I’ve been a fan of Google Docs for a while and the improvements they’ve made over the last couple of months with Google Drive have had an impact on my overall document collaboration experience. I like having the ability to work on the go and knowing my documents are accessible when I need them.
One of the more recent changes to Docs was the addition of the research pane. The research pane taps into Google Search and allows you to add content directly from the web. You enable it under the Tools menu and it opens on the right side of the page, allowing you to search for website links, images, Google Scholar and quotes. When you find something you like, you can add it by clicking the insert button or dragging the content directly into your document. For websites, you can insert links, preview or automatically add footnote citations, when able, so you won’t forget your source.
The major downer for me about this new feature, is that it hasn’t migrated over to Google Apps. I jump between my main account and my Apps account a lot, so having it in both places would be nice. Google seems to be working to integrate all of the services they offer, so I’m sure more Docs functionality will be added.
Where was this technology when I was in school? All we had was a bookshelf of Encyclopedia Brittanica and WordPerfect 5.0 for DOS. We’ve come a long way! Happy researching.
(via: Google Docs Blog)
Update 05/30/12: I was working in my Google Apps Docs account and the Research Pane is there also. That was fast.