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28 time-saving tricks for Google, Facebook and other sites

Time-saving tricks for your favourite websites

You may be using Google, YouTube, Facebook and other websites every day, but are you using them to their full potential? We've put together 28 tips to ensure you speed up your internet abilities.

Read on to speed up your internet abilities, unlock new features, and find a new favourite tip or two.

Google Gimmicks

Search within a site
Narrow down your search results to a single site. Type (search query) site:(domain); an example would be entering: laptop review site:pcadvisor.co.uk to find pages only at that location.

You can even limit results to within sections of a site, as in this example: twitter site:pcadvisor.co.uk/businessadvisor.

Search for file types
Maybe you want to track down a certain document that's a PDF.

Enter your usual search string plus filetype:pdf to find only those pages.

This method also works with PostScript (ps), Office docs (doc, ppt, xls), Rich Text (rtf), Plain Text (txt), and more.

You can find a list of searchable file types here.

Exclude results
Include a minus sign to exclude certain results.

Suppose you want to find news about Apple unrelated to the iPad. Type Apple -iPad. You can also combine the previous tips, such as Apple -iPad -site:apple.com and Apple -iPad -PDF.

Get local details
Forget manual time conversion; just enter time [city] (as in Time Tokyo) to get the current local time. Or try weather [city] for a forecast.

For more local details, try [city] map, movies [city or post code], and [restaurant name or cuisine] [city or post code].

This works for a few other regular search strings, like Weather [city], stock quotes, and more - check out Google's full list.

Make conversions
Swap units of measure, such as measurements of volume or distance; this works for converting different currencies, too.
Try [number and unit] in [new unit] such as 7inch in cm or 30 Euros in GBP.

Bing Bonanza

Find links to files
Find pages that host or lead to certain file types, such as music.

Enter [search term] contains:[file type] such as Rolling Stones contains:MP3 to find MP3s from the Rolling Stones.

Try this kind of search with many other file types, such as WMA, PDF, AAC, DOC, and nearly anything else.

Remove the background image
Bing sure is cute, but its big photos can be distracting. Visit http://www.bing.com/?rb=0 for a plain, gray version of the site.

Save searches as RSS feeds
If you want to stay on top of hits to a search query, turn it into an RSS feed.

After loading your results, append &format=rss to the end of the new URL, and view it in your favourite RSS reader.

NEXT PAGE: Fix your Facebook

  1. Time-saving tricks for your favourite websites
  2. Fix your Facebook
  3. Texting tips and smartphone secrets
  4. Entertainment extras: YouTube, Flickr, iTunes and Xbox Live

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