Google Search - Filter by File Type

Let's say you're looking for a PowerPoint presentation on the American Revolution.  If you just search for "American Revolution", your results would look like this:
Rather than searching through the millions of results for PowerPoint files, you can use the filetype: operator.  Just type "filetype:ppt" (notice there's no space after the colon) before or after your search terms and your results will look like this:
The filetype: operator works with lots of filetypes.  Some examples are:

  • PPT- PowerPoint files
  • PDF- Adobe Acrobat files
  • DOC- Microsoft Word documents
  • XLS- Microsoft Excel spreadsheets
  • CSV- Comma-Separated Value files (like Excel spreadsheets)
  • KML or KMZ- Google Earth files
  • SWF- Flash files

Why would you want to find specific files by filetype?  Here's a few ideas for using filetype searches in the classroom:

  • PPT- Find a good PowerPoint presentation to introduce a new topic to your students.
  • SWF- Find interactive Flash files use with an interactive slate or board in your classroom.
  • PDF- Find free graphic organizers, information sheets or other printables.
  • XLS or CSV- Find data files to use for graphing or data analysis.
  • KML or KMZ- Find already created lesson activities for use in Google Earth.  You'll find everything from Shakespeare to geometry to the Civil War... it's not just for geography!

Have you used a filetype search to find classroom resources?  Share your ideas in the comments!


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  2. Most computer users will come across files which they don’t have an associated program to edit, view or play them etc, or perhaps you may have a type of file that you prefer to work on in a specific format. File Extensions

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