Google Docs within Google Drive provides all the basic commands and features of a word processor, but it lacks some of the advanced tools of a program like Microsoft Word. Thankfully, you can sneak past some of these limitations with the right add-ons.
A variety of add-ons for Google Docs kick in new features and functionality across many different categories, including business, education, productivity, social, and more. There are add-ons that can help you translate text, build your resume, and add clip art, right from Google Docs. Let’s check them out.
Though you can use Google Docs in any browser, be warned that some add-ons only work in Google’s Chrome browser.
Get New Add-Ons
To get started, you will need to be signed into your Google account. Open a document in Google Docs, then click the add-ons menu and select the command to Get add-ons
Select New Add-On
At the Add-ons window, you can browse and search for specific add-ons. Hover over and click on an add-on to learn more about it. To try it out, click the Free button. Confirm your account and give the add-on the necessary access.
Use New Add-On
Back at your document, click the Add-ons menu and you should see an entry for the add-on you just installed. This is where you will navigate in order to use any new add-ons you have downloaded to Google Docs.
OneLook Thesaurus serves up more than just synonyms for a word. Depending on your chosen word, you’ll discover nouns described by the word, adjectives used with the word, terms that start with the word, words often used near your word, and last but not least, words that rhyme with your word.
Use this add-on by selecting a word in your document (or even leaving the cursor inside the word). Click Add-ons > OneLook Thesaurus, then click the service you need. Once you make a selection, the thesaurus will open in a sidebar with results for your word.
Using the Thesaurus
From this sidebar, you can select other categories for your word. Hover over a result to see a definition, then click it to replace the original word. To look up a different word, type it or copy and paste it in the search field for OneLook Thesaurus, and then press Enter.
You’ll find a few translators in the add-on library, but one of the most reliable ones is Google’s own Translate. This add-on supports only a few core languages, but it’s easy to use. Click Add-ons > Translate > Start.
Select the word you want to translate. In the sidebar window, the add-on automatically detects your source language, but you can also specify your language. Choose the target language, then click Translate. If you want to replace the original word with the translation, click the Insert button.
Want to insert some cool clipart into your document? You’ll find lots of images in Easy Clipart. Click Add-ons > Easy Clipart > Find Clipart to open the sidebar and get started
Using Easy Clipart
Easy Clipart suggests some images right off the bat. To find something more specific, type a word or phrase in the search field and click Search. From the search results, click the image you want to use. Once the image is in your document, you can move it, resize it, and change various attributes.
Resume CV Template Builder & Optimizer
Building a resume is not an easy task, but Google Docs can help via an add-on called Resume CV Template Builder & Optimizer. Create a new document, then click Add-ons > Resume CV Template Builder & Optimizer > Start to get started.
Import Resume From LinkedIn
You’re given two choices. If you have a LinkedIn account, you can import your profile data. If not, choose one of the add-on’s built-in templates. Let’s try the LinkedIn import first. Click the button to Sign in with LinkedIn. Grant access to your LinkedIn account and then click the button to Get LinkedIn profile. The add-on imports your profile data from LinkedIn. You can now edit and revise the information.
Use Built-in Templates
Instead of importing your resume from LinkedIn, you can also choose one of the resume formats in the sidebar. Choose between a center or left header. The add-on then sets you up with your chosen formatting with boilerplate text so you can now add your own information.
Search For Jobs
You can also search for specific jobs via ZipRecruiter. Click the Optimize tab in the sidebar and enter a job title or profession. Add the location information and click on Search. From the search results, click on the Analyze button on any job that interests you to see details about the position. Click Apply Now if you want to apply for the job.
You’ll find a few add-ons that let you electronically fax a document from Google Docs, including Ring Central Fax and Fax.Plus. Fax.Plus offers 10 faxes for free and a range of reasonable paid plans, depending on your needs. First, sign up for a Fax.Plus account at the company’s website. After installing the add-on, click Add-ons > FAX.PLUS > Send Fax.
Sign into your Fax.Plus account from inside Google Docs. Type the recipient’s fax number and click the Send Fax button to send the document to the recipient’s fax machine. If you’re curious about the status of your fax, you can check it on the Fax.Plus website.