3 min read

Learn How to Use Google Docs Explore

Learn How to Use Google Docs Explore

Struggling with writer's block or in need of valuable information? Google Docs' Explore tool is here to help you generate ideas and enhance your content. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the ins and outs of the Explore tool, offering practical tips and step-by-step instructions for writers looking to leverage its capabilities.


The Explore tool in Google Docs is a versatile feature designed to streamline your research process without the hassle of switching between windows or tabs. It allows you to search the web or access your Google Drive directly from your document, providing valuable insights and content suggestions. Whether you're a seasoned writer or just starting, this tool can significantly improve your writing experience.


To get started, open Google Docs in your web browser. You'll find the Explore icon in the lower-right corner of your screen, resembling a black star inside a chat bubble. Clicking on this icon or using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+Shift+I (on your keyboard) activates the Explore tool.


Once activated, the Explore tool opens a panel on the right side of your document. You can explore internet resources, images, and your Google Drive here. If you've already typed enough text in your document, the tool will offer suggestions for improving your content.

If your document is relatively empty, you might not immediately see the Explore icon. In this case, highlight your document or specific sections to prompt the tool to scan and provide suggestions.


Under the 'Web' section in the Explore tool, you can enter a keyword in the search bar or select variations from the 'Topics' section. This enables you to find relevant web results related to your document's content.

Click on a search result to open it in a new tab for further exploration. You can then copy and paste relevant information directly into your document in Google Docs.


Maintaining proper citations is crucial for ethical writing. Google Docs' Explore tool simplifies this process. Click the three-dot icon next to a web result and choose your preferred citation format from the drop-down options. You can select MLA, APA, or Chicago-style citations to ensure accuracy and professionalism in your document.


Images can enhance the visual appeal of your content. Click the 'Images' tab in the Explore tool to insert images. Hover your cursor over an image and click the '+' icon to add it to your document. Google Docs offers a selection of commercial images with modification permissions as the top results.


Google Docs' Explore tool provides access to your Google Drive documents, allowing you to gather ideas and information from your existing files. Click the 'Drive' tab in the Explore tool to search for Drive documents related to your current project.

When you click on a Drive document, it opens in a new browser tab. You can then copy and paste relevant content from your Drive document into your current Google Docs document.


The Explore tool offers various types of suggestions to improve your writing:

  • Topics: Explore identifies keywords in your document and suggests related topics to enhance your content. Click on any of these suggestions to explore further.
  • Images: Find relevant images that can complement your content. Click on an image to add it to your document.
  • Related Research: Access top research results related to your topic, helping you provide valuable insights. Click on any result to explore in-depth information.

For computers, press Ctrl+A to highlight your entire document before using the Explore tool. This increases the likelihood of receiving valuable suggestions.


The Explore tool functions differently on mobile devices, providing a seamless experience for on-the-go writers. To access the Explore tool on the mobile app (available for Android and iPhone), follow these steps:

  • Open your document in the Google Docs app.

  • Tap the pen button to enter Editing mode.

  • Tap the three-dot icon and select 'Explore.'

You can search for related topics, insert images, and explore web results directly within the app. It's a convenient way to enhance your content while on your mobile device.


While the Explore tool simplifies the research process, respecting copyright laws is essential. Ensure you have the permission to use any online materials in your document to avoid copyright infringement.


Now, take these tips and put them into practice.

  • Enhance Your Research: The Explore tool helps you find valuable information quickly. Take advantage of its capabilities to gather insights and enrich your content.

  • Improve Citations: Use the tool to create accurate citations in MLA, APA, or Chicago style, maintaining professionalism and credibility.

  • Visual Appeal: Incorporate images to make your content visually engaging and informative.

  • Stay Mobile: If you're constantly on the move, the mobile app offers a convenient way to access and utilize the Explore tool.

By following these steps and tips, you can maximize the power of Google Docs' Explore tool to elevate your writing and research processes. Whether you're a content creator, student, or professional, this tool can significantly enhance your productivity and the quality of your work.

Now that you've comprehensively understood the Explore tool, put your knowledge into action and unlock its full potential for your writing projects.

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