WhatsApp launches overdue formatting features, bringing order to chaotic texts

WhatsApp is releasing several new formatting tools to help you manage those long walls of text in group chats.

Triggering one of the new text formats requires you to enter a certain punctuation mark, followed by a space, and then the words themselves. Hyphens let you create a bullet list. A numeral with a period right after establishes a numbered list. Users can even make block quotes by first hitting the Greater Than arrow on the keyboard and then adding a space. To make inline code, you’ll have to press the accent symbol (which is found below the Esc key on most keyboards) followed by a single space. If done correctly, the messages you enter will be reformatted to your specifications. Otherwise, you’ll just see a bunch of random punctuations.

In total, users now have eight different ways to spruce up their conversations on the platform counting the likes of bold, italic, strikethrough, and monospace from years prior.

WhatsApp's new formatting tools

(Image credit: Future)

Finer details

Meta announced the update on social media and via WhatsApp notification; however, they neglected to mention some of the finer details. Not only are the features present in one-on-one chat rooms but also on the platform’s Channels, according to TechCrunch. The tools are available on WhatsApp for Android, iOS, Mac, and web browsers. Do keep in mind the patch is still rolling out so there’s a chance you may not have it on your mobile device. We didn’t get it on our Android, but luckily, it's currently live on the web version.

If you look closely, you’ll notice that we didn’t mention the Windows desktop app. This is because, for whatever reason, the Windows version lacks these features. It’s a rather strange omission especially when you consider the fact that this update has been in the works since August 2023. You’d think Meta would’ve brought it over PC in that time. So we reached out to the company asking for information on a Windows release. We’ll let you know if we hear back.

While we have you, be sure to join TechRadar’s WhatsApp channel to receive news stories and our latest reviews right on your phone.

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Google Sheets are about to become even more chaotic and unwieldy

A new era of gargantuan Google Sheets could be coming thanks to a new change made by the company.

In a Google Workspace update blog, the company revealed that it was increasing the cell limit in its spreadsheet software from up to five million cells to up to ten million cells.

The new limit isn't just for newly-created files either, with Google noting that it will also be available for existing and imported files, meaning you can expand to your heart's content. 

Giant Google Sheets

“Over the course of the last four years, we’ve been steadily increasing the cell limit in Google Sheets: from 2 million to 5 million in 2019 and now to 10 million,” the blog post read. “We hope this and future increases give users the ability to work with their data on a much greater scale in Google Sheets.”

The update is rolling out now to all users, and won't require any special admin control or action to activate. It's available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers.

The feature is the latest in a series of recent updates to Google Sheets as it looks to boost its offerings for hybrid workers.

This includes the recent addition of intelligent formula suggestions based on the data in question and the user’s initial input, taking much of the heavy lifting out of complex formulae.

The software itself also recently saw a cosmetic overhaul to make Google Sheets better for users with smaller screens. The changes saw the menu bar, as well as the right-click menu shortened to better fit on a smaller screen, and to prevent menu items from being hidden off-screen.

Some features were also reorganized and moved to “more intuitive” locations. For example, freezing a row or a column can now be done directly from the right-click menu. Menu items also received new icons, while the descriptions of some items in the menu are shorter.

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