Free Google Add-Ons for Google Docs and Google Sheets

These Google Drive add-ons are a must-have for efficiency and ease of use

Screenshot of some of the available Google Docs Add-ons.

Writers and communicators exert a lot of effort to convey a story or message. If you use the free, online Google Docs program or the business Google G Suite, add-ons can make the process much simpler.

Add-ons are tools you can add to a Google app's program's toolbar, as opposed to a template, which is a pre-made document. You may have heard these called add-ins, third-party apps, or extensions. Each office software suite has its own terminology.

Most users are able to log in to Google Docs through their Google Drive or Gmail sign-in.

In Google Drive, you can add apps to Google Docs, Google Sheets, or other Google apps simply. Just select Settings > Manage Apps > Connect more apps. To add apps from within Docs, Sheets, or other apps, click the Add-ons tab in the top toolbar and then select Get add-ons.

A lot of free add-ons are available, but communication professionals are busy, and there are tons of apps to cull through. We've highlighted those we considered most useful in an effort to save you some time.

01
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Table of Contents Add-On for Google Docs

Table of Contents Add On for Google Docs

What We Like

  • Dramatically improves navigation in multipage documents.

  • Generates a clickable table of contents in the sidebar, based on section headings.

What We Don't Like

  • Slow when working with lengthy documents.

  • Only shows level one headings.

  • No customization options.

To hit the ground running on your next manuscript, check out the free Table of Contents add-on for Google G Suite or Docs, courtesy of LumApps.

02
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ProWritingAid Add-On for Google Docs

ProWritingAid Add-On for Google Docs

What We Like

  • Checks documents for plagiarism, redundancies, grammar mistakes, and more.

  • Operates as a personal editor and writing coach.

What We Don't Like

  • Almost all features require a paid premium upgrade.

  • Free version checks only the first 500 words of a document.

If you write or edit with Google apps, consider the free ProWritingAid add-on for Google G Suite or Google Docs. It installs a sidebar with specific authoring and editing tools you may be interested in.

03
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Consistency Checker Add-On for Google Docs

Consistency Checker Add-On for Google Docs

What We Like

  • Checks documents for style inconsistencies in hyphenation, spelling, numbers, and more.

  • Identifies a mix of American and Canadian spelling, such as color and colours.

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't offer suggestions for corrections on flagged words.

  • Doesn't check spelling and grammar.

  • Only points out that an inconsistency exists.

Another tool for writers to check their draft right from within Google apps is the Consistency Checker add-on for Google G Suite or Docs from Intelligent Editing.

04
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Business Hangouts Document Collaboration Add-On for Google Docs

Business Hangouts Document Collaboration Add On for Google Docs

What We Like

  • Opens a Google Doc in a Business Hangout for live collaboration with others.

  • Collaborators can be seen and heard.

  • Great for web conferencing, webinars, and one-on-one training sessions.

What We Don't Like

  • App is a free download, but using it with Business Hangouts after a trial period requires a subscription.

  • All attendees must be able to connect to Business Hangouts.

Do you have an online, virtual writers group that collaborates through Google G Suite or Docs? Might your group be interested in checking out Google Docs as a free option for collaborating online?

Many writers are part of online editing or writing communities. It can save time traveling to a central, physical meeting space, or collaborators may be too far from one another to even consider getting together in person.

Since editing in real-time among several collaborators is one of the best features of Google Docs, you may also want a way to bring in audio and video. Check out this Business Hangouts Document Collaboration add-on for Google G Suite or Docs, courtesy of Business Hangouts, which can work with multiple windows and more.

05
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Analytics Canvas Add-On for Google Sheets

Analytics Canvas Add On for Google Sheets

What We Like

  • Imports Google Analytics data into Google Sheets.

  • Automates the reporting process.

  • Shares dashboards easily.

What We Don't Like

  • Not as full-featured as the desktop version.

  • Free version allows only 10 queries in a sheet.

Marketing and social media are prime concerns for most writers. Keep tabs on everything from right within Google Apps, using this Analytics Canvas add-on for Google G Suite or Sheets. 

This is just one analytics add-on you'll find for Google apps. This one offers a clean interface as well as user support.

06
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ProjectSheet Add-On for Google Sheets

ProjectSheet Add-on for Google Sheets

What We Like

  • Tracks time, resources and costs.

  • Selected tasks can be shifted in time.

  • Accommodates customized columns.

What We Don't Like

  • Cannot use custom formulas in the spreadsheet.

  • No critical path capability.

Most authors or other writers are managing multiple projects at one time, either as an individual or part of a group.

For better project management, this ProjectSheet add-on for Google G Suite or Sheets offers the ability to create both a Work Breakdown Structure (a bird's-eye view that can show summary tasks, for example) and a Gantt chart (a visual representation of staggered deadlines). Your projects charts can also utilize budgeting and project tracking.

This add-on is available thanks to Forscale.com.

07
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Rhyme Finder Add-On for Google Docs

Rhyme Finder Add On for Google Docs

What We Like

  • Provides rhyming words for any highlighted word in a document.

  • Provides words with a similar ending to a selected word.

What We Don't Like

  • Suggested rhyming words are not prioritized by how well they rhyme with the chosen word.

  • Does not provide definitions of suggested words.

Finally, what poet doesn't need a specialty side bar in Google apps prompting them with a few rhymes? Check out the free Rhyme Finder add-on for Google G Suite or Docs.

For more Google Docs tools and tutorials, check out this site's main Google Apps page