Google Secret: filetype:pdf

Next time you’re surfing Google, try this:

Search for your keyword or keyphrase and then add “filetype:pdf“.

Example: “writing articles filetype:pdf”

Essentially, it shows you all results that are in a PDF file type. Reason why this rocks: Many awesome whitepapers are in PDF form only and viewing a PDF file in HTML extrapolation doesn’t always look right.



Lance Winslow writes:

Wow, thank you for the search engine trick, I had not known that, it will indeed come in handy for my research. One thing, I have done is to go to a website and use the Google search feature on my Google Tool Bar to search the site. Then, I type in .pdf and it brings up all the .pdf files, this way I can search out the research papers on the site, and skip the sales talk. It helps a lot.

Another thing, I have done is list the Google Scholar on my Google Tool bar, so I can go there and type in a key word and pull up research reports, and amazingly enough, I generally find the skinny or real deal on just about any subject or topic.

Comment provided April 5, 2008 at 6:41 PM



Hi Chris!

Thank you for the tip!

Hi Lance!

You are lucky because you have time to read a lot, besides writing a lot!

Comment provided April 6, 2008 at 3:40 PM


Lance Winslow writes:


Indeed, my early retirement (ha, ha, wink, wink) has served me well in freeing up my time to enjoy the finer things in life.



Comment provided April 6, 2008 at 3:43 PM


Zack Katz writes:

There’s a similar trick that’s really great for Mac OSX Leopard that lets you search only a specific file type:
Optimizing Spotlight Search.

Comment provided April 7, 2008 at 3:00 PM


David D writes:

I lost the exact search string for finding group of emails. But did find great lists.

Comment provided April 18, 2012 at 1:15 PM


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