Researching Using Google's Resources

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 2, 2014)

I don't know about you, but there have been lots of times as I've been typing along that I need to do a bit more research about whatever it is I'm typing. Researching information is easy on Google, and Docs provides a great tie-in to the search engine within the Docs interface.

The normal way I search for information is probably the same way you do—I open a new browser tab and use the Google toolbar to enter the term or keyword I need to research. If I get ambitious and don't want to suffer the humiliation of mistyping something, I'll often even copy the term from the document and paste it into the toolbar.

There's a faster way, though. The next time you need to do your research, follow these steps:

  1. Select the term or keyword you want to research, just as you would if you were getting ready to copy it.
  2. Right-click on the term or keyword you selected. You'll see a Context menu appear.
  3. Choose the option that starts out "Research". (The option is followed by whatever you selected in step 1.)

At this point, Docs displays the Research pane at the right side of the screen. Within it you'll find Google's top search results for whatever term or keyword you selected in step 1.

Move your mouse pointer over any of the results in the Research pane and you'll note something interesting. Below each result there are three buttons that appear:

  • Preview. Expands the Research pane to show a scrunched-up preview of the web page. Click the Preview button a second time to shrink the Research pane so the preview isn't showing.
  • Insert Link. Makes the term or keyword you selected in step 1 an active hyperlink, with the search result as the target of the link.
  • Cite. Click this button to insert a citation to the website in the search link. The citation is added using the MLA style, by default. (You can change which citation style is used by clicking the small down-arrow at the top-center of the Research pane, just below the search term.)

Pretty slick, huh? Using the Research pane to show search results is much faster than my traditional approach of manually opening a browser tab and searching.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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