already interested in bringing content over from Google Docs to WordPress.

After testing the add-on with a sample document that includes special formatting and images, I found that it is a great improvement over the clunky copy and paste experience. Sending posts to WordPress.com is fairly seamless and works as advertised.

In testing with multiple Jetpack-enabled sites I received some errors when authenticating, which may be due to a security limitation of my host. We had the same issue with the Tavern and were not able to fully test it for self-hosted WordPress sites, but are continuing to investigate the issue. However, other Jetpack-enabled sites are reportedly working with the add-on as expected, according to Armstrong.

Heavy users of Google Docs and WordPress are excited by the prospect of having the two platforms play nicely together. It saves users quite a bit of time and the new tool will do a lot to bridge the gap for those who rely on Google Docs for collaborative editing. It’s the next best thing to having collaborative editing built into WordPress.

20 Comments


  1. Excellent. As I work to move my customers toward the easiest method of Getting Stuff Done, this is a satisfying step forward.

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  2. This definitely looks like a good feature and will speed up a lot of people’s workflow.

    I’ve been frustrated before by the extra tags generated by pasting in content from Google Docs – good to know that problem’s been solved.

    Will be interested to know how well it works as part of Jetpack on self-hosted sites. Which host gave you problems?

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  3. Does this work only ion “wordpress.com” or other sites with wordpress installed?

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      1. I haven’t been able to get it to connect on my Jetpack-connected site. When I go to authorize it I am taken to my login page. When I log in with the correct credentials I see the following message:

        Someone may be trying to trick you into giving them access to your site. Or it could be you just encountered a bug :). Either way, please close this window.

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      2. Hi! I work on the Jetpack team, and I’d be happy to help you figure this out!

        Can you please use Jetpack’s Debugger module to send us some more information about your site?

        Go to the Jetpack page in your dashboard.
        Click on the Debug link appearing at the bottom of the page.
        Click the link that says “click here to contact Jetpack support.”
        Fill in the description box and your name and email address.
        Click the “Contact Support” button to send us the debug results privately. It’s best not to post this information here, as it contains private details about your site.

        Thanks!

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      3. Had the same problem, and resolved it. In my case, my (self-hosted) WordPress site (using Jetpack) is https:// not http://. I had a few lines in my .htaccess file that FORCE https (to prevent search engines from indexing both):

        RewriteEngine On
        RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
        RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]

        I removed those lines, and presto – Authorization worked as intended.

        After I was authorized, I added them back, and the add-on works perfectly. It was apparently only a problem during the authorization step.

        Hope that helps!

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  4. I feel like I have been waiting for this all my life. While almost all of our authors know how to use Google Docs, WordPress’s default editor requires some learning for them and even now they still make mistakes. And there are times when one has to go to the text editor for example to tweak lists. They get lost.

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  5. This will be a great tool for our church website clients! Anything to make their lives easier and quicker to get their content on the website is great!

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  6. This new Chrome extension is great news for our team. We co-author heavily in Google Docs. We too had trouble connecting with Jetpack on one site, and it seems when you change over from HTTP to HTTPShttps, some of the Jetpack features, among them the Google Doc Extension doesn’t work, without disconnecting on both sides. After disconnecting the site from my WordPress.com account and disconnecting the Jetpack instance on the site, and then reconnecting, would allow a proper authentication of the Google Docs.

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    1. Can you explain exactly what you did? Isn’t “disconnecting the site from my WordPress.com account and disconnecting the Jetpack instance on the site” one and the same thing? Thanks!

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    2. I disconnected jetpack from wordpress.com and in my site too. After I reconnected jetpack from my wordpress.org site and fails again.

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      1. @gruncho @justin I’d love the opportunity to help you both. Would you be willing to email me at jesse@jetpack.com so I can assist you?

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  7. I’ll be happy to give this a go when it works…….

    Several issues with trying to authenticate.

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    1. If you’d like, you can send us more info about your site by following the instructions I posted above. We’ll help you solve this issue.

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  8. This is absolutely fabulous news! I’m so excited to get started with it and use on 4 of my sites! Thanks for sharing this!

    Bren

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  9. Will the original remain in Google docs after posting to the WordPress site?

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    1. Yes, you can keep editing the draft in Google Docs after pushing it to your WordPress site.

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