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Google Docs adds natural language search to Explore, expands Quick Access

One area Google is heavily applying machine learning advancements to is work and productivity. Just yesterday, Google announced that Calendar’s new Digital Wellbeing features would infer your office hours. Now, Docs is gaining natural language search, while Quick Access is rolling out to more users.

In Google Docs, the Explore section — available from the Tools menu — offers suggestions like search results and images based on the topics in your current document. Search functionality also allows users to quickly search the web, images, and Google Drive.

That latter corpus of data can now be searched via natural language processing. Also leveraged by Google’s other products, you can surface relevant files and information from Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides by using “natural and intuitive” search terms.

Just describe what you’re looking for, and Docs will find it for you. So you can search for things like “show me slides shared with me last week” or “show me documents I created this month” and Docs will find the best results.

Meanwhile, another feature in the Explore panel is “Quick Access.” First available as a carousel at the top of the Google Drive homepage, it is now available within individual documents. Based on the contents of your document, it will suggest a list of relevant Drive files.

This feature first launched to G Suite editions that had Google Cloud Search enabled earlier this year. It’s now available available for all accounts. These features are rolling out in the coming weeks.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: