googleThe almighty Google search – the most frequented website in my history, and probably in yours too. I use it for work, I use it to search for cuddly cat pictures, and I even use it to see how famous I am (sadly, I am still not at Kim Kardashian fame…).

However, something that most people don’t know about Google, even with all of its popularity, is that you can use modifiers to enhance your searches. Need to search only for PDFs? There’s an easy way to do that. Need to do a quick conversion for a recipe? There’s an easy way to do that too! Need to research a popular topic for an essay? Try some modifiers to refine the process!

Check out 15 easy-to-use modifiers to amp up your Google searches:





Searches only results of the file type you designate (pdf, ppt, doc, etc.)

world war ii filetype:pdf


Only shows results with that word in the title and any other words in the body

flu shot intitle:help


Defines a word or phrase

define: plethora


Searches for webpages that link to a particular site


Searches only a particular website handbook


Searches for webpages that include either word

milkshake recipe vanilla OR chocolate

“   ”

Searches for the exact phrase

“houston is the best city in the world”

+, -, /, *

Calculates answer and brings up a basic calculator for more math

8 + 7


Searches for similar words

~mobile phone


Creates a fill-in-the-blank search

Jennifer Lopez married *


Searches for conversions and brings up a conversion calculator

5 cm in ft


Searches for movies and showtimes in a particular zip code


Omits a word in searches

bass –fishing


Searches for numerical ranges

Camera $50..$100


Searches for similar websites

Share these with your students to help them refine their own searches, especially if they are conducting research for a project or essay.

Happy Googling, y’all!


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