Two Tips to Help Find What You Are Looking For in a Web Search


Do you ever do a search with Google or other search engine that turns up a promising (but long) page where you can’t seem to find a mention of your search terms? The page looks like it might be what you are looking for but you don't see where your particular subject is discussed. Here are two ways to deal with this common frustration.

Use the browser search bar

Many of you already know this simple trick but it is so useful that it is worth repeating. All common browsers have a “Find” function that will search the page that is open. There are various ways to open a Find search bar but the keyboard combination Ctrl + F is my favorite. This works in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome. On my systems, the search bar appears at the top of the page in IE9 and Chrome 15 but at the bottom in Firefox 7.

Enter the term you are looking for and it will be highlighted if is anywhere on the page. Multiple entries of the desired subject are also easily found. The number of occurrences will be listed in Chrome and IE. Each browser is slightly different but usage of the Find function should be fairly self-explanatory.

As pointed out in the comments, the keyboard shortcut F3 also opens the Find search bar.

Use the cached version of the page

In many search listings, there is an entry for a cached page. If you open the cached page, you will find your search terms already highlighted. That means there is no need to read through long lines of text looking for your particular topic. You can see right away if there is anything useful there.

And there you have it. Happy searching!

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's and tutorials, including  a computer education website and a site for learning about the command line.

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