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What Programming Languages Was Google Docs Written In?

Google Docs is one of Google’s most popular products and has become an essential tool for many people around the world. It provides an easy-to-use platform for creating, editing, and sharing documents with others. But have you ever wondered what programming language Google Docs was written in?

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at Google Docs’ history and technical architecture to answer that question. We’ll also explore how Google uses programming languages to create powerful applications like Google Docs. So let’s dive into it!

The History of Google Docs

Google Docs has come a long way since its initial launch in 2006. Google’s free word processor tool is now used for writing, editing, and collaborating on documents all around the world.

Google Docs initially started as Writely, an online word processor which Google acquired in 2006. Google then rebranded Writely as Google Docs and integrated it into Google Drive.

Ever since, Google Docs has grown in popularity across the globe and become a go-to resource for students, writers, and professionals alike.

Today Google Docs allows more than 1 billion users to collaborate on projects with multiple people at once, upload images and even spell-check their work – making it an essential digital tool.

What Programming Languages Was Google Docs Written In?

While Google doesn’t tell all its secrets about the languages and technologies they use to build different products, we do know some details about how Google Docs was built from different sources.

Google Docs was written primarily in JavaScript and Java, two of the most popular programming languages in the world. Google used these two programming languages to create a powerful word processor that can handle complex operations with ease.

Google also likely used Google Web Toolkit, Google APIs, Google Cloud Platform, Google App Engine, and other Google technologies to build the Google Docs platform.

Front-End of Google Docs

The front-end of Google Docs interface is written mainly in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Google uses HTML to structure the documents and make them accessible across different devices. JavaScript is used to add interactive elements and enable users to collaborate on documents in real-time.

For example, features of Google Docs such as Google Docs’ collaborate, auto-save, and comment system are all powered by Google’s JavaScript library.

It is also likely Google used Google Web Toolkit and Google APIs to build the Google Docs platform. Google Web Toolkit is a set of tools that allow developers to quickly create rich web-based applications by combining Java, HTML and CSS code.

Back-End of Google Docs

Google uses Java to build the back-end infrastructure of Google Docs. Java is used to process data and handle complex operations like spell-checking and auto-correcting. Google also uses Google Cloud Platform for storage and analytics.

In addition, Google likely uses Google App Engine to manage Google Docs and Google APIs to access external data sources. Google BigQuery is used for machine learning, and Google Cloud Vision is for image processing. Google may also use Google Kubernetes Engine to manage Google Docs deployments across multiple cloud environments.

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So, Google Docs is written in a combination of JavaScript, Java, Google Web Toolkit, and Google APIs. Google uses these programming languages and Google technologies to create a powerful word processor that can handle complex operations with ease. Google Docs is an essential digital tool for many people around the world, and Google’s programming languages are an integral part of its success.

Programming languages used for Google Docs
Photo by Fotis Fotopoulos @ Unsplash

Features of Google Docs

Google Docs is a great tool to make documents, no matter if it’s a report for work or a school paper. It offers tons of features that allow you to create a beautiful and professional-looking document in no time.

1. Collaboration

Google Docs lets you collaborate with others in real-time. You can add comments, edit the document together and even chat with each other while editing. What’s more several people can make changes without conflict and Google Docs will save the different versions of the document, so you can look back on them later.

2. Google Drive Integration

Google Docs is closely tied to Google Drive. This means you can store all your documents, photos, and other files in Google Drive and access Google Docs directly from there. Google Drive also offers more features such as file sharing and Google Photos integration.

3. Multimedia Support

Google Docs also supports multimedia. You can insert images, videos and audio files into Google Docs and they will appear directly in the document. Google Docs also offers a built-in image editor, so you can quickly make changes and apply filters without having to leave Google Docs.

4. Google Assistant

Google Docs has a built-in Google Assistant that makes it easier to find the right tools, search Google Drive, and more. Google Assistant can also help you with formatting, grammar, and spell-checking.

5. Google Add-Ons

Google Docs also has a marketplace of add-ons that can extend the functions of Google Docs. These Google Add-Ons can help you do things like create charts, graphs, and presentations much faster. Google Add-Ons can also be used to integrate Google Docs with other Google products such as Google Sheets and Google Slides.

In conclusion, Google Docs is a powerful word processing tool written in a combination of JavaScript and Java programming languages and Google services. Google Docs offers a range of features such as collaboration, Google Drive Integration, multimedia support, Google Assistant and Google Add-Ons that make it an essential digital tool for many.

How Difficult Was It to Develop Google Docs?

You may be wondering how difficult Google Docs was to develop. Google had a team of engineers working on Google Docs, and it required careful planning and programming in both Google Web Toolkit and Google APIs.

Google took a shortcut in 2006 as it acquired Writely, a web-based word processor, and used this platform to create Google Docs. Google quickly released Google Docs the same year, and Google Sheets followed shortly after.

Google has since continued to improve Google Docs and Google Sheets with new updates, features, and bug fixes released on a regular basis. Google is also continually improving Google Docs’ mobile app and web version. Google has also made Google Docs available on a wide range of devices, from Chromebooks to iOS and Android.

