Google Docs' 'pageless' mode is no longer the default view on Android

Google Docs mobile app overflow menu
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Docs' paginated view is now the default format on Android phones and tablets.
  • The pageless mode was the default format when this feature was introduced last year.
  • In addition, the Google Drive app on foldable devices adjusts the controls within the item preview viewer based on the device's position.

Google Docs on smartphones and tablets now launches in a paginated format after several months of offering a "pageless" mode by default.

The latest change means that you'll now see pages and page breaks when you first open an existing document. However, if a document's page setup was previously set to pageless, you'll continue to see a continuously scrolling page by default without breaks, Google announced in a blog post.

To do that, open any document on an Android phone or tablet and tap the "Edit" button in the bottom-right corner. After that, navigate to the overflow (three-dot) menu in the top right corner and choose "Page setup." Then, toggle the "Pageless" option on.

Images will adjust to fit your screen size in this format, and you can create wide tables and view them by scrolling left and right. Pageless mode, on the other hand, hides certain elements of a document, such as headers, footers, and watermarks.

When Google announced the pageless format, all Docs files have since defaulted to the continuous scrolling view. This means that the document will scroll down as you type, with no page breaks in between.

It's unclear why Google switched back to paginated mode on smartphones and tablets. However, the latest change is seen as a step backward because those devices have smaller screens than laptops, making it difficult to see a lot of text on the screen at once. The pageless format makes it easier to read and edit long documents on a small screen.

On the other hand, with page breaks, you have to scroll up and down to see the entire document, which can be difficult on a smartphone.

Meanwhile, the Google Drive app on foldable devices has received a new update. The app's controls within the item preview viewer now adjust to the position of the foldable device. This means the viewer "will intelligently respond" to whether the foldable phone is opened, closed, or partially opened.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.