Google spreads Mail search across to Docs

The company has turned on a Labs feature that lets people use Mail search to generate results from items in Google Docs and internal websites too
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor on

Google has updated its Mail service with Apps Search, an enterprise-focused Labs feature that provides search results from across other Google services.

The Apps Search option, introduced on Wednesday, adds the ability for people to search within mail to documents simultaneously. In the case of enterprise users, the search term will generate results from within a company's internal website too.

To add it to the mail platform, people need to enable it from within the Google Labs options. Once added, the usual 'search mail' button is replaced with 'search mail and documents' button in the usual place.

"We're making it easier to search across more of your data with the new Apps Search lab in Gmail... When you run a search in Gmail, your search results will include matching documents and sites in addition to results from your email," said Google software engineer Bram Moolenaar, in a post on the official Google enterprise blog.

Google has also updated its Document service with some minor new features designed to make life a little easier for some people. Typing web and email addresses in Google documents now automatically turns them into active links without needing to specify them as hyperlinks.

For those who do not want this part of the Google Docs experience, there is an option to turn this feature off. It can be found in the preferences menu alongside another new option added by Google — the choice to not use 'curly quotes', otherwise known as 'smart quotes' — in documents. Google has also provided new page-size printing options to the Document platform.

Google uses its Labs environment to develop and test new services. Google Mail has its own Lab for development, which has resulted in a number of experimental features, such as Google Tasks, later becoming key staples of the service.

Editorial standards