Improved Google Search in Labs

Hello again. I’ve been taking advantage of my 20% time to make some improvements in the Google Search lab I told you about last April. For starters, I’ve hooked up a bunch of Google’s most popular search features, including:

  • Dictionary definitions: use a keyword like “define” in English and you’ll see the first definition of the word, with a link to the dictionary from which it came.
  • Spelling corrections: if you mistype something in your search, Google’s spell checking software will automatically ask if you meant a more common spelling of that word (especially helpful when looking up a new word).
  • Calculations: type in an arithmetic expression and you’ll get the result. In this case the “Paste result” option from the result’s pop-up menu will actually paste the result of the computation.
  • Local results: you can search for a particular place or for things near a particular place (map results will show up in a few weeks — they’re a little broken by our recent switch to use https). The “More info” link will take you to the place page.
  • Weather: just type “weather” followed by the city and state, zip code, or city and country.
  • News: if your query matches something in the news, we’ll show you one hit and an indication of how many related articles there are, with a link to go see them.

In addition, you can now use this Labs feature in any available Gmail language and you’ll get search results that match your preferred language.

Finally, as some folks have already noticed, I added a search button to the toolbar when you’re composing a message:

If you’ve got text selected when you click it, Gmail will search for that text. If you don’t have text selected, you’ll just get a search box where you can start typing.

That’s all for this installment. As always, we welcome your feedback.

Close Menu