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Tips to Search the Web like a Pro, Part 3

b2ap3_thumbnail_endsearch400.jpgIn parts one and two, we shared tips on how to search the web. By now, you should be able to hone in your Internet searches and find almost anything you're looking for, but you can't yet call yourself a Search Master.

How to Search Google Images
Let's say that you're putting together a PowerPoint and you need to add images from the Internet. Let's also say that this is an internal presentation, so it's okay to use images from Google search without paying for them. When searching for images to be displayed on your large conference room screen, the first thing you will want to do is adjust the search settings to provide you with high definition images. This way, your pictures won't turn out pixelated when they're enlarged on the big screen.

Image Size
To find the appropriately-sized image for your presentation, the first thing you will want to do is go to Google and click on the Images tab in the top right corner. Now enter into the search bar what it is you're looking for and then click Search (the magnifying glass icon). You will now see previews of the images that are relevant to your query.

There are some great images in the original search, but keep in mind that the images you see are just previews of the larger images. If you save the preview picture from Google and use them in your presentation, then you will be highly disappointed with the fuzzy results.

To search for larger images, you will want to narrow your search by filtering out the low resolution pictures. Click on the Search tools tab and then select Size and the Size drop down menu will open. From here, you will want to choose a search parameter that is large enough to look good (going with 1024x768 or bigger is a good choice). Google also gives you the option to look for exact dimensions, but searching for an exact dimension will narrow down your search results substantially.

Image Type
With a selection of high definition pictures before you, you may want to narrow your search by image type. For example, let's say that you want to use an image with a transparency so you can lay it over text and a separate background image. PNG files support transparency and will allow you to do this. To refine your search to only PNG files, type filetype:PNG into the search line and then hit Enter. You should now have plenty of great PNG files to choose from.

Using ~:*
If you're not completely happy with the images in the search results, then you have more search tools that you can employ to find exactly what you're looking for.

  • By adding a tilde (~) in front of your keyword, you will receive results related to your keyword. For example, if you searched for dogs and want to expand your search to include similar animals, then search ~dogs. You may get cats, wolves, pets, or something completely unexpected.
  • Use a colon (:) and search related:dogs and related search results will appear.
  • Search with an asterisk (*) by adding it to the end of your keyword (dogs*). Searching Google with an asterisk is essentially how you would ask Google to try and "figure out" what it is you're looking for if you're not sure.

Congratulations, you are now a Search Master! Nothing on the Internet can hide from your web searching skills!

At Help Desk Cavalry, we understand the importance of being able to manuver the Internet. Learning to properly search is an essential element for users to be as efficient as possible. Give us a call at 360-930-6990 for more tips about how to efficiently use technology.

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