Often regarded as the red-headed stepchild of Google and Yahoo!, who dominate the search engine industry, Bing is a surprisingly powerful search tool for students and librarians. Offering top-notch results, tools, and neat features, Bing really brings a lot to the table, and it’s worth exploring all of the great tricks that are available through the search service. That’s why we’ve compiled an update to our 2009 list, 50 Fantastic Bing Tricks for Students and Librarians, offering all of our old favorites, plus 20 more great ways to make Bing work for you in school, libraries, and beyond. Read on to discover 70 incredible tricks that you can do with Bing.
First and foremost a powerful search engine, here are many ways that students and librarians can trick out Bing searches.
- Discover recipes:Whether you’re finding a new way to enjoy ramen noodles or whipping up Thanksgiving dinner, Bing Recipes shares results from popular recipe websites.
- Go social:Check out Bing Social to find trending topics and public updates from Twitter and Facebook.
- Look up lyrics:Bing offers an easy way to look up lyrics to popular songs.
- Listen to songs:If lyrics aren’t enough, you can listen to songs in full (one time only) from Zune.net.
- Find all the best stuff:Check out the Bing Editors’ Picks to find curated results for things like party planning, education, and finance.
- Use advanced search operators:Keep results out with the NOT or minus sign operators, search sites with site:, and even find public domain files using advanced Bing search operators. You can also add emphasis with “prefer.”
- Track a package:Just enter your tracking number into Bing, and you can find out where any much-awaited package is at the moment.
- Learn from the background image:Hover over the background image, and you’ll be able to explore it, learning facts and finding links to interesting topics.
- Do math:Enter a math calculation directly into the search box and you can compute anything from simple math to trig functions, thanks to Bing’s Wolfram Alpha API. While this may not work to solve all types of complex equations, like the ones you’ll face at an online college for drafting and architecture, it can at least help you do some calculations without having to dig out your expensive, specialty calculator.
- Ask questions:Type questions into the Bing search box, and you’ll find answers from the Encarta encyclopedia thanks to Bing’s Instant Answers.
- Find definitions:If you’re looking for a word definition, just add “define” or “definition” to your Bing search string.
- Find domain names on IP addresses:To find a list of domains associated with an IP address, just type IP: [IP address] into Bing.
- Discover statistics:You can look up simple statistics, like state populations and even employment information just by asking Bing, typing “state population of California” or “Colorado unemployment” into the search box.
- Look up zip and area codes:Find out where a zip or area code is located just by typing it into Bing.
- Find company contact information:Bing often offers contact information for companies with hard-to-find phone numbers, so get your hands on this information by typing a business name into Bing’s search box.
- Look up stock quotes:Get access to stock quotes and other financial info by adding “stock” or “quote” to a company name on your Bing search.
- Look up holiday dates:Find out what day a holiday falls on this year by searching for the holiday and year.
- Find sports information:Look up scores, stats, game times, and other sports information by searching for your team and what you’re looking for, like, “Astros score.”
Research and Collaboration
Discover useful information to share and compile in a super-efficient way using these research and collaboration tricks for Bing.
- View headlines:Check out Bing to see the day’s top stories in world, national, even local.
- Look up salaries:Thanks to data from PayScale, you can search for real-time salary information on the 4,000 most popular job titles on Bing.
- Translate blocks of text:Translate just a few words or entire blocks of text with the Bing Translator tool
- Find sites that offer RSS feeds:If you’re looking for blogs and other sites that offer RSS, just add “hasfeed” to your search.
- Save your search results:Hang on to fruitful search results by saving them to a local folder online.
- Show others your search results:Found something interesting? Email your search results, or even share them on Facebook.
- Find files of a specific type:Search for your keyword, plus “contains: file type” for docs, PDFs, and more.
- Find results from a certain country:Add a loc:US (or other country) to find only pages that are based in that country.
- Search only in titles:Find highly relevant links by using intitle: in your search.
- Turn off search suggestions:If Bing’s search suggestions are getting annoying or irrelevant, just turn them off by finding the “Turn off” link at the bottom. You can always turn them back on.
- See more results:If 10 results usually isn’t enough for you, just change your preferences to get more.
