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It seems this very useful feature in Google Docs has been removed at some point in the past. It seems a shame and I cannot see why such a feature might be pulled.

Does anyone know why this happened or if there is an alternate solution to styling my documents?

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why not just use greasemonkey? – user10681 May 6 '11 at 2:02
I added a feature request in GetSatisfaction to bring back the old Document format as a new format for publishing. If you agree you can support it here (getsatisfaction.com/google/topics/…) – Evan Plaice Jan 31 '12 at 21:09

I think this was a feature that didn't make it into the new docs editor yet that they just rolled out a few weeks ago. I was disappointed to see this one go as well, hoping they will add it back soon.

You should be able to use the old version by going to settings in Google Docs and un-selecting the option that reads: "Create new text documents using the latest version of the document editor."

I haven't tried it yet, but that should bring back the old docs editor along with it's un-migrated features.

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I can confirm that this solution works. – Emory Bell Jul 2 '10 at 14:43

In Google Docs, go to Settings -> Document Settings, then go to the Editing tab. Make sure that "Create new text documents using the latest version of the document editor" is un-checked. They don't provide a way to convert new-style documents to legacy-style documents, so unfortunately you'll need to create a new document after unchecking the "latest version of the editor" box and copy any new-style document that you want to do serious formatting on into that new document.

Google's official statement is thus:

These features from the previous version of Google documents, however, won't be available in the new version:

  • Offline document access via Google Gears
  • Edit HTML
  • Edit CSS

As noted above, the Google help forums are buzzing with "bring back the ability to edit HTML/CSS, you jerks!" topics. It would probably be a good idea to add your voice to that if the feature is important to you.

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Unfortunately the new version of Google Docs remove the CSS and HTML editor all together.

Here's a thread that asks Google to bring back the HTML editor.

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