Google’s G Suite is filled with products and tools that are used by large and small organizations across a range of industries.
But for writers, Google Docs reigns supreme, especially as the product continues to be upgraded with easy-to-use features that support better, more efficient writing processes.
In the past, we’ve explained how to see your word count in Google Docs and even how to track your changes in Google Docs — but what about add-ons?
The stocked Google Doc menu bar lets you access useful features like voice typing, translation, special formatting options and more.
However, to really make the most of your Doc, install add-ons to help you stop playing the bounce-in-and-out-of-your-Doc game so you can efficiently create error-free work.
Plus, you can get more writing done faster with add-ons that assist you right there in your Doc.
So you don’t have to bother with too many trial-and-error processes, we tried out and picked the eight best Google Doc add-ons for writers. You’re welcome!
What’s a Google Doc add-on (and why they rule)
Google Doc add-ons are these helpful extensions that take your standard Doc to the next level with increased functionality that limits your need to escape the page — most mind-wandering writers need all the help they can get.
Anyone with a Gmail can find third-party add-ons on the Google Workspace Marketplace, or through your Google Doc’s menu bar (which we’ll show you below!).
Why are these extensions so necessary? It’s simple: Google Doc add-ons increase efficiency by giving you access to readily available writer resources.
Writers need unbridled access to the tools that help bring our stories to life. Thanks to modern-day technology, it’s become a lot easier to achieve that while minimizing distractions and increasing your ability to stay focused.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a nonfiction writer or a content marketer — these add-ons span across numerous categories and G Suite products, allowing you to upgrade more than just a Google Doc.
How to easily install Google Doc add-ons
Before we share our picks for the best Google Doc add-ons for writers, let’s go over how to install one first.
You can always Google the marketplace to find add-ons compatible with Google Docs, but take it from us: it’s much easier to install them right from your Doc. (Reduce the access to distractions, remember?)
In your Google Doc, the menu bar toward the left-hand side of the page displays ‘Add-ons’ in-between ‘Tools’ and ‘Help.’ Click the button, then hit ‘Get add-ons’ in the dropdown.
With the Google Workspace Marketplace open to tons of add-ons that can amplify your Doc as a resource for your writing, you can search for whatever you need just like any app store.
To simplify your search — and make it more effective — specify it through the category and additional filter options on the left-hand side of the marketplace.
Plus, if you scroll up on the left-side panel, you’ll see another filter option that lets you choose which Google Workspace product you want your add-ons to be compatible with — but you can always roll the dice and search the whole marketplace.
When you find the add-on you need, all you have to do to install is click the add-on, then hit the blue ‘Install’ button. (You won’t be able to miss it.)
Like most websites or apps that try to gain access to your Gmail account, add-ons typically seek to require the same access.
If you’re not someone who can blindly sign away your rights to terms and conditions, be sure to carefully read the access requests for each add-on. When you’re ready, click ‘Continue’ and the add-on will be automatically installed.
(Note: If you have more than one Gmail account, expect a pop-up asking you to choose which account to install the add-on.)
Now that you know why you need Google Doc add-ons and how to install them, let’s see which add-ons every writer needs to install.
8 of the Best Google Doc Add-ons for Writers
Across editing, productivity, ease of access and more, these add-ons can help any writer with their goals to create efficient writing processes that lead to high-quality work.
The best part? Most of these Google Doc add-ons for writers are free!
1. EasyBib Bibliography Creator
We kind of gave this one away earlier, but automatic bibliography citation generator EasyBib is a must-have add-on for writers who don’t want to format their own bibliographies — especially in a number of different styles.
That’s why it’s even more helpful that EasyBib can format citations in more than 7,000 styles, including popular ones like MLA, APA and Chicago.
Plus, you can search for a book by its ISBN or title right through the add-on to complete your citation. Whether you’re a student, researcher or teacher, this add-on is a perfect option for you.
One unique feature: Once you’re done with your bibliography, the EasyBib add-on will alphabetize your citations and add them to the end of your paper. How neat!
2. GDoc SEO Assistant
In today’s job market, it’s helpful for bloggers, freelance writers or content writers to have a baseline knowledge of SEO writing best practices and how to incorporate them into an article.
With this add-on in your arsenal, you’ll learn important background information on your target keywords, like competition and search volume — that way, you only optimize your work with keywords that are profitable and attainable.
