updated 09:53 pm EDT, Tue May 15, 2012
New tool integrates search without leaving doc
Google slipped a new feature into its Google Docs online productivity suite today, adding the ability to conduct Google searches within the document. In addition to making it easier to search for additional information, the new tool incorporates a number of other features, streamlining the construction of a research document. This marks the second major feature addition to Google Docs in as many weeks.
Users logging into Google Docs will now see the right portion of the window taken up by a new Research panel. The panel can also be brought up by selecting Research from the Tools menu, using a keyboard shortcut (command-option-R for Mac, control-alt-R for Windows), or right-clicking on a specific word and selecting Research. Users can type desired text into the Research box, and Google search results will display beneath the box.
Users then have the option to go to a displayed search result link, preview the link, insert the link into the body of a document, or to create a footnote citation of the web result within the body of a document. The Research panel also allows for direct pasting of images and maps from search results, and the narrowing of results to show only quotes, which can also be pasted directly into documents.
Google has been steadily updating the capabilities of its Docs productivity suite, optimizing it for Android, adding templates and web fonts, and generally bringing it into alignment with the capabilities of desktop-based office suites.