Google Search By File Type – Tuesday’s Tip

This Tuesday’s Tip is about Google Search By File Type, continuing with my new series on Google Search Tricks.

Google is great – we all know that, and so successful that it’s become a genericized trademark for searching, like Kleenex for facial tissues. Just a few tricks turns Google into an even more powerful genealogy research ally.

 Trick 2: Google Search By File Type

If you want results in a specific file format, use the modifier “filetype”. For example, you might want to find only lower-resolution images of World War I soldiers. So the search term would be:

filetype:jpg world war i soldiers

The results:

Google Search By File Type

For higher quality images, restructure the search as:

filetype:png world war i soldiers

Or if you want to find only text-based documents on starting a family tree, the search term is:

filetype:pdf "beginning genealogy"

And the Google returns search results solely of pdf links that can be downloaded:

google search trick sassy jane genealogy

So that’s Trick 2: Google Search By File Type. Last week’s Google Search Trick was how to search a single website, forum, or blog. Join me next week for another Google Search Trick. Here’s a YouTube video on the same topic.

About the Author:

Nancy Loe has an MA in American History and an MLS in Library Science and Archives. She has appeared on PBS’s American Experience, at Rootstech, SCGS Jamboree, and state and regional genealogy conferences. Her website was featured in Family Tree Magazine's “Social Media Mavericks: 40 to Follow.”

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