Google Docs has become just as popular and well-known as Microsoft Word, with the added advantage of being totally free. It’s also beloved thanks to the myriad of add-ons you can integrate with the app for additional functionality, like adding diagrams, citations, or photos.
The best Google Docs add-ons enhance the base abilities of Docs, letting you do more with your documents and saving you from opening up additional tabs and apps. While many of these add-ons are totally (or at least partially) free, some do require either a subscription or a one-time payment in order to use them at all. These add-ons for Google Docs are perfect for mathematicians, marketing experts, and everyone in between.
Automatic Citation Generator: EasyBib Bibliography Creator
Students of all varieties will appreciate EasyBib Bibliography Creator (free, with premium plans). It lets you build your citations directly into your document, and lets you choose from websites, books, or academic journals. The add-on automatically formats your citation according to MLA, APA, or Chicago citation styles. It then takes all of your citations and creates a bibliography at the bottom of your document.
If you don’t mind being limited to those three citation styles, you can stick with the basic free version of EasyBib. For $9.95 per month, however, you’ll have access to over 7,000 citation styles, and get unlimited grammar checks, plagiarism detection, saved citations, and expert help on 15 papers per month. The add-on’s website is also host to a good variety of writing resources, like infographics, videos, and research guides.
Add Diagrams and Charts: Lucidcharts Diagram
Sometimes, it’s easier to explain something if you have a chart or diagram to help. Lucidchart Diagrams (free, with premium plans) is the go-to source for creating diagrams and charts for individuals and enterprise teams alike, and it supports real-time collaboration. It offers extensive shape libraries, drag-and-drop functionality, automatic prompts for object connections, extensive exporting and publishing options, and more.
Lucidchart is free for three documents and basic functionality. If you need more, you’ll need to choose a subscription. The Individual plan ($7.95 per month) includes unlimited documents, security, and basic integrations and data/automation. There are per-user Team and Enterprise plans to choose from as well.
Sign and Track Documents: DocHub
At some point in your life, you’ll have to digitally sign a document, form, or contract. Add-ons like DocHub (free, with premium plans) make it super easy to send, track, and sign digital PDFs and Word documents. The add-on can apply legally binding eSignatures, let you send or receive a fax, create templates, and import or export documents.
It boasts plenty of editor tools—like highlighting, stamps, inserting text or comments, erasing, signing, and more—so you can tailor your document to your exact specifications. It also offers a handful of page management tools, allowing you to reorder, append, rotate, or delete pages with ease, or even merge documents. OAuth 2.0 authentication ensures privacy, and any data you transfer with these documents is protected with 128-256 bit SSL encryption.
DocHub has a limited free plan, which covers 2,000 documents, five eSignatures, and three sign requests. The paid Pro plan ($4.99 per month) unlocks unlimited documents, signatures, and sign requests, premium tools, and more.
Check Your Grammar: Outwrite
Outwrite (free, with premium plans) can check your document for spelling and grammar errors, saving you from embarrassing typos before you hit submit on your document. The add-on’s free plan covers spelling and grammar checks, which is enough for the average user, but it may not provide any more insight than Google Docs’ native spelling and grammar checker.
The add-on’s real power comes with its monthly subscription. The Pro plan ($9.95 per month) covers spelling and grammar checks, and tacks on eloquence improvements, experimental suggestions, sentence rewriting, priority email support, and up to 50 plagiarism checks per month. This kind of assistance can help your writing become stronger and more efficient.
Free Stock Photos: Pixabay Free Images
Let’s not kid ourselves—literally any document would be improved with a picture of a cute kitten added to it. Pixabay (free) gets that, and it has 1.8 million other images at the ready in case you need a picture of something else, too. The site has terrific Editor’s Choice picks as well as photos across a variety of categories like architecture, traffic, sports, landscapes, beauty, food and drink, backgrounds, travel, music, and more.
All you have to do to add an image into your Google Doc with the add-on is to select it from the add-on menu, search for the image type you want with a keyword or two, click where you want the image to be within your document, then click on the photo you want. The Pixabay add-on takes it from there and adds the photo in.
Generate Labels: Avery Label Merge
Creating printable labels doesn’t have to be difficult. With the Avery Label Merge add-on (free), you can design label templates and generate labels for cards, school records, food containers, chemical containers, wedding invitations, general mail, and more. It also works for creating name tags and business cards.
Avery Label Merge has a solid variety of editing options, letting you merge fields and only print select rows. You’ll have plenty of templates to work off of or customize according to your needs, and the add-on supports a large variety of Avery Label paper.
For Math Equations and Chemical Formulas: MathType
Both STEM students and professional STEM workers will appreciate the MathType add-on ($49.95 per year, with a 30-day free trial). It lets you type, handwrite, and edit all kinds of math equations and chemical formulas right in your document. Plus, anything you type or write will instantly become editable.
From the add-ons menu, you’ll see two options: “Insert/Edit Math Equation” and “Insert/Edit Chem Equation.” Once you type or write your equation, it will also let you move it around within your document. The straightforward add-on also has a built-in library of symbols you can search through if you don’t remember exactly what they look like.
Checks for SEO Friendliness: SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant
Content writers and marketers both know that solid SEO can make or break your business. Text that’s SEO-rich will perform better and likely lead to increased traffic and profit. SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant (starts at $99.95 per month) offers a variety of tools for running SEO, SMM, and PPC projects and similar tasks.
The handy add-on can check your text’s overall SEO friendliness and readability scores, show recommended and target keywords, check for plagiarism, verify that your links work before you send them out to the world, and ensure that your text’s tone of voice is appropriate for the context. The service is not free, but has a $99.95 per month plan that’s recommended for freelancers, startups, and in-house marketers, and a $199.95 per month plan for SMB and intermediate-size marketing agencies.
Personalize Emails and Letters: Mail Merge Contacts
With Mail Merge Contacts (starts at $30 per year), you can personalize emails or letters. The add-on simply merges data from your Google Contacts Group, and makes everything available to you from the add-on’s sidebar. This feature is a must-have for managing invoices, purchase orders, letters, notifications, and customer care in an efficient manner.
You can even select which Contact Group you want to work with, and from which email address you want to send out your emails. From the sidebar, you can also customize your display name, the email subject, and add customizable fields to your document. It also has a “Send Test” feature, which lets you send a test email so you can see what your recipients will see and ensure everything looks correct before you officially send your document off.