The older Google Document format included support for HTML/CSS editing. Not only was this feature useful for sorting out bugs with the earlier version of the Document editor but it enabled users to create cohesive styles in the same manner that we do with websites.
I had always toyed with docs but never really considered using it for work/business until I needed a resume to go job hunting. I didn't have MS office installed at the time and didn't feel like installing it so I thought I'd give Docs a shot.
After some googling I discovered that I could save a lot of time by searching for public templates. When I received the document it was close but missing the personal touch I knew I would need to get the job. I tried using just the GUI tools but found them clunky and ineffective.
After searching through the menus I discovered the HTML/CSS editing feature and sighed with a breath of relief. I have tried (unsuccessfully) over the years to bend the styling tools of traditional desktop publishing platforms (Office, OoO, LibreOffice, Indesign) to work the way I wanted but the inability to easily view/set the borderline between styles has always been a pain.
The combination of HTML tags and CSS classes address all of my gripes with traditional platforms in a manner that is familiar. Plus, if I ever feel the need to share/publish a document template I can feel comfortable that the format is ubiquitous enough to be useful to others. Due to my past experience with using HTML/CSS to design webpages, the barrier of entry to jump right in to do some advanced editing was nil.
I know the easy (canned) answer for this type of thing is, "just use google sites" but I'm not looking for a tool to write website content; I'm looking for a tool that can marry the simplicity of docs on the surface with the power of HTML publishing under the covers.
I'm not suggesting that Google change the current Document format, I understand that the format is geared to be light, clean, and fast. What I'm suggesting is, resurrect the old format as a new document type that puts power/versatility over performance.
It seems ironic. Because of this first favorable experience with Docs I have moved on to incorporate Google Spreadsheets into my daily workflow. I have spent the past two months leveraging Google Apps Scripting to build an online documentation and auto-reporting system; when I finally came back to use the Document editor, I discovered that it has been transformed back into a toy.
Please don't take my harsh tone as anger. Take as frustration that unique/powerful/useful tool that I had adopted will soon me made unavailable.
Here's what Google Documents used to be capable of:
Plus, I'm not the only one:
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EMPLOYEEI’m sympathetic.1I can't answer your (excellent) question, but I can give you a little bit of background.
> The older Google Document format included support for HTML/CSS editing.
Multi-user collaboration was problematic when using HTML/CSS. Different browsers have different ideas about how to render the same content. Pixel-level differences in browser layout resulted in line wrap on the same document being different for different people. This resulted in a cascade of ever-increasing divergence on long documents. Relying on the browser to perform any form of layout turned out to be not possible.
The switch to the new format pushed all layout to the server-side. Each word is now absolutely positioned on the page. Reintroduction of raw code editing would have to address the server's internal model of the document rather than the browser's model.
[Source: the keynote Google gave at SVG Open 2011. http://www.svgopen.org/2011/registrat...]
Personally, I too greatly miss the raw editing capability; I keep a couple of legacy documents around specifically to preserve my own access to this ability. I can't comment on whether restoration of this feature is planned or not.