The Computer Guy: Google Power Tools

So many gizmos can connect you to the wells of information stored on the internet these days!   Not just computers and smartphones, but video games, television sets, and now even some household appliances too.


And the amount of information that you can dig up by searching the web with Google or Bing can be truly dazzling.   Or even distracting.   Happily, to go along with all of the ways to quickly get onto the web, there are also ways to get you quickly to the information you need.


By the way, while the title is “Google Power Tools” many of these tools will also work on Bing or Yahoo and other search engines too.


Spellcheck. Type any word – or just part of it – into the Google search bar.   As you type, Google checks your spelling is against a list of common spellings and shows them to you.   If your spelling isn’t recognized, it will show a red squiggle under it.


Definitions.  Type the word “define” followed by the word you’d like to look up.   The primary definition will come up, along with a pronunciation guide, plus links to several online sources for other definitions. (Click the speaker icon to hear your word pronounced.)


While it isn’t an actual Google tool,  you can also use “synonym” plus a word to quickly get thesaurus links too.


Nifty words that Google knows. “Time”, “weather,” “sunrise,” and “sunset” get special treatment by the search engines.


Type “time” into the search bar of your browser and the time of day will come right up.   For “weather” or “temp” you’ll get the weather.


If you’d like to know the time or weather in another city, include the city name, or zip code, or airport code with your request; like, “temp 12564” to get Pawling weather.


Google also recognizes disaster words, like “earthquake”, “flood”, “hurricane”.


Local info. Adding a town name or zip code to your search will get you loads of local information.   For example “food 12564” will show you our restaurants, or “pizza Pawling NY” to go straight to the pizza shops.


Enter “movies 12564” to get a list of movies and show times in the area.


Nifty words that Google guesses. This is the Google machine really showing off.

Sports scores & stats: type a team name, like “NY Giants” and you’ll get stats, box scores and schedules.


Stock symbols: type in just a stock symbol, like “CSCO” and you’ll get the current market quote and a graph of current trading history.


Calculator: type an equation into the search bar and press enter to get the result.   It recognizes words too, for example, “6*9+(sqrt 5)=” will get you 56.236068.


Unit & Currency conversion: convert between different units of measurement of height, weight, and volume by entering the value you have followed by “in” and the units you need.   For example, “3 feet in meters” will get 0.9144 meters, and “$1 in yen” will show the current dollar equivalent in Japanese yen.


Package tracking: put in just a package tracking number from the Post Office or any of the parcel carriers and Google will take you straight to the correct package tracking info.


Flight tracking: enter an airline name and flight number, like “Delta 127”, and you’ll get current departure and arrival status.


Medical information: enter just the name of an illness or a drug to go straight to the heading of key information about it.   For example, “flu” or “aspirin”.   Click through from there for the details.


Google and Bing and the other search engines have lots more helpful tricks too.  You can find more by searching Google for “search features” and following the link.   Or, of course, if I can help, please give me a call.   Mike Pepper ~ Computer Guy; 845-855-5824.


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