If you use Google Docs in the Chrome browser, a cool new extension will allow you to play back all the changes that you've made in a document as if it's a movie.
Writer and programmer James Somers reverse-engineered Google Docs and put together Draftback, which reveals a character-by-character history of documents.
Here's how it looks when you play it back:
Staring at a blank word-processing document can be a pretty intimidating starting point for a writer. By the time you've actually hammered out some words you're OK with, what you originally started typing is probably quite different from what's on the page. This allows you to experience your entire creative process all over again, hands-free.It works because Google keeps a revision record of everything you've ever typed in Google Docs that's "accurate to the microscecond" since at least May 2010,according to Somers.
If you run a Google Doc through Draftback, it will line up all of those changes that took you so long to perfect in real life and arrange them in an animation.
You can also use Draftback with any Google Doc that's shared with you. Somewhat disconcertingly, that means your document collaborators could theoretically run the shared Doc through Draftback and see all of the typos and coarseness of your unedited work. Yikes.
If only Hemingway used Google Docs — imagine the writing of The Sun Also Rises unfold before your eyes. Take note, future great novelists of the world.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.
BONUS: 3D printing makes Google Glass even dorkier