Monday, October 20, 2008

Back to school with a bunch of new features

Fight on, Trojans! Yesterday, we spent the day at the University of Southern California, the first stop on the App to School bus tour of U.S. college campuses. We hung out with a lot of students (and some professors, too) who dropped by our demo stations, and showed them our favorite tips and tricks in Google Docs. Some of them also told us about how they used Docs in their classes, clubs, and even side businesses. In our down time, Jen and I managed to don some Trojan colors and snap a photo. :)

And just in time for back to school, we've got some new features that will definitely help you get ahead in class:

Dictionary & Thesaurus
You now can highlight a word and look up its definition and synonyms using Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Look for this feature in the Tools menu, just below the Spell-check and Word Count. Now you're just two clicks away from being able to look up and hear pronunciations of hundreds of thousands of words. These tools are available in English only.

You can also look up a term in Encyclopedia Britannica from within Docs. Students and teachers should find this feature useful when writing reports and doing research online. Here's what an encyclopedia entry looks like for "Trojan War":

Search for words and images on Google
Fans of Google Image Search will be happy to see that you can also find and insert images into your documents. Again, you just highlight a word or phrase. Then, use Tools>Search... using Image Search. Once you find the right image, you can drag-and-drop that image directly into your document.

Link - from Official Google Docs Blog
Teachers... last chance to register for Letters to the Next President: Writing Our Future
Tips for introducing online collaboration to students
Coming soon: Changes to the spreadsheets interface
The dreaded bibliography

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