September 2011 Web Tip

Court reporters are always searching for ways to produce transcripts faster and more efficiently.  How technology has changed since my first days out of reporting school!  Remember having your library stocked with dictionaries, Roget's Thesaurus, medical phrase books, maps, telephone books, and much more?  Talk about time-consuming research in our quest for the correct spellings of specialized terms and proper names in order to produce the best transcript possible!

Below is a list of my top ten ways that you can be a Google "Search Ninja" for those spellings so you can get your transcripts out the door faster, easier, and more efficiently. 

  1. Type the word "define" before the word you want to look up in the search bar.  Example:  define ninja
  2. Type in a word followed by  "~glossary" to find glossaries, term lists, and dictionary entries for that word.  Example:  ninja ~glossary
  3. To find the weather in a particular city, type "weather" followed by the name of your city or zipcode.
  4. To find the geographical location for any U.S. telephone area code, type in the three-digit area code and then hit Enter.
  5. Put double quotes around a set of words to alert Google to consider the exact words in the exact order without any change.  Keep in mind, though, that you may miss some good results by using this search method.  Example:  "John Kennedy" will miss pages that refer to John F. Kennedy.
  6. The wildcard, *, is a powerful tool.  When you include * within your search query, Google uses that as a placeholder for any unknown terms and then finds the best match.  Note that the * works only on whole words, not parts of words.
  7. Type in the + sign before your search query to eliminate synonyms and use your words only.
  8. To see flight status for arriving and departing U.S. flights, type in the name of the airline and the flight number into the search box.
  9. You can use Google to convert between many different units of measurement of height, weight, and volume.  Just enter your desired conversion into the search box.  Example:  1/2 cup to tablespoons
  10. Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.  You can limit search to legal opinions and journals in several ways. From the Homepage, you can select the option marked legal opinions and journals. From search results pages, you can use the first dropdown menu, which allows you to select collections to search, to make this choice.   
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