All you have you have to do to use this add-on is type your keyword into the SEO assistant, then watch it works its magic of generating relevant suggestions and keywords, with the metrics to boot.
As you write, check-in with the assistant to improve your content and your chances of landing on the first page of Google search results.
The GDoc SEO Assistant add-on is a great tool for anyone wanting to make their content more searchable and SEO-friendly. But if you’re willing to pay more to access a wider range of resources, check out the SEMRush SEO Writing Assistant add-on.
One unique feature: With its SEO Score feature, you get to find out in real-time how optimized your content is. And with the other features, you’ll know what to do to improve it.
3. i should be writing
Shouldn’t we all? The hardest part of writing is often just sitting down to get it done.
Once you make it to the page, this Google-doc add-on for writers can help you stay motivated in two ways: it lets you set a timer or a word count goal.
Although it’s not required, you can create an account at ishouldbewriting.net for access to more features. With an account, the add-on will save your writing, word counts, timer information and even track your stats. Plus, you can also access writing groups.
Without an account, you can still take advantage of this add-on to help you keep your eye on the prize, one character after the other.
One unique feature: Feeling competitive? To push yourself along the way, write live against other writers’ times or word counts!
4. OneLook Thesaurus
Is it just us or is searching for a synonym through Google search a perfect segue into a perfectly innocent — *wink, wink* — distraction?
Instead of leaving your Google Doc, rely on this add-on’s tools to help you brainstorm and find the right words for your writing. Whether you need synonyms, related words or adjectives, the OneLook Thesaurus offers six functions to find you compelling alternative words:
- Triggers (words that are usually associated with your search)
- Complete (words that start with the letters you’ve typed so far — which is perfect for when you can’t remember the whole word you’re thinking of!)
- Nouns (shows you nouns that are commonly described by your search word)
Plus, the add-on provides links to find definitions and usage examples for all words.
One unique feature: Instead of just one word, search a phrase to access OneLook’s “reverse dictionary” feature.
5. ProWritingAid Grammar Checker and Writing Coach
Considered an online writing editor and personal writing coach, the ProWriting Aid grammar checker makes your writing smarter through features like a style editor, a plagiarism checker and more.
Besides checking your grammar and spelling, the ProWritingAid Google Doc add-on for writers also improves your writing by enhancing paragraph structure, eliminating clichés and redundancies, showing you overused words, and even helping make your writing less complex and abstract.
We’ve previously talked about ProWriting Aid’s service, so feel free to check out our review to learn more.
One unique feature: With an account, you can access suggestions, explanations, videos and quizzes to grow your writing chops.
Pricing: The free version supports your first 500 words — full reports are available by purchasing the premium version. (Heads up: Students get 20% off the premium version!)
Don’t feel like re-reading your document for the tenth time during the editing process? Now, you don’t have to — Google Docs add-on Speakd will read your documents aloud.
Besides its convenience, Speakd is a great tool for writers who have learning disabilities or aren’t native English speakers. And with the help of the add-ons features, writers can improve their reading accuracy and note-taking.
Plus, you can gain even more insight into the reading time of your article as you listen to it being read aloud. Before you submit your next assignment, download Speakd to read your document and help you catch every single mistake.
One unique feature: Rather than read your work from the beginning each time, Speakd lets you choose specific parts of your document to only hear just that part.
For international writers or writers creating content in another language, this Google Doc add-on for writers translates foreign language content into your native one or whatever language you need it in.
While you can use Google Doc’s built-in translation tool (found under the ‘Tools’ dropdown), Translate+ is different in that it can help you translate specific words or paragraphs, rather than just the entire document.
Plus, it supports most languages, including French, Spanish and even Hindi and Bengali.
One unique feature: Translate+ offers a bridge-language function that helps you find your best translation solution.
8. Writing Habit
Like many skills, the key to better writing is practice — that’s why writers need the Writing Habit Google Doc add-on, which will keep track of your writing progress based on the goals you set.
Use this add-on to see your stats through graphs and charts, set daily and monthly writing goals as well as how many words you’re logging per day. Basically, your only job is to write so Writing Habit can do its job to help you get more done.
One unique feature: Access your writing history within the last 180 days to show you what you wrote and when you wrote it, plus the stats that match.
Want even more options, just in case? Screenwriters, check out Screenplay Formatter to format your Doc with proper script formatting.
Then, all writers should give ChangeCase a shot to simplify the job of making your writing all one case or making every first letter capital, for instance.
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