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Gmail and Google tips

Google tricks

If you use Google only to search for phrases, you're doing it wrong. The service is loaded with tricks you can enable from the search box. Check Google's Search Features and Advanced Operators List to see what's new.

Clock watching: If you need to know how late it is in another country, simply type time city.

Example: time Beijing.

Search within a domain: To limit results to a single site, type search term site:domain name. You can even search within site sections.

Example: netbook review site:pcadvisor.co.uk/reviews.

Search for a file type: Searching by specific file type can be useful for tracking down a product manual or video file. Try search term filetype:three-letter type.

Example: Zoom H2 manual filetype:pdf.

Weather reports: Type weather town/city to get a report of the current conditions and forecast.

Example: weather Dover.

Calculate and convert: Google's search box is also a calculator. Type in a calculation or conversion and Google will do the rest.

Examples: 89*22/16 and 1 yard = ? metres.

Gmail tweaks

Gmail is loaded with tricks to help you with your mail. Google's About menu provides details of recent Gmail enhancements. Here's some of our current favourites:

Move quickly with keyboard shortcuts: You can use keyboard commands to speed effortlessly through navigation. Turn it on by clicking Settings and selecting ‘Keyboard shortcuts on', followed by Save Changes. Afterwards, you can press C to compose mail, R to reply and O to open.

Sort out unread messages: Show only unread messages with the search string label:unread label:inbox. For a one-click reference, save the search as a bookmark...

Save searches as bookmarks: You can save Gmail search queries as URLs and therefore as bookmarks. Use Gmail Search Bookmarks to generate a URL, then drag it to the bookmark bar.

Bookmark email: Gmail messages have unique URLs for navigation. That means you can create bookmarks for specific notes. For instance, you can bookmark a message containing an Outlook calendar appointment. Afterwards, you can return to the source message with a single one click.

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