Google Docs Updated With Natural Language Search & More

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Google is introducing a natural language search feature to the Explore panel of Google Docs, and it is now also deploying the Quick Access functionality to more users. The Quick Access feature utilizes machine learning to suggest which files are potentially useful to the user based on the person's activity and the contents of their currently open document. The search giant claims that the service should help people discover information and resources that could help improve their workflow. The feature was first rolled out back in February, although it was initially available only to G Suite users who had the Google Cloud Search feature enabled. However, the tech company now announced that it is making the Quick Access functionality available to all G Suite users, with the rollout being expected to be completed in the coming days.

In addition, Google has also announced that natural language processing is now incorporated into the search functionality of the Google Docs Explore panel. The firm has already been using this technology in other product offerings, including Google Cloud Search, for quite some time, and its importance was highlighted by a recent study released by research firm Gartner, which shows that by 2018, around 30-percent of all enterprise queries were created using natural language. By adding natural language processing, G Suite users may now formulate search queries that describe the documents or files that they are looking for using common, everyday phrases and wording. For example, they may use the Explore panel to search for documents that were created in a certain time frame or look up files that were shared with them on a specific date by another user.

G Suite users who are on the Rapid Release track should already be receiving the two features now, while those who are on the Scheduled Release track will get the features within the next two weeks. In the last few months, the search giant has been introducing features to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides that aim to improve user productivity. Among them are the integration of add-ons into certain templates and the ability to name older versions of documents. The latter feature makes it easier for people to track the changes made to a file.

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