Tech Tips: How can I filter my Google search?
May 12, 2014
I use Google for my online searching, and I seem to get a lot more results than I can use. Sometimes I want to restrict the site for my search (perhaps, looking only on http://www.microsoft.com, for example) or restrict the file type that contains the results I'm looking for (perhaps, looking only for PDF files). Is there some way to get results closer to what I need?
It seems that searching on the web is a skill that students ought to be taught in school, like reading, writing and arithmetic, at this point. Certainly, if you just make a general search on Google or Bing or any other search engine, you are likely to get thousands of responses, most of which aren't the least bit helpful.
If your goal is to restrict your search on Google, there's a simple trick. If you want to search only on a specific site, include the text "site:" followed by the name of the site, like "site:www.microsoft.com" as part of your search query. When using syntax that includes "site:" and the name of the site, Google will only search for results on the specified site.
If you only want to find results of a particular file type (like PDF, for example), include text like "file type:PDF" in the search query. Google will restrict the results to only PDF files.
Google provides a ton of tricks you can use when searching. For help getting started with these search tricks, check out this useful site: http://www.google.com/insidesearch/tipstricks/. It may take a little while to internalize Google's search secrets, but once you do, you'll find exactly what you're seeking much more efficiently.
My Windows Taskbar is Missing
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One day, my Windows Taskbar simply disappeared. No icons, no Start button, nothing. I can't figure out where it has gone. How can I get it back?
First of all, please note that although the task bar normally appears at the bottom of the screen, it's possible that you have moved your Windows Taskbar to another edge of your screen. It may seem obvious, but look at all four edges of the screen before you give up. It's really easy to inadvertently drag the Taskbar to an edge other than the bottom — all you have to do is click and drag on the Taskbar, and it happily obliges by moving to the edge you drag it to. (If you want to disable this behavior, right-click on the Taskbar and select "Lock Taskbar" or "Lock All Taskbars" in Windows 8). If you have dragged the Taskbar to the wrong edge, you can simply drag it back down to the bottom.
But our gut feeling is that this isn't your problem and that you're really not seeing a Taskbar at all. The next step is to determine if you have enabled auto-hiding for the Taskbar. If so, it retracts into the edge of the screen whenever you're not using it. Try pressing Ctrl+Esc (that is, the Control key and the Escape key at the same time). This should display the Taskbar even if you have turned on its auto-hide behavior. (You can also simply press the Windows key on your keyboard, if you have this key available.) If this keystroke displays the Taskbar, right-click on it, select Properties and then uncheck the "Auto-hide the taskbar" option. You can find many online articles on this topic (clearly, it happens to a lot of people); we found this one useful: http://goo.gl/FXa2Ya.
If all these suggestions don't help, you may need to seek professional computer help to either reset Windows or reinstall— hopefully, that won't be required!
Doug Behl and Ken Getz spent years answering technical questions in private, and are minimizing the questions by pre-emptively publishing the answers. Hear Doug and Ken's tech tips on KNCO radio weekdays at around 8:21a.m. and 5:38 p.m.; find full write-ups including links to the products they mention at http://blog.techtipguys.com. Submit your own technical questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.