- Get an RSS feed of search results:Send your search results to RSS, and you can check them out later, save them, or even share them.
- Find related searches:If you’d like to find more of what you’ve discovered, click on related searches to find more that are similar.
- Take control of your search history:Change preferences and controls in your search history, turning it off or clearing it for privacy.
Images and Videos
Go multimedia with these image and video tricks for Bing.
- Filter your image search:Use advanced search options in Bing’s image search to find not just images, but photos, artist renderings, and graphics.
- Do a visual search:Find visual representations of your search by looking through Bing’s Visual Search.
- Get videos from Hulu, YouTube, and MSN Video:On Bing Video, you can get results from YouTube, Hulu, MSN Videos, and ABC.
- Find images easily:Bing’s image search offers a great easily scannable format.
- Get video previews:When viewing video thumbnails, all you have to do is hover over them to start playing a preview.
- Preview websites:Similar to video previews, you can get website images just by hovering over their links.
- Specify video length:If you want to find videos of a specific length, like an episode or a quick news bite, you can specify the video length in your search.
- Specify image size, too:Find the right image for your use, whether you need a small, medium, large, or even wallpaper image.
- Find color or black and white, too:Specify in your search if you’re just looking for black and white images. The same goes for color, too.
- Do safe image searches:Put together the right settings to make sure that your image previews don’t include adult content.
- Save Bing Background Images:If you love a certain background image you’ve seen on Bing, just follow these instructions.
Travel & Local Resources
Going somewhere? Bing is a powerful tool for exploring places wherever you are, whether you’re around the world or in your own backyard.
- Place pushpins:Mark and remember locations by putting pushpins in Bing Maps. You can even leave notes and photos on your pushpin.
- Calculate cab fare:Use Bing’s taxi fare calculator to find out how much it’ll cost you to get from point A to point B in a cab. This is especially useful for making sure you’re getting charged approximately the right amount.
- Find deals in one place:Bing Shopping brings the best of deal sites together, offering Groupon, Living Social, and more together.
- Look up snow reports:Just search for “snow report city” to look up the snow conditions for a location.
- See what’s in the neighborhood:Find what’s nearby with Bing’s map app to discover theaters, clubs, and more.
- See what’s going on:Bing Events offers a wealth of event listings for any zip code.
- Look up time differences:Using Bing, you’ll be able to find out what time it is anywhere in the world.
- View a bird’s eye image:Want to know what the city looks like from above? Check out a bird’s eye view.
- Find your friends:Using Bing Maps and Facebook, you can find out where your friends are.
- Discover low airfares:Check out predicted fare trends and low air fares by searching for “flights from x to y.”
- Look up your flight status:Find out the status of your flight by searching for your flight number plus “flight status.”
- Find things to do:Enter a city or town name into Bing, and you’ll find attractions, night life, tours, and even weather for the location.
- Find a place to stay:Use Bing to find a hotel with star ratings, reviews, maps, and more.
- Dine out:Using Bing, you can look up reviews, menus, and maps for local restaurants.
- Look up directions:Enter an address into Bing, and you’ll get access to a map and options for directions.
- Check out traffic conditions:Select Bing’s traffic map to find real-time color coded traffic information.
- Look up weather conditions:Select weather for any location to find out weather conditions and forecasts.
- Use Bing as a currency converter:Get automatic currency conversions by typing in “1 x in y.”
- Search local:Find business listings, reviews, directions, and more with Bing local.
Take things on the go with these Bing tips and tricks for your mobile phone.
- Go mobile:For optimized viewing using your phone, go to the Bing mobile site.
- Use the app:Even more optimized, download Bing’s mobile app and enjoy more tools and options.
- Get Bing tones:Get free MP3 ring tones from Bing.
- Get turn-by-turn directions:Use Bing’s mobile maps to get turn-by-turn directions on your phone.
- Find walking directions, too:If you prefer to travel by foot, get walking directions on your phone.
- Find local weather:Using Bing mobile, you can get local weather by phone.
- Check out the movies:From your phone, you can use Bing to look up showtimes, theaters, and even buy tickets.
- Shop on your phone:Locate products, compare prices, and more using Bing for your mobile phone.