If you’ve ever found yourself wondering how to start that important Google Docs document, whether an essay, report or top-grossing news article, you may have previously found yourself tapping out random words in an attempt to get the typing juices flowing.
However it seems that typing one particularly common word may be enough to crash Google’s word processing software after a rather embarrassing bug was detected by the company.
According to Google’s support pages, typing the rarely-used word “And” a handful of times at the start of a document is enough to crash the program completely.
Google Docs crash
The flaw was discovered by Pat Needham, a poster on the Google Docs Editors Help forum, who found that typing “And. And. And. And. And.” into a new document would cause it to crash.
Namely, Google Docs would display its usual “Something went wrong” error message, along with a pop-up stating that it was “unable to load file”. Reloading the document appeared to cause the same issue, forcing the user to quit Google Docs entirely.
Needham said that they had found the issue when using Google’s Chrome browser, with documents from three separate Google accounts (personal, G Suite Basic, and possibly enterprise) all experiencing the same issue.
In a reply to Needham’s comment, a Google employee said that the company was aware of the issue and is working on a fix “right now”. “Thank for surfacing this issue and sharing it with us. We will keep you posted!” they added.
On TechRadar Pro’s machine, the issue does now seem to have been fixed, so that’s another possible excuse for missing your deadline out the window.
The news comes ironically not long after Google Docs rolled out a number of new assistive writing features including synonym and sentence structure suggestions to help users improve the quality of their writing.
The service will also flag up any “inappropriate” language, as well as instances in which the writer would be better served by using the active rather than passive voice.