How to Use the Tool Finder for Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

487086 How to Use the Tool Finder for Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

Google recently rolled out an enhanced tool finder in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides to help users more easily discover and access common tools and features[1]. This new search bar makes finding menu items much simpler and faster.

What is the Tool Finder?

The tool finder is a search bar located at the top left of Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides that allows you to:

  • Find menu items and tools
  • View recommended actions based on recent activity
  • Get suggestions for related actions as you type
  • Activate the Find & Replace tool

Key Benefits of the Tool Finder

There are several advantages to using the new tool finder:

1. Easier Discovery of Tools and Features

The tool finder essentially functions as an intelligent search engine for Google Docs editors. Instead of endlessly clicking through menus, you can simply type a few letters to instantly locate tools.

2. Contextual Recommendations

As you work within a document, sheet, or slide deck, the tool finder will automatically display relevant suggestions based on your recent actions. This saves you time from hunting for commonly used features.

3. Streamlined User Experience

Having one centralized place to search cuts down on clicks. The tool finder creates a smoother, less confusing editing experience compared to sprawling menus.

How to Access the Tool Finder

You can access the tool finder in two ways:

Keyboard Shortcut

On PC: Press the Alt and / keys
On Mac: Press the Option and / keys
On Chromebook: Press the Alt and / keys

Search Icon

Click the magnifying glass search icon located in the toolbar at the top of the screen

Using the Tool Finder

Once open, you can use the tool finder to:

Look Up Menu Items

Start typing the name of any tool or menu item, such as “page setup”, “insert image”, “word count”, etc. Relevant results will automatically populate.

View Recommended Actions

Without typing anything, suggested tools and recent actions will appear. These change contextually based on what you’re currently doing within the document.

Search for Features

Don’t know the exact name of a tool? Try typing a description of what you want to do, like “replace text” or “see revision history”. Helpful tools matching your query will show up.

Activate Find & Replace

The Find & Replace tool now lives inside the tool finder. It will be pinned to the bottom of search results for easy access anytime you need it.

Customizing the Tool Finder

You can customize the tool finder to better suit your workflow:

Pin Frequent Tools

Pin your most-used tools and menu items so they display at the top of the tool finder. Just click the push pin icon next to any result.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Use keyboard shortcuts to rapidly open frequent tools without needing to type anything. Shortcuts will appear next to pinned items.

Re-Find Previous Queries

Previous searches will be saved so you can quickly access common tools again later. Just click the tool finder to view past queries.

Tips for Using the Tool Finder

To get the most from the tool finder, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use descriptive search queries rather than specific names
  • Scan recommended actions for handy suggestions
  • Pin tools you use often to memorize their shortcuts
  • Revisit past queries to rapidly find common tools

The tool finder makes finding things much less tedious in Google’s Workspace apps. With some practice, you can optimize it to boost your editing efficiency.

When Will I Get the Tool Finder?

The enhanced tool finder is gradually rolling out to all Google Workspace customers over April and May 2022[1]. Personal Google accounts will receive the update by the end of May.

If you don’t yet see it in your Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides, try checking again in the coming weeks. It will display automatically once available for your account.

Conclusion

The tool finder adds a smarter, more intuitive search function to Google’s document editors. Instead of clicking through confusing menus, you can now easily look up or describe what you want to do.

Personalized recommendations and pinned frequent tools also create a smoother user experience. Over time, the tool finder will learn your habits and become tailored to your unique workflow.

With some practice, the tool finder can help you dramatically accelerate document creation and editing in Google’s Workspace apps.

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