A Brief Guide To DuckDuckGo

Published on 7 Mar 2015 02:34PM / 1032 words

Or why you should be using it even if you don’t care about privacy or don’t know what a search engine bubble may be.

It’s in no way a comprehensive guide nor “the best of” of what DuckDuckGo offers. Just what I find more useful and have been using so far.

Time

  • days between today and 02/28/2013 = 16 days. Unfortunately, this uses the US month/day/year format
  • 18:30 to 19:25 = 55 minutes
  • february calendar = print the calendar for this year’s february
  • calendar next month = print next month’s calendar

Travel

  • weather = weather for your current location
  • 80100 = search for the map of your postal code. Finds also matching codes in other countries. Or you can specify 80100 Germany to get the result you want straight away
  • florence sunrise = when does the sun rises and sets in Florence? Here too it works with in the local language. Can be used as florence sunset too
  • temp in new york = current temperature in New York
  • calling code 48 = return to which country the given calling code corresponds to (that’s Poland btw)

Numbers and Math

  • uuid = generate a random unique identifier
  • roman numeral MCCXXII = convert the roman numeral in arabic. That’s 1222, btw
  • md5 whatever = calculate md5 sum of whatever
  • sha whatever = calculate sha sum of whatever. Works with sha256 and sha512 too
  • goog = company and stock data (Google)
  • roll 4d12 = simulate rolling 4 d12 dices. D&D fans, rejoice!
  • average 10, 33, 54, 70 = 41.75
  • square root of 84 = 9.16515138991168
  • is 765 prime = find whether a number is prime or not
  • random number = generate a random number
  • 45 farenheit in celsius = 7.222. It works also as 45 F to C (shorter)

Currency and Finance

  • 100 usd to eur = 74.28€
  • usd vs eur = conversion values between $ and €

Words

  • 0110100001100101011011000110110001101111 to ascii = binary to ascii conversion
  • hello in binary = convert hello to binary. Accepts ascii, numbers and hex
  • lorem ipsum = generate random text
  • detect language merci = that’s french, of course. Works pretty well with local dialects too
  • define oxen = definition for oxen
  • spell incospicuous = check spelling
  • find anagram of pretty people = find a possible anagram for a phrase

Travel

  • AZ 107 = flight status by flight code. I found this to be somewhat unreliable but for 99% of the queries the first link is the right one
  • time in honolulu = what time is it in Hawaii?

Entertainment

  • xkcd = get the latest xkcd comic

Cooking

  • 1 tsp to gram = how many grams is a teaspoon?
  • calories in 100 gr of cottage cheese = 81 calories. Works with both Imperial/Metric systems
  • carbs in rice = how many carbohydrates on average in a rice portion? Works also with fibers, saturated fat, magnesium etc. For more precise calculations use how much fiber in 100gr of salmon

Geek

  • @Donearm = shows twitter profile
  • :D = meaning of the :D emoticon. Not that many are supported but at least the most common are
  • password 9 strong = generate a random password of 9 characters
  • expand http://dlvr.it/2rwGVR = expand a shortened url
  • qrcode http://www.google.com = generate a qrcode for Google homepage
  • ip address = show your current IP address
  • useragent = show your browser User-Agent
  • unicode € = unicode codes and name for the any symbol
  • U+123a = what symbol corresponds to this Unicode code?
  • ! = decode HTML entities
  • hex color code for dark grey = get RGB, HSL and CMYB values for a colour
  • #368798 = find colour from its HEX code
  • urlencode still$ = urlencode a string (still%24 in this case). More escape codes with url escape
  • gravatar email = find Gravatar for an email address
  • public dns = list common public DNS servers
  • 64.200.12.10 = IP address lookup
  • ascii table = show the ASCII table

*nix

  • crontab 10 0 * 1 * = when a task is being scheduled by cron?
  • unix epoch = time since the Unix epoch
  • 12343435 epoch = convert a Unix epoch to date. Also unix time 12343435

Programming

  • emacs C-t = Emacs reference
  • html span = html entities reference
  • array sorting cheat sheet = summary of Big-O time and memory complexities for array sorting algorithms
  • css colors = list all named CSS colors
  • caniuse web workers = show browsers’ support for a feature

Various

  • play 2048 = play the 2048 game directly in DuckDuckGo
  • richard gere height = for the curious, return the height of celebrities. Surprisingly complete for actors and musicians but lacking otherwise

#!Bang Syntax

These are a bit different since they don’t make queries on DuckDuckGo but use other websites to search into. In general, it’s like using site:http://www.mysite.com query, only with far less keystrokes.
There are a whole bunch of them. Like, a lot. Do browse that list, I’m sure there are many sites that you use to browse to in order to make a search with their internal search form but with these you can do it directly from DuckDuckGo main page. Extremely handy when you already know where to look.

My favourites are:

  • !h33t or !torrent or !torrentz = torrent search. You know, legal stuff.
  • !firefox = search Firefox add-ons
  • !vim = search on vim.org. I use it all the time to know what a new plugin does
  • !appbrain = Android app search
  • !gist = Gists search. Some great gems can be found among gists
  • !github = repository search on Github
  • !python and !python3 = search in Python (2 or 3) documentation
  • !xdaf = xda-developers.com forum search
  • !so = Stackoverflow. Best way to get a quick answer to a programming problem
  • !unix = search in *nix source code
  • !distro = lookup a Linux distribution on distrowatch.com
  • !archlinux, !archwiki and !aur = search, respectively, on Archlinux forum, wiki and among AUR packages
  • !amit and !amuk = Amazon search (It and Uk)
  • !cstheory = computer science questions and answers
  • !lonelyplanet = Lonely Planet
  • !tripadvisor = TripAdvisor
  • !bmaps or !map or !osm = Map searches (Bing, Google and OpenStreet)
  • !urban = slang words search on Urban Dictionary
  • !allmusic = Allmusic
  • !define = Define a word
  • !spanishdict = From spanish to english

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