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CSM Google Apps for Education

Research Tool

If you use Google’s free office suite, there’s an easier way—a built in research tool that lets you search for the information you need and easily add it to the Google Doc or Google Slide you’re working on without having to leave the page. Here’s how to get started.

Access the research tool

Google offers three ways to access the research tool pane. From within a document or presentation, click Tools > Research. If you prefer keystrokes, type Ctrl + Alt + Shift + I on a PC or Ctrl + ⌘ + Shift + I on a Mac. The third way is to begin a specific search by right-clicking a word (or in the case of a phrase, highlighting it then right-clicking) and selecting Research from the drop-down menu. In each case, the research pane will open on the right side of your document or slide.

google research pane

The research tool puts several different search filters right in the document or slideshow presentation you’re working on.

Unless you’ve accessed it via selected text, the first time you open the research tool it will display a list of topics based on the content of your document or slide. But because the tool is just keying in on random words, these results aren’t likely to be useful. Instead, type your own search terms in the search bar.

The research tool offers several different types of results: Everything, Images, Scholar, Quotes, Dictionary, Personal, and Tables, each accessible from a drop-down menu in the search bar. 


Share and Collaborate:

Share with your team

To share a file you own or can edit:

  1. Open the file you want to share.

  2. Click Share.

  3. Enter the email addresses or Google Groups you want to share with.

  4. Choose what kind of access you want to grant people:

    • Can edit—Collaborators can add and edit content as well as add comments.
    • Can comment—Collaborators can add comments, but not edit content.
    • Can view—People can view the file, but not edit or add comments.
  5. Click Send.

Everyone you shared the document with receives an email with a link to the document.

Add Comments and Replies

If you can’t collaborate in real time, you can leave feedback and questions on the side of the document for team members to look at when they open the file.

  1. Select a section of text.

  2. On the toolbar, click Add comment .

  3. Add your notes and click Comment.

If a comment is important for a specific collaborator to see, enter +followed by their address. They’ll get an email with your comment, along with a link to the document. They can then reply to your comments to answer questions or start a discussion.

When you’re done with a comment, click Resolve.

Suggest Edits

You can also propose changes directly in the document without editing the text by suggesting an edit. Your suggestions won’t change the original text until the document owner approves them. You must have edit or comment access to the document to suggest changes.

  1. In the top corner, make sure you’re in Suggesting mode, see example image below. 
  2. To suggest an edit, simply begin typing where you think the edit should be made in the document. Your suggestions appear in a new color, and text you mark to delete or replace is crossed out (but not actually deleted until the document owner approves the suggestion).
  3. The document’s owner will receive an email with your suggestions. When they click any suggestion, they can Accept or Reject  it.
  4. Suggest edits

Chat with People Directly

  1. You can collaborate in real time over chat, too. If more than one person has your document open, just click Show chat  to open a group chat. You can get instant feedback without ever leaving your document.

Add & Edit

Edit and Format

Now that you have a document open, you can edit it as you like, change

how it looks, and work in it much like you did in your old program.   

Docs automatically saves every change you make.


   Add and edit text

Rename your document: At the top of the page, click Untitled document,

enter a new title, and click OK.

Add or edit text: Just click in the page and start typing.

Create columns:
If you’re working on an academic paper or another large document, you can

organize your text in columns.

To create page columns

  1. Click Format > Columns.
  2. Select the number of columns you want.
  3. (Optional) To adjust the spacing, or add lines between column, click Format > Columns > More options.
  4. Click Apply.

Add pictures, links, tables, and more

The Insert menu lets you add different features to your document. Here are the highlights:

Image—Insert an image from your computer, the web, or Drive.

Link—Add a link to another page or to a header or bookmark in the same document.

Drawing—Create shapes, pictures, and diagrams right in your document.

Table—Select the number of columns and rows to create a table.

Bookmark—Add shortcuts to specific places within your document.

Table of contents—Create an auto-generated table of contents that links to each heading in your document that has a heading style applied.

Add colors and styles

To change margins, page color, and orientation, click File > Page setup.

Use the toolbar to customize your document further. Here are some highlights: