Google Search Quick Tip #2

Tip #2: Use the “filetype” Advanced Search Operator to find downloadable files of a certain type.

The correct syntax for using the filetype operator is: filetype:extension (where extension is replaced by the actual file extension). It is most commonly used to search for PDFs (pdf), Excel spreadsheets (xls), Powerpoints (ppt), and Word documents (doc).

If you know you are specifically looking for a PDF, just add [filetype:pdf] to your query. It’s that easy!

Remember, you need to add the filetype operator to your existing query. For example, to search for an invoice template in Excel format, your full Google search query would be: [invoice template filetype:xls] (without the square brackets).

Look for the filetype tag to the left of each search result. Here, [XLS] indicates that the results point to downloadable Excel spreadsheets- which is exactly what we wanted!

Google Search Tip #2

Here is how you would use the filetype operator to find the most frequently searched for types of files:

  • For PDFs: [filetype:pdf]
  • For Word documents: [filetype:doc]
  • For Excel spreadsheets: [filetype:xls]
  • For Powerpoint presentations: [filetype:ppt]
  • For Rich Text Format documents: [filetype:rtf]
  • For Google Earch KMZs: [filetype:kmz]
  • For Google Earth KMLs: [filetype:kml]
  • For Autodesk DWFs: [filetype:dwf]
  • For Adobe Postscripts: [filetype:ps]
  • For Shockwave Flash apps: [filetype:swf]

Good luck in all your searching endeavors!