Tagged With search operators


Google can reorder search and news results from the last day, week, a few months, or entire year by adding a small string to the end of the search URL. Just add this string—&as_qdr=d—to the address bar and hit enter. You'll get a custom drop-down box that lets you re-order results based on date. It's great for getting past the same top results you've already looked through, as well as grabbing only the newest links related to gadgets, software, or whatever else you're searching. Sadly it doesn't work on Google Images, but let us know in the comments if it does work on other Google searches.

Google: How to Access Filter by Date Dropdown Box


Regular expressions are archaic-looking, extremely specific, and amazingly helpful for finding the right data, files or whatever else you need. RegEx, a free online regular expression tester, lets you hone your expression language and terms down, giving you a box to put testing text in and highlighting the words that match your query. For users of Mac OS X, Linux, or even Windows with Cygwin installed, this web-based workshop (or desktop version) is a great way to get uninhibited but real practice at file-sifting. RegEx's desktop versions require the Adobe AIR platform installed to run.


Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.


When you just can't seem to hunt down that file you know you've got stowed away somewhere on your Mac, it's time to break out the Spotlight big guns—advanced search operators, that is. Macworld runs down advanced Spotlight operators which will be familiar to power Google searchers. Here's a sampling:

Enclose phrases in quotes, like "time machine" Use AND, OR, and NOT to narrow or widen your search, like java NOT coffee or invoice OR bonus Search by document attributes using operators like author:authorname, kind:pdf (for PDF files), and date:today

What's your favourite Spotlight operator? Give it up in the comments.

Create good queries in Spotlight


You know you put that phone number in some file on Monday, but you're drawing a blank as you gaze at your Vista desktop. The How-To Geek offers a solution for those who haven't explored Windows Vista enough to learn the syntax of the Start menu's search box. The syntax for finding an Excel spreadsheet, for example, within a range of dates is:

name:xls modified:2/1/2008..2/20/2008

The Geek has, as always, way more information on this technique and a mouse-powered one as well, including the syntax for finding files based on date created or just "date." Got any more Vista-specific search tips for your fellow Lifehacker readers? Feel free to drop them off in the comments.

Find Files Within a Date Range with Windows Vista Search


Search operators, used to drill down on search engine results, can help you get to exactly what you're looking for, but only if you know what to exclude or home in on. Search engine front-end SortFix takes a graphical approach to including and excluding phrases and terms from standard searchs. Type in "iPod Touch," for example, and you can drag the "8gb" and "online sale" phrases to the "Add to Search" box while moving "rumours" into "Remove" to avoid all the pre-launch press. The controls could certainly use some cleaning up—I had to grab, then let go, to drag the terms in Firefox on Ubuntu—and it might take longer than your usual typing, but SortFix is at least a handy way to see what phrases are popping up in your results.



Search operators—those commands that engines use to narrow down what you're looking for—are pretty useful. For example, if you wanted to know if we've covered anything about video editing, you might be compelled to go to Google and type site:lifehacker.com video editing into the search box. But what else can you do to get the desired results? The HybridSEM weblog goes into extreme detail about the various search operators that work for Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Looking for a video on MSN about monsters? Use the feature:video monsters operator. If you're a searchaholic, this guide comes in pretty handy, and you'll certainly learn a thing or two about how to find things more easily on the 'net.

The Ultimate Guide to Advanced Searching Within Yahoo, Google, and MSN


So you never look at the contents of your Gmail Spam label, and you don't want to see the unread count pile up any more? In lieu of the Hide Spam-Count Greasemonkey user script (which doesn't quite yet work with the new Gmail upgrades), you can set up a filter using the in:spam criteria to automatically mark junk mail as read. For extra protection against false positives, add other criteria to your filter, like make sure the message doesn't include your name, school, or company. Note: when you set up the filter, Gmail will pop a message saying that in: and label: criteria don't work with filters, but in fact in:spam does seem to work in my test. Brilliant!

Gmail - Mark Spam Messages as Read


An undocumented Gmail search operator, language: (or simply lang:), finds messages by the language they're written in. Give it a try in your inbox: lang:Portuguese and lang:Arabic both turn up several messages in the Lifehacker tips box. Sadly -lang:English doesn't seem to work, which would be perfect to create a filter for all messages not in English; but you can create filters to snag messages in particular languages you don't speak, for instance.

Hidden Gmail feature lets you search by language