Google Docs is one of the best free word processing applications available. If you have a Google or Gmail account, you can easily take advantage of this cloud-based suite of document creation tools that allow you to create word documents, spreadsheets, slide decks, and more. Google automatically spell-checks your documents for you, and also features other core components essential for creating documents such as the ability to change font styles, colors, and the layout of content.

One feature available in Google Docs that many users are not aware of is the ability to look up the definition of a word in Google Docs. This can be useful when collaborating on documents with other Google users and you need to verify that they have used the correct word in the context of a phrase in the document. It can also be useful for users who have a word in mind, but aren’t quite sure if it’s the correct word — or correct variation of a word. For those who are often stuck between choosing “effect” and “affect,” this feature is especially useful.

How to Look Up the Definition of a Word in Google DocsThe ways in which you can look up the definition of a word in Google Docs will vary depending on your operating system. First, type in the word you want to look up using Google Docs. Then, if you have Windows, use the keyboard shortcut Control+Shift+Y. If you have a Mac, use the keyboard shortcut Command+Shift+Y. These commands will automatically show you the definition of the word, as well as any synonyms and several Web definitions of the word. You also have the option to look up the definition of a new word in Google Docs via the popup that displays the definition of the original word you look up.

What other “secret” features of Google Docs do you find useful? Let us know in the comments.