13 Google Search Tricks That Make Life A Whole Lot Easier

Posted: Updated:
Print

You think you know how to Google? You don't know how to Google.

Even the most seasoned Googler might not know every tip and trick available with just a few extra keystrokes in the search bar. Consider this your instructions manual for the world's most popular search engine.

Define A Word

The Scenario: You're playing Scrabble and some dumb-dumb says, "Hey, 'panacea' isn't a word!"

The Solution: Just type "define:" followed by the word you want and Google will take you straight to the definition. Use the time you save to make smarter friends.

Search For Words In Exact Order

The Scenario: You want to find out the origin of a quote, but Google keeps giving results that are nowhere close.

The Solution: Put your search phrase inside quotation marks.

Exclude Certain Words

The Scenario: You want bread recipes that don't list "yeast" as an ingredient.

The Solution: After you enter your desired search terms, add a minus sign (-) followed by the words you want excluded.

Search Within A Range Of Prices

The Scenario: You want to research digital cameras that fall within a certain price range.

The Solution: First type in your term. Then separate the lowest and highest prices you're willing to pay with two periods (..). This trick also works for dates, if you're, say, looking for a news article published during a certain time.

Search Within A Website

The Scenario: You read an interesting article about Nelson Mandela on The Huffington Post, but you don't have the link and you can't remember the article's name or its author.

The Solution: Type "site:" followed by the URL of the website you'd like to search. Then add your search terms.

Fill In The Blanks

The Scenario: You once heard that mixing Pop Rocks with _________ would result in _______, but you can't remember what either of those two blanks are.

The Solution: Enter your search terms using asterisks as stand-ins for the unknowns. Google will fill in the blanks with possibilities.

Search By File Type

The Scenario: You have to do a PowerPoint presentation on 1920s slang, either because you're still in college or you live in Brooklyn, and you want to see how others have done it.

The Solution: Search by file type to find other PowerPoints. Enter your search terms followed by "filetype:PPT."

Set A Timer

The Scenario: Your brain is fried and you want to take a break on YouTube. You also want to make sure you don't get sucked down the rabbit hole.

The Solution: Type "set timer for" into the search bar and a Google timer will appear as the first result. Enter the time you want in hours, minutes or seconds and start the timer. Google will start beeping at you when your time runs out.

Do Math

The Scenario: You're terrible at math. Like, really bad at it. Or you're pretty good at math but have a really complicated problem to solve.

The Solution: To the chagrin of your math teacher, you can type in an equation and Google will give you the answer on its calculator. That's right, Mr. Campisano: I didn't need Algebra II after all.

Convert Currency

The Scenario: You're planning a trip to Thailand but have zero idea how far your American dollars will get you.

The Solution: Type in the name of the currency you currently own, add "to" and then type in the name of the currency you need to get.

Find A GIF

The Scenario: You know the exact GIF you need to send to your friend. But how do you find it?

The Solution: Go to Google Images. Click "Search tools" and then "Type." Then check off "Animated." Prepare to impress.

Search By Title

The Scenario: You want to search for a photo of the sexiest man alive when he was in his prime. To be specific, you want to find Joe Biden's yearbook photo.

The Solution: Type "intitle:" then the term you want. This will ensure the specified term is in the title of all the webpages in your results.

Make Google Flip Out

The Scenario: You want to freak out a friend.

The Solution: Type "do a barrel roll" and hit enter.

You're welcome.

Correction: A previous version of this post included the tilde key for finding related search terms. Google has removed the tilde key functionality.

Around the Web

Top 10 Clever Google Search Tricks - Lifehacker

Google Tips and Tricks Every Student Should Know - Lifehacker

15 Awesome Google Search Tips and Tricks - The Geek Stuff

5 Google tips and tricks - USA Today

Ultimate Google toolbox: 20 tips, tricks, and hacks | PCWorld

5 Google tips and tricks

Gmail Shortcuts, Tips, and Tricks: Latest Secrets for Hacking Your Email

5 Best Google Search Tricks for Increasing Productivity

 
From Our Partners