Saturday, December 16, 2006

New Google Notes feature: Full Screen
  • Full Screen for Google Homepage Users
  • Refresh for Google Desktop Users
  • Public Notepad in your blog or on your website
  • Upcoming features
For those of you who have been able to put up with our recent server outages, you now have your reward (or at least a reward). The Full Screen button gives you a lot more room for your note-taking and note reviewing.
  • If you use Google Homepage, this button will expand your notepad to take up the full browser window area. If you're like me and make heavy use of your notepad, this will come in very handy, freeing you of the (previously tiny) window constraints.
  • If you use Google Desktop, this button will open a browser window to show your current notepad (if, for example, it has been changed via Google Homepage). I've had many requests for a refresh button, and I'm still trying to see if I can get it to actually refresh within Google Desktop.
I've also corrected a recent inadequacy with Google Notes: one of the unfortunate side effects of the recent outage was that the note save frequency was changed from every 1 second to every 10 seconds. This meant that you could potentially "lose" the last few characters you were typing if you closed your window too quickly. I've put in a nice fix for this--the note saving frequency is now every 5 seconds (to reduce server load), BUT if you close the window or navigate away from the page, it'll go ahead and save it anyway.

I mentioned before that a few of you have used Google Notes for a sort of "shoutbox" or "public notepad" on your blog. The new button makes this easy for anyone to implement, so here's how you can do it:
  1. First, add a new notepad to your Google Homepage and give it an email & category combo (the buttons to the column on the right of this blog will add a notepad for you). Click save and then click the new button to expand the notepad to full-screen. Copy the URL at the top of your browser. (You can even bookmark it if you want to jump directly to your notepad in the future.)
  2. In your blog/website template, set up an iframe pointing to that URL. You can paste the following code in your template and it should work (if you replace "foo.html" with the URL you copied in the first step):
<IFRAME SRC="foo.html" WIDTH=200 HEIGHT=300></IFRAME>

One last thing to mention about the new Full Screen button...after you click it you may notice "up_wordcount=" in the URL. If you change this to "up_wordcount=1", you can enable a rudimentary word counting feature.

The next thing I'm working on is a "send notepad contents to email" button, so you can look for that in the future.


Anonymous IPv6 said...

Nice stuff! Thanks for addition! send to email whould be useful feature too!

One more suggestions:
- make a visible representation of "save state", like "save draft" button in gmail in addition/instead of time-based saves (may be as a colored link or so). BTW did it do the save when nothing changes in the notepad? for example when it is on background page.

Current implementation makes me "unsure" is the content is saved or not though i never loose my changes yet

12/20/2006 2:18 AM  Edit
Blogger lmharnisch said...

Hi. Can't get it to save additions, deletions.

12/27/2006 9:57 PM  Edit
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for making it save upon leaving the page!

1/04/2007 3:15 AM  Edit

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