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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Setting the Calculation Default

Excel can recalculate your worksheets either automatically or manually. The default is to calculate them automatically, ...

Discover More

Converting to Automatic Endnotes

When you add endnotes to a document, they are automatically maintained and renumbered by Word, as necessary. If you get a ...

Discover More

Finding Text in Text Boxes

Want to search for text that may appear in a text box rather than in a regular worksheet cell? You can only perform the ...

Discover More
More DriveTips

Downloading Documents to Your Local Computer

Want to pull a document out of the cloud and store it on your local hard drive? Google Drive provides the ability to get ...

Discover More

Creating and Saving a Document

Need to start writing your new masterpiece? The first step is to create the document that will hold that opus, and then ...

Discover More

Quickly Copying Formatting

Need to quickly copy formatting from one area to another in your document? Docs makes it easy through the Paint Format tool.

Discover More
Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three minus 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)