I find the Research mechanism built into Google Docs quite useful when researching and documenting some activity. However, there is one impediment that is wasting my energy since I have to workaround it more often than I think is reasonable. This is that dragging URLs from the Research list over into the document results in URLs whose text (not URL) is not editable. Google Docs disables editing of the text associated with the URL with a "Cannot edit multi-paragraph selection".

This is an issue because this action of dragging links into the document, and then needing to cleanup/edit the text of the link (not the URL) is a frequently occurring activity.

Steps to reproduce (See browser info at the end of this question):

  1. Create a new Google Doc
  2. Select the Tools/Research menu item: Research Menu
  3. In the Research search entry field type how do I find the kernel version ubuntu and hit return.
  4. Click and drag the first URL you see into the document: click and drag
  5. On the URL in the document you just dragged, left mouse click to produce the popup with the Change link, then click that Change link: enter image description here
  6. In the text field, you see the Cannot edit multi-paragraph selection.: screenshot showing cannot edit message
  7. At this point, I'm stuck.

How do I get rid of that multi-paragraph formatting without having to waste time doing these steps:

  1. Right mouse click in the Research panel on the URL, and select Copy URL (browser dependent).
  2. Copy the URL out of the text field.
  3. Click in the document somewhere other than in that broken URL.
  4. Type CTRL-k to insert a new URL.
  5. Type CTRL-v to paste the URL.
  6. Left mouse click in the text field to provide the new text
  7. Press Return.
  8. Select the multi-parapraph infected URL.
  9. Press Delete.

Ideally, there would be a way to change the way drag and drop works to not include this "multi-paragraph baggage" in the drag.

This is reproducible on two completely different operating systems but using same versions of the browser, Firefox (BTW, suggesting I change browsers is not a viable option due to my dependence upon many Firefox extensions):

  1. 32-bit Firefox running on 64-bit Debian Linux system: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686 on x86_64; rv:40.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/40.0
  2. 64-bit Firefox running on a 64-bit Windows 7 Professional system: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:40.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/40.0 Profile

1 Answer 1


Instead of using drag and drop,

  1. Do a mouse hovering over the research result. Three buttons should be displayed
  2. Click in the "Insert link" button.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.