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Google Secrets

Thursday, November 8th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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Q:
I saw something online the other day about some hidden features in Google. Do you know anything about this? If so, what’s it referring to? I would love to know!

A:
Well, I’m not sure where you got your information, but I do have some Google secrets of my own that I can show you. My source for this is actually from one of WorldStart’s message board posts by user “dolphina,” so here’s a big thank you to them! The post included a link to a Google video you could watch that showed exactly how to do all of the “hidden features” on your own. I watched the video through a couple times and then tried a few of them on my own. And let me tell you, they are awesome! If you’re an avid Google searcher, you’re going to love what these features bring to the table. So, without further ado, let’s see what we’ve got!

1.) Display the Current Local Time Anywhere – If you’re interested in what time it is in different cities around the world, this is the perfect search tool for you. With this feature, you can find the local time for any major city anywhere around the world. To do this, go to Google’s Web site (www.google.com) and in the search box, type “time in city name.” For example, if you wanted to get the time for Madrid, Spain, you would type in “Time in Madrid.” I just did it and right now, as I write this, it is 3:48 p.m. Now, what’s even better is that it will give you the time for any other cities around the world by that name as well. For my search, I found out there is a Madrid, Iowa and it is 9:48 a.m. there right now. How cool is that?!

2.) Currency Converter – The next “hidden feature” allows you to use the built in currency converter to look up the current exchange rates for any city in the world. For example, let’s say you wanted to find the exchange rate for a U.S. dollar to a British pound. To do that, just type in something like “5.99 usd in gbp.” By doing that, you’ll learn that $5.99 in U.S. dollars is 2.89022919 British pounds. (Note: You’ll want to leave the dollar sign ($) out or you won’t get the results you’re looking for). Now, if you don’t know the abbreviations for all the currencies, you can type something like “Currency of France in American Money” instead. That search will show you that 1 Euro equals 1.4448 U.S. dollars. Awesome!

3.) Find Documents of the Specified Type – With Google, you can search for up to 12 different file formats right from your Web browser. Wow! Those formats include MS Office, PDFs, Lotus files and so on. If you want to search for a specific one, just type “filetype:[extension]” into the search box. For example, if you wanted to find an MS Word document on a certain dog breed, you would just type in the dog breed, followed by “filetype:doc.” You can do that for any subject and for any file type. Oh yeah!

4.) Site Specific Search – This feature works perfectly when you want to search through a Web site that doesn’t have a search engine included. To do this, you just need to type in a subject, followed by the Web site’s URL. For example, you could type in “puggle:puppyfind.com.” You can do that for whatever topic you’re interested in and for any site you like to visit on a regular basis!

5.) Four Day Weather Forecast – With this Google secret, you can search for the weather forecast for any city around the world. Let’s say you’re planning a trip to London, England. In that case, go to Google and type in “weather London.” I just did that and I can tell you that it is 63° F and mostly cloudy there right now. Your search results will also give you the next four day’s worth of weather. On Sunday, it’s supposed to be 55 and mostly cloudy. You can do this for any city, anywhere!

6.) Google Calculator – Did you know that Google has a built in calculator? Well, now you do and you can start using it right away! With it, you can actually solve basic to advanced math problems. How great is that?! If you have a math problem that you just cannot solve (maybe you’re helping your children or grandchildren with their homework), go to Google and type it in. Just for an example, here’s an easy one: “2 + 3.” Type that in and your answer will be revealed as “2 + 3 = 5.” You can enter in any math equation, no matter how easy or how hard it is!

That’s all I have for you today, but I’m sure there are several other Google secrets to be found. You just have to play around with the search engine to see what you can come up with. Hopefully the above six features will get you started though! If you want to see the full Google video about their “hidden features,” you can do so right here. Watching it will give you some more ideas of what you can search for as well. Now, go on and have fun with these. What will Google think of next?!

~ Erin

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