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Overall Google Docs’ development was a complex process that involved Google Web Toolkit, Google APIs, and Writely. Google’s team of engineers worked hard to create Google Docs, Google Sheets, and related Google products. Google continues to maintain and improve Google Docs, Google Sheets, and its other Google services with regular updates.

Software engineers coding google Docs
Photo by Sigmund @ Unsplash

Can I Develop a Version of Google Docs on My Own?

Simple text editors in general are not too difficult to create on your own, considering you are an experienced programmer. However, a text editor like Google Docs has a lot of features that can be quite complex to build even for a team of talented engineers.

If we talk about an online text editor that does the most basic functions such as adding text, formatting, and saving, then you can definitely create it on your own with a bit of hard work. You would need to be knowledgeable in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and set aside a couple of weeks or months to build it.

To get started, we recommend you check out this article about building your own online text editor and follow their guide step by step. Building a text editor is definitely doable if you have patience and break down the process in smaller steps.

Can You Write Code in Google Docs?

Unfortunately, you can not use Google Docs as a code editor at the moment. Well, you can surely write some code lines or paste your code in Google Docs, but it won’t be properly formatted or recognized as code.

Google is actually planning to roll out a new feature called “code blocks” for some accounts in the near future. Once rolled out, users can access the feature by selecting “Insert”, then “Building Blocks”, then “Code Block”.

However, this feature will only be available for those with Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, Education Plus customers, and Nonprofit accounts, according to Google. Personal and standard accounts will not be able to benefit from this feature.

There is, though, a way to insert code into Google Docs, and that is through the use of special add-ons. You’ll be pleased to know that Google Workspace Marketplace provides numerous helpful tools; however, the one we’d suggest is called Code Blocks. This extension allows you to effortlessly select blocks of code and format them for your document. It’s incredibly user-friendly and does not cost a cent – how fabulous!

The Code Blocks feature set includes:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Automatic language detection
  • Plenty of color themes to choose from
  • Format code inline or as blocks
  • Preview function

About Google Apps Script

Google Docs does not support coding directly in the editor, but you can use Google Apps Script to write scripts that extend Google Docs and other Google services.

Google Apps Script is a JavaScript-based scripting language that allows you to create custom applications and data connections, automate tasks, and more. Google Apps Script is a powerful tool that can be used to create Google Docs add-ons and Google Sheets tools.

Apps Script is an innovative coding language that allows you to unlock the full potential of Google applications. Built on JavaScript and running in the cloud, it makes automating processes within Drive, Docs, Sheets Calendar, Gmail, and more, easier than ever before. On top of this Apps Script can be used for finding creative solutions to a variety of problems – so why not take advantage?

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No need to download anything — the code editor is embedded right in your browser, and all scripts are hosted on Google’s server.

Apps Script is a valuable and multi-faceted tool. It allows you to create custom menus, dialogs, and sidebars for Google Docs, Sheets, or Forms; compose macros for Sheets; publish web apps on their own or within Google Sites; integrate with multiple other services such as AdSense, Analytics, Calendar Drive Gmail & Maps, and even build add-ons which can be published in the Google Workspace Marketplace!

To get started with coding in Apps Script, see their Getting Started Guide on Google.

person using black laptop computer
Photo by Firmbee.com

What Coding Language Do Other Popular Google Apps Use?

Google Sheets

Google Sheets is a popular Google app used for making and editing spreadsheets. Google Sheets uses Google’s own coding language called Google Apps Script (which we discussed above) which is based on JavaScript and HTML.

Google Apps Script is a powerful scripting language used to manipulate Google applications such as Google Sheets, Google Docs, Google Forms, and Google Slides. Google Apps Script is used to create powerful spreadsheet applications, and automate tasks and data integration with Google services.

Google Forms

Google Forms is Google’s popular form-creation and survey platform. Google Forms uses Google Apps Script, the same language used to create Google Sheets and other Google Apps. Google Forms allows you to use Google Apps Script to create custom forms and surveys with custom functions, validation rules, and more!

Google Drive

Google Drive is powered by Golang, a programming language created at Google in 2009. A combination of compiled and dynamically-typed languages makes Golang the perfect choice for quick yet efficient coding. Code writing on this platform goes faster than usual while still providing top performance speed; that’s why it was chosen to power one of the world’s biggest platforms – Google Drive.

Conclusion

Google Docs is an innovative tool for creating, editing, and sharing documents. It was built using two of the most popular programming languages in the world, Java and JavaScript. Several more Google-hosted technologies including Google APIs and Google Web Toolkit are also thought to be heavily involved in the development of Google Docs.

Google Docs was established after Google acquired a text editor development company Writely and has invested a lot of engineering power into making it into the widely used tool that it is today. You can do many things in Google Docs, including coding, if you use special add-ons. You can also use Google Apps Script for modifying, manipulating, and automating your Google Docs application, as well as other Google apps.

We hope this article helped shed some light on the origins of Google Docs and the programming languages used to develop it. Make sure to explore Google’s other Google-hosted technologies and Google Apps Script for a deeper understanding of the tool. Good luck in your journey as a developer!