The information below is from Randolf Hock’s book, “The Extreme Searcher’s Internet Handbook” via “Real Simple” Magazine.
Use: filetype:pdf, filetype:xls, or filetype:ppt
Example: Canon manual filetype:pdf
Why: If you include the file type in your search, Google will turn up only relevant files. For example, entering filetype:pdf will find all the PDFs that have to do with operating your new camera.
To Find: narrowed-down information
Use: a hyphen (minus sign)
Example: jaguar -cars -football
Why: You want information about jaguars-the animal, not the car or the sports team. Placing a hyphen before terms you want to exclude will omit pages with those words. Type a space before the hyphen, but not after.
To Find: a product you saw online (but can’t remember where)
Example: intitle:”Frye boots”
Why: Using the term intitle: searches the world in the title bar of Web pages and can be particularly helpful if you remember the name of a product you liked but not where you found it. Just be sure not to put a space after the colon and to use quotation marks around the phrase.
To Find: a verbatim phrase
Use: quotation marks
Example: “Bikram yoga”
Why: Using quotation marks around a phrase or a person’s name can eliminate many of the irrelevant links you would otherwise turn up.
- perform calculations – to figure out what 15 percent off a $78 shirt amounts to, just enter “78 x .15” into the search field, click “Search,” and the answer will show up at the top of the results page. No clicking on a second link required.
- convert measurements – How many cups equal a liter? Simply type “cups in a liter.” You can also find out currency conversions (“15 dollars in Euros”).
- track flights – Find out if your flight is on time by entering your airline and flight number.
- locate packages – Hunt down an MIA delivery by entering “track” plus the tracking number for a direct link to the status page.
- look up addresses – Type in a person’s home phone number and, if she is listed, Google will turn up the mailing address.
- find movie showtimes – Type “movies” plus your city or ZIP code to see theaters and showtimes for the next three days.
- listen to songs – Thanks to a Google partnership with music site lala.com, you can type the title of a song and its artist and a playable file will appear at the top of the results page.