Saturday, March 24, 2018

A Goophy Addition to Google Docs

While exploring Add-Ons to Google Docs today, I found one that I think will be a lot of fun called Goophy. Goophy allows you to insert animated GIFs into Google Docs! If you are creating a word processing document that you plan to print and copy, inserting a GIF is probably a useless idea. If the document will be static, you might as well insert an image. For documents that will live a digital life, inserting a GIF might serve many different purposes.

While working in a Google Doc, head over to the Add-Ons menu and drop down to get add-ons. When the pop-up window opens, search for Goophy. Install it. Then go back to the Add-Ons menu and drop down to Goophy and click on Start Goophy. When the sidebar opens, you can search for a maximum of three words and then GIFS are found. Want to put one in your Doc? Just click it. Once it's in the Doc, you can change its size or move it around just like you would a static image. Except this one is an animation.

Here is an example of a Doc I made with some GIFs (plus some ideas for using them):

I like the idea of using GIFS in Docs as a way to capture attention. I might use a follow directions GIF near the procedures of my labs or a safety GIF to highlight safety features. I might add a GIF near the title to illuminate the concept of the lab. I would also entertain the idea of inserting a GIF that I could use as a visual for a test or quiz question. With my colleagues, perhaps a GIF could lively up a boring agenda or make a to-do list seem less laborious. 

I think kids would like to open a Doc and find an animated surprise. A quick warning: If you're planning to show this one to kids, tread lightly. The GIFs are not all school-appropriate. A search for "chemistry" revealed the ones I used above, but also revealed GIFs that said Sexy Chem and included curse words. 

Like any other strategy, if overdone, this would be tuned out. Still, for me it seems novel today and I am looking forward to trying it out at school.


  1. Thank you for discovering Goophy and writing this post! I created the add-on about a year ago. It really makes me happy to see the really brilliant ways you're using it for good. I also appreciate the justification for filtering out more risque results. I'm still not sure how to do that without drastically reducing results -- many gifs don't have ratings, so they would be excluded. And providing a filter menu allows everybody to turn back on the unrated / mature rated gifs... do you think that's enough to give teachers peace of mind about students using it?

    1. I think teachers will already use it, but might not show students how to use it with the possibility of inappropriate GIFs. I think a filter is a great idea. I wonder if it would be possible to clone this version but then permanently filter the GIFs ("safe" Goophy). Probably more of a project than you were looking for . . .

    2. Thank you -- that's a wonderful idea. It wouldn't be too much work to create a new "Safe Search" version of Goophy that universally filters results -- I will let you know when it's available in the store. Thanks again for the wonderful recommendation.