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Lesson 27: Smart Compose

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Smart Compose

If you have a G Suite account through your employer or school, you may have noticed that Google Docs has started suggesting words for you as you type. This feature is called Smart Compose, and it was first introduced to Gmail in 2018 before coming to Google Docs in 2020.

Watch the video below to learn how to use Smart Compose in Google Docs.

To use Smart Compose:

  1. All you need to do is start typing. As you type, suggestions will appear as lighter gray text.
    a suggestion appears
  2. Press either the tab key or the right arrow key to accept the suggestion. The suggested text will then become part of your document, and you can continue typing.
    accepting the suggestion
  3. If Smart Compose makes a suggestion that you don't like, just ignore it and keep typing. The suggestion will disappear.

To turn off Smart Compose:

If you find Smart Compose to be unhelpful or annoying, you can turn the feature off completely. 

  1. Click Tools, then Preferences
    clicking preferences
  2. Uncheck Show Smart Compose suggestions.
    uncheck smart compose suggestions
  3. Click OK. You will no longer receive suggestions. 
    clicking ok

Privacy concerns

Smart Compose is powered by machine learning that looks at data from millions of users. Turning Smart Compose off will stop the suggestions from appearing, but it doesn't stop Google from being able to read your documents. 

Google claims that your account is secure and that privacy is always maintained, meaning that no human will ever read your writing and that your private information won't be exposed. You can find out more by reading Google Drive's terms of service and privacy policy

Smart Compose limitations

Smart Compose is currently only available in the web version of Google Docs, in English, and to users with a G Suite Account. However, it is likely to expand in the future. 

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