Friday, May 1, 2015

Tools you Didn't Know about in the Google Suite

There are a lot of gizmos in the various Google Apps' toolbelt that a lot of people are unaware of! Here are some of my all time favorites!


If there is one tool that is the most overlooked in Google Docs & Slides, it is the research tool! This allows you to do Google searches without leaving your Google Doc/Slide. You can pan between Google Web, Images, Scholar, etc.; as well as insert links directly to the doc, preview, and/or cite the website. One thing I love about this is that I can highlight something I have already typed out, activate the Research Tool, & it immediately starts the search based on the highlighted words! Check it out, you will love it! Here is a video tutorial my favorite Google blogger did on the tool, The Gooru, check out his original post here.


(Command+F on Mac)

This is the one shortcut that if you are not using already, you are making your life harder than it needs to be! Okay, a little melodramatic, but come on! Pressing the CTRL+F keys (Command+F keys on Mac), will pull up a search box in Google Apps, which then allows you to type in a word that you want to find on the doc! This shortcut will take you to each time the word(s) appear. This tip is NOT confined to Google Apps, it works on any website that has text available. I cannot even begin to imagine the amount of times I use this shortcut daily. Just think of the amount of times you scan a page attempting to find something, DON'T DO IT ANYMORE! USE CTRL+F!

Linking & Bookmarking

Linking and Bookmarking can be a very powerful tool in Google Apps. Bookmarks allow you to link to various parts in your doc/slides to save you time & efficiency. This can be helpful for long documents, such as meeting agendas, lesson plans, student projects, etc.  This can also be helpful in long presentations when you want to be able to jump to different slides out of order. See my previous blog post on Using Bookmarks in Google Docs for a more in-depth look at this. 

Another cool thing about embedding links? You do not need to go out of your Google Doc or Slides to find the links, relevant links to highlighted text will pop up when you click the "insert link" option.

Using Google's suggested links!

Smaller things that are kinda cool: 

  • using Tables to make your docs more interesting. 
  • Preferences (using symbols such as © or ✓ )
  • Sharing Options (edit, comment, view)
    • If you are sending your Google Files to anyone, you should probably know these options! -Sometimes you don't want others to change your info on the doc, sheet, etc. 
  • Publishing to the web (for a more professional sharing)
  • AddOns (AutoCrat, EasyBibgMath)
  • Commenting vs. Suggesting -sometimes it helps to offer suggestions instead of typing right in the document. The owner of the document will receive notification of either comments or suggestions & can choose to accept or remove.

I hope some of these tools were new to you & let me know if I missed anything. Email me your comments & suggestions!

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