Collapsing Elements in a Google Doc With Google Apps Script – Is This Possible?

Collapsing Elements in a Google Doc With Google Apps Script – Is This Possible?

You cannot do anything special in Apps Script, just automate stuff that you can do manually.

So, theres no way to do real collapsing, since theres no such feature in Google Docs. But you can use available functionality in unorthodox ways and make it work for you. For example, you could save the content somewhere else (maybe another document), so you can remove and add sections making it look like collapsing. This would have the downside of polluting the document revision history a lot, since every collapse event will be treated as changes to the document. Or you could export the document as HTML, maybe host it on Drive itself and implement the collapsing there, using javascript, then just serve the link to the user.

Anyway, this is just a couple of ideas that recklessly throwing here, which may or may not work for you. But none of will ever be real collapsing on a Google Doc.

As an alternative, we used the outline feature, so we can jump up and down a document quickly:

  • First open the Outline tool from the menu: View -> Show document outline

  • If you want to reach a part of your document easily, select some text at that point and give it a heading: Hit the part of the toolbar that says Normal Text and change it to Heading 5.

  • Remove any headings that you dont want from the Outline by hitting the X next to them.

Collapsing Elements in a Google Doc With Google Apps Script – Is This Possible?

Another clue that might be useable would be to actually hide or more precisely make almost invisible some parts of your document using something like the trick described in this other post.
The difficult thing will be to find the limits of the parts you would want to hide…. but its worth giving it a try 😉

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