Magazine article Teacher Librarian

Save Searching Time with Google Shortcuts

Magazine article Teacher Librarian

Save Searching Time with Google Shortcuts

Article excerpt

Do you know that you can obtain definitions and perform calculations, conversions, and a variety of other tasks on the Google search bar? Learning the useful searching features in this article can save time and make you a more efficient searcher.

The most useful shortcut for most Web searchers is Google's definitions. The ability to obtain definitions from Google without reaching for a dictionary or searching a dictionary web site is very helpful when reading technical literature online. Type define in front of the term for which you want a definition, and Google returns a definition as well as search results for the word.

Example: define recombinant

To obtain a variety of definitions without any search results, type define followed by a colon.

Example: define:recombinant


Google's search bar acts as a calculator and can perform basic arithmetic functions and even advanced math tasks involving trigonometric functions, logarithms, factorial, and probability calculations. Simply type your mathematical expression in the search bar, and press Enter to perform the calculation. The results that Google returns appear under each example.

Example 1 : 53.99 + 24.95 + 14.95 + 10.00 - 1.95

GOOGLE CALCULATOR 53.99 + 24.95 + 14.95 + 10.00 - 1.95 = 101.94

Example 2: 15% of 5,284

GOOGLE CALCULATOR 15% of 5,284 = 792.6


Google's calculator also performs conversions involving units of measure.

Example 1:100 kilometers in miles

GOOGLE CALCULATOR 100 kilometers = 62.1371192 miles

Example 2: Cups in o quart

GOOGLE CALCULATOR 1 U.S. quart = 4 U.S. cups

Google's Help Center ( provides a bare-bones description of its calculator and its functions, but other web sites such as EwingSeniorNet Computer Literacy Center ( offer a more detailed explanation of the calculator's features.

Google's search bar will perform currency conversions for the more common currencies.

Example 1:5 Canadian Dollars in GBP

GOOGLE CALCULATOR 5 Canadian dollars = 2.32948364 British pounds

Example 2: USD in EUR

GOOGLE CALCULATOR 1 U.S. dollar = 0.832085206 Euros

Example 3: Currency of Canada in Japanese money

GOOGLE CALCULATOR 1 Canadian dollar = 91.1521011 Japanese yen

The search syntax that you use matters. The search phrase Currency of Canada in Japan does not provide a currency conversion, but Currency of Canada in Japanese currency does. Check Ooogle's Help Center ( help/features.html#currency] for wording arrangements that deliver results. Conversions are not performed for currencies of smaller countries.


Google's phone book, weather, street maps, parcel tracking, and travel information work only for locations in the United States, and the stock market quotes are delivered only from the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, and AMEX. …

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