Google Cheat Sheet: Quick Guide to Easy Google Codes

Google Operators and Syntax

Close-up of a schoolboy copying in an examination
Credit: Glow Images

Google has a lot of powerful hidden syntax. It's pretty good at reading your mind when you type words in the search box, but it's even better when you can remember a simple command to find exactly what you want.

Remember, in most cases, you do not need to capitalize words for Google. The other thing to keep in mind is that generally, you should not put quotes around these search terms unless you're searching the web for only things that contain that exact search phrase.

I'm doing it here sometimes for clarity, but if you're following along in a new tab, remove the quotes unless the instructions specify that they're necessary. 

Each of these search tricks is attached to a longer article offering more details. One warning: Google search tricks can sometimes disappear without warning. 

Some of these tricks (movie times and stock quotes, for example) are easier to do by just using Google Now. 

Basic Search Grammar

How to Search Effectively With Google

oranges AND apples

Finds only results that contain both oranges and apples

iPod OR iPhone

Lists results that contain either iPods or iPhones

iPod|iPhone

Lists results that contain either iPods or iPhones
Learn more about boolean (AND/or) searches in Google

"Rocky I"

Finds the exact phrase Rocky I

Josh +Holloway

Find only results with both Josh and Holloway

Josh -Holloway

Find only results about Josh that do not include the word Holloway
Learn more about using plus and minus in Google

remember remember the * of *

Finds wildcard words that match asterisks.
Learn more about wildcard searches.

~sawhorse

Finds sawhorse and synonyms for sawhorses.
Learn more about synonym searches in Google

art history 1950..1980

Finds art history and numbers between 1950 and 1980.
Learn more about "Numrange" searches.

Advanced Search Grammar

Find that PowerPoint presentation about the bad hotel. 
Restrict searches to specific file types. 

bad hotel filetype:ppt  

Your flight on Imaginary Airways might me delayed. Check to see the status.
Check your flight status. 

imaginary airways 888Y8

What time is it in Berlin?
Find the time anywhere

Time:Berlin

Find review on About.com
Search only the body text of websites
Learn more about intext searches. 

intext:review about.com

Find out how to feed iguanas by searching only the anchor text
Learn more about searching inside links. 
Search only website titles 

intitle:feeding iguana

Find out when that cool documentary about New Zealand is playing in a theater near where you live.
Check movie showtimes.

movie: return of the king seattle, wa

Find out the weather in Eldorado, Texas. 
More on finding local weather forecasts
(Or just use Google Now)

weather eldorado tx

Find out the stock price of Google right now.
Get a quick stock quote

stock: goog

I hope you enjoyed this quick Google cheat sheet and the glimpse into Google syntax. 

Google is great, and it usually finds what you need, but sometimes you need to get more precise to find that needle in a haystack. There are a lot of websites about needles or haystacks.

What you really need is a method to find a website with both your needle and haystack. 

And Finally: Bacon Score

If you want a quick check to see how many degrees of separation Diane Sawyer has from Kevin Bacon. 

bacon number of diane sawyer