Updated: March 1, 2022
Google announced a host of planned Google Workspace features at Google I/O 2021. One of the more interesting announcements was Pageless Google Docs.
When you think about it, page breaks on digital documents were designed to accommodate hardcopy printing.
Also, in on-screen mode, pagination can have a referential function (e.g. – see page 6).
However, pagination interrupts the flow of an on-screen document. A page break can separate the descriptive text that’s above an image from the image itself.
In February 2022, Google added the option to remove pagination on a per-document basis. “Pageless” can also be set as the default for any new documents that a user creates.
This format makes documents behave more like a web page. Pageless Google Docs have a continuous scroll and they are responsive.
Pageless also allows for images and tables that are wider than the body text.
In any document, select File > Page Setup and then click Pageless in the top right. You will see a Set as default button in the lower left.
Once your document is in pageless format, you can click on the ruler to hide it. You will also see three width options — narrow, medium & wide.
For content creators, a pageless Google Doc makes drafting a blog post easier. Publically sharing Google Docs with a web link makes documents look more like a web page.
Keep in mind that switching a document to Pageless will hide elements such as headers, footers, and footnotes. You can easily switch back to Page format to see these elements. Also, you cannot create columns in Pageless format.
If a document is in Pageless mode, when you download it as a PDF or a Microsoft Word document, page breaks will be automatically inserted — but possibly not always where you want them.
When a pageless format Document is publicly shared, the line between a document and a web page starts to blur.
Here is a link to a copy of this blog post content, publicly shared as a pageless Google Doc.
So far, it appears that the publicly shared pageless document displays in narrow width, no matter what width is selected in the editor. The text is also off-center, to the left. If an image or table is wider than the text, it will be left-justified and bleed off to the right.