New Labs Feature for Gmail: Google Search
Article by George Norman
On 04 May 2009
What do you do when you get an email or an IM message in Gmail chat, telling you that you are a complete tyro for believing that Apple’s iTunes Store approval process is fair? You leave Gmail, fire up Google search and type in the query “tyro”, thus finding out that “tyro” means “novice, a beginner in learning”. During their “20% time”, Google software developers came up with a new Labs offering that will let you access Google Search and perform a search without leaving Gmail.

Software Engineer Adam de Boor explains: “I used to have a problem. People would ask me questions, over chat or email, and I'd have to leave Gmail to search Google for an answer. Then I'd have to select the answer, copy it, go back to Gmail and paste the answer into the chat window or my reply. Sometimes I'd get distracted and forget to go back to Gmail, and I'd have to go through it all again when I remembered what I'd been doing. With the new Google Search experiment in Gmail Labs, my problem is solved. When you turn this feature on from the Labs tab under Settings, you'll see a new search box on the left side of your inbox. Type your search in, and a window (like a chat window, but a bit bigger) appears at the bottom of your screen with the first few search results.”


By clicking on a search result, a new window or a new tab will open; by moving your cursor over the search result displayed in Gmail you will be presented with a pull-down menu. That menu allows you to perform the following tasks: send by chat; reply with result; send by email.

In order to enable the “Google Search” Labs feature, follow these simple steps:
Step 1 – Go to Gmail and login to your account. If you do not have one, perhaps this would be the best time to sign up (it’s free and you get tons of features to play with). If you already have a Google account and you are logged in, access Labs by simply clicking here (this will skip Step 2 of the tutorial).
Step 2 – In the top right corner of the screen, right next to your user name you should be able to see “Settings”; click it. Now locate “Labs” and click it as well.
Step 3 – Locate “Google Search” and select “Enable”. Use a keyboard shortcut (such as the one available to Firefox users: Ctrl + F and type in “Google Search”) to rapidly locate the feature. Click “Save Changes” (at the bottom of the screen) and you’re done.

Tags: Google, Gmail, Labs, Google Search
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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