Monday, January 13, 2014

Quick and Easy Tools From Google

Quick and Easy Tools From Google (2014-01-13)

We are back from the Holidays and extremely bad weather here in Elmhurst, Illinois.  I thought I would post a bit about the easy (read "nothing to install") tools available right from Google Search.

These will work for all browsers, but if you use Chrome, or set your browser's default search to be Google, they will all work from the address/search box directly.

You probably already know that if you put a location, whether the name of a business or an address into the address box, Google will show map and other location based services at the top of the search results.  However, there are other context sensitive results available.

If you prepend your search string with the "define" directive, Google will place a definition of the word at the top of the results.  This box will include a short definition and a pronunciation-aid audio link.

   define twelve

If you expand the definition box with the lightly shaded arrow at the bottom you are given more complete information including etymology and usage over time.

If you are primarily interested in etymology, you can use the "etymology" directive and those results will be highlighted in the short response, with the full response box giving the same results as the long form from "define".
   etymology eleven

You can do simple math by just typing your problem into the search box:

   (8 * 16) + 4

This will result in an interactive, full-feature calculator containing your answer and ready for more problems.  You can go straight to the calculator by just typing "calculator" in the search box.

Do you want your answer in binary?  How about hexadecimal?  Try:

   (8 * 16) + 4 in binary

   (8 * 16) + 4 in hex

Do you need to know what time it is in New Dehli - or pretty much anywhere else?
   time in new delhi

And finally, though completely useless, my favorite - this one must be typed into the address bar and not a Google search form:

   do a barrel roll

There are many more, but this can get you started and I will have additional such tips in future posts.