The freshly arrived Google Drive has got a couple of nifty features with the addition of their new Research tool. The Research tool makes it easy to add information from the web to your documents. It appears along the right-hand side of the document and you can start a search by typing into the search bar. You can narrow your search to specific types of results (e.g. images, quotations) by using the drop-down menu in the search bar. Here’s a brief on how the Research tool works. 

Google has mentioned that in order to access the tool, users need to: 

  • Select the Research option from the Tools menu.
  • Use the keyboard shortcut (Cmd + Opt + R on Mac, Ctrl + Alt + R on PC).
  • Right-click on a specific word and select Research.
  • Use the back arrow to the left of the search bar to return to the previous page
  • Use the forward arrow to move forward in the search results 

The new tool allows users to research different types of information relevant to their document. When conducting a search, the Research tool will show you different types of results — web results, images, quotations, maps, reviews, and more. 

New features added!

New features added!

Web results

In the web results category, a couple of related websites pop up. If one of those sites is selected, a couple of options pop up:

  • Select Preview to see a preview of the website.
  • Click on the site link at the top of the preview pane to open this page in a separate window, or select Close at the bottom of the pane to close the preview.
  • Select Insert link to add a link to the website into the body of your document.
  • Select Cite to create a footnote citation of this web result within the body of your document.


Images will appear in the general search, as well as an image search. Narrow your search results to only images by selecting “Images” from the drop-down menu in the search bar.


Narrow your search results to only quotations by selecting “Quotes” from the drop-down menu in the search bar. Once you have selected the quotation you’d like to use in your document, click Insert to add it to your document with a footnote citation.


When conducting a search for a geographic location in the Research tool, your search results may include a map. You can edit this map by selecting Edit and then zooming in/out or dragging the map. Once you have the exact map image you’d like to include in your document, click Insert. You can also drag and drop the map image into your document.

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