Thursday, March 24, 2011

Genealogy Research Using Google Filetype Searches

Google has a nifty tool that allows you to locate a particular type of file.  This can be very helpful if you're looking specifically for file types, such as PowerPoint, (ppt) Word, (doc) or Adobe PDF. 
To restrict your search to a certain file type use the filetype: command.  For example try searching for:
genealogy WorldCat filetype:ppt
and all of the results will be powerpoint presentations that have "WorldCat" and "genealogy" in their text.

More on FileTypes:
There are 13 main file types searched by Google in addition to standard web formatted documents in HTML. The most common formats are PDF, PostScript, Microsoft Office formats:

  • Adobe Portable Document Format (pdf)
  • Adobe PostScript (ps)
  • Lotus 1-2-3 (wk1, wk2, wk3, wk4, wk5, wki, wks, wku)
  • Lotus WordPro (lwp)
  • MacWrite (mw)
  • Microsoft Excel (xls)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (ppt)
  • Microsoft Word (doc)
  • Microsoft Works (wks, wps, wdb)
  • Microsoft Write (wri)
  • Rich Text Format (rtf)
  • Shockwave Flash (swf)
  • Text (ans, txt)
You can also eliminate a filetype from your search (for example, PDF), simply add a minus (-) sign before the word "filetype."  For example: