For years, Microsoft Office has been the number one choice for businesses, organizations and even students when it comes to productivity suite. However, when it comes to writing documents, Google Docs shows up with its big features. Although Google Docs provide presentation and spreadsheet features, I think Google Docs document is the most useful of all.

Google just announced a new Research Pane that sits on the right of your Google Docs. It helps you enrich your writing along the way without forcing you to open a bunch of new tabs to search for information, images, facts, and quotes. I didn’t know about the new update until I recently opened up a document to edit that I received via email. The process was fast, you know. I received a document with an email that I needed to edit, I edited it online and emailed back without having to download anything on my computer.

So, how does this Research Pane look? If you cannot see research pane on your Google Docs document writing window, just click Tools -> Research from the menu.

google docs research pane

As you can see, the research pane helps you get information as quickly as you can imagine. If you need to quote someone in your document, use the quote search feature. If you want to insert an image of something or some place, just search right within your document window and insert it the way you like. You don’t need to open yet another tab just for doing that. I believe, it makes your essay writing (or even blog writing if you prefer Google Docs over WordPress editor) super fast and smarter than ever before.

Speaking of research pane, I remembered that I had seen something similar on Microsoft Word 2007. I quickly fired it up to see how the research panel looks and works. And here’s the result:

research pane on ms word

Just in case you were wondering, clicking on those links open a whole new window of your default browser, usually Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. Heh heh! šŸ˜‰

So, I’m not underestimating MS Word here. I think, Microsoft Office suite rocks; reason why I have this installed on my computer. But in most writing cases, Google Docs can be a superb alternative now with the addition of a research pane which makes your writing a lot smarter if you need input from the wealth of the web.

Have you been using Google Docs lately?

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