Thursday, January 5, 2017

Explore in Docs, Sheets, and Slides - an efficiency aid

Explore in Docs, Sheets, and Slides - an efficiency aid

One of the things that I loved discussing in my Google training sessions was the Research Tool in Docs and Slides. It was an easy way to browse Google and look for material without leaving the document or presentation that you're working on. When Google replaced the tool with the Explore button, it was with mixed feelings that I started to use it.

One of the things that I initially missed was the ability to cite sources, which Google updated and made available two months after launching Explore in Docs, Sheets and Slides. After using and testing it for a month now, I've found that it's cut down the time that it used to take me in making my presentations and papers.

Google has poured a lot of smarts into this tool, for example giving chart suggestions on spreadsheet data, or finding the best modern layout for your slide content.

I used to begin with choosing a Layout when creating slides. With Explore though, all I have to do is add the content (even randomly) onto the slide, and it will give me suggestions on the different layouts that will fit our content - not the other way around.

Research is also made easy. Instead of switching to different tabs trying to reference content, Explore makes it easy to search the web, without leaving the document. Citation can be done in MLA, APA of Chicago formats. When searching for images, one only has to highlight a word or phrase in the document and start exploring the web for related content.

I also don't have to break my head trying to figure out the best chart to use for my spreadsheet data. By clicking on Explore, it will give me suggestions and insight that I can easily insert onto the sheet with one click.

Explore increases efficiency and is made for those who want to focus more on content, and let Google do the heavy lifting when it comes to visual presentation. It looks more and more like a tool for the truly lazy, but then again, who doesn't like to save time?

To know more about how to use Explore, visit the support channel here: Docs, Sheets, Slides.

Image Source: Google Docs  Blog -