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March 12, 2014

Google opens up Docs APIs to compete with Microsoft Office

Add-on developers will draw users away from Office, Google hopes.

By Ben Sullivan

Google has announced its plans to allow users of Google Docs and Sheets to install add-ons that will add features and new capabilities to the cloud-based Microsoft Office competitors.

Among the initial add-ons, users will find the tools to embed Twitter tweets, run mail merges, use Google Maps and Google Analytics, and install new fonts for documents.

The add-ons will be available via Google’s online store.

The end goal for Google, however, is for developers to experiment with the newly-opened APIs and produce even more features and components that would draw Microsoft users to Google.

Once an add-on is installed, it becomes available across all of your documents. The add-ons are powered via the Google Apps script, which is Google’s own Javascript platform.

Developers have to publish their add-ons in Google’s store, and there’s a set of guidelines developers have to adhere to.

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