How to Use Google Like a Pro

The popular search engine does a whole lot more than just find websites

This article originally appeared on SeniorPlanet.org.

You already know that Google is a great way to find information, maps, images and websites. But the always innovative search engine has some special tricks up its sleeve.

For example, did you know that Google can do fast and simple calculations, find dates and provide speedy information about your medications? And the best part is that the answers show up directly under or to the right of the search bar so you don’t have to look through search results or do any clicking.

Here are just a few of the nifty things Google can do for you.

1. Measurement conversions You’re in the middle of a recipe and can’t remember how many ounces are in a quart. What to do? Google it! The site has a built-in converter for different measurements, including height, weight and volume. Just enter the number and units into the search bar and the answer appears right below.

Or perhaps you have some foreign currency and want to know what it’s worth in U.S. dollars. Google has a currency converter that can give you that answer instantly. Just type in something like this:

(MORE: Why Your Google Search Makes Me Cry)


2. Medications Google provides brief summaries and descriptions for most U.S. prescription drugs, both patented and generic. Type the name into the search box and the information will show up on the right side of your screen.

3. Flight status When you want to know if a plane is on time, all you have to do is type the name of the airline and the flight number into the Google search bar. You can quickly find out if it’s departing or arriving on schedule or if it has been delayed. Google also provides terminal and gate information.

4. Holidays and dates If you’re like me, you frequently mix up holidays and can never remember their exact dates. Fortunately, Google can help you out. All you have to do is type in the holiday and year. It’ll even tell you what day of the week the holiday falls on. Too bad Google can’t remember your best friend’s birthday!

5. Math problems Need to figure out a percentage or do simple math? Don’t bother searching for your calculator. Google has one built in, and it can add, subtract, multiply and divide. Use the numbers on your keyboard to type in the function you would like to perform and it will give you the answer.

(MORE: Irresistible, Cool, Fun Apps)

6. Definitions Google has a dictionary that gives definitions, synonyms and even pronunciations. Just click on the little speaker icon to hear the word spoken out loud.

7. Spelling Not sure how to spell the word you’re looking to define? Google’s got you covered. Give it your best guess and Google will try to find the correct spelling.

Got a question? Email it to [email protected]

Betsy Mikel is a regular contributor to SeniorPlanet.com and is one of the site’s Teksperts.

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