Recently I’ve become something of a fan of Duck Duck Go, the anonymous search engine that doesn’t log all your searches. As big a fan as I am of Google’s products, they don’t need to know everything! I like DuckDuckGo not just because of the anonymity though – it also comes up with some really great answers. And as well as being it’s own thing, it also lets you link through to other search engines using “!bang” operators.

A few examples:

!g takes you to Google search
!b takes you to Google search
!gi takes you to Google Images
!xls filters the result to .xls files
!sx searches Stack Exchange
!python searches the Python docs

There’s a full list of the options on their site.

It’s actually seems a cleaner way of doing things than Google’s filetype:xls,, etc. Though I can also see the potential for overlap between !bang operators.

Sadly, I didn’t know about the !bang categories earlier today when certain things were starting to bug me about having DuckDuckGo as my default search in Chrome. To solve the occasional problem without giving up the benefits of having DuckDuckGo as my default I decided to put together this quick javascript bookmarklet to take the query from the URL and pass it on to Google.

var url=window.location.href;
var query=url.split("=")[1];
var google_link = ""+query;
this.location.href = google_link;

So should you decide that typing is too much like hard work, you can add the bookmarklet to your browser by dragging this link –DDG to Google– to your bookmarks bar. To use it, whenever you see that DuckDuckGo doesn’t have the answer you want, just click the bookmarklet and you’ll be spirited away to the land of Google.

Jamie Bull |

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1 Comment on “DuckDuckGo, !bang, and javascript bookmarklets”

  • Rob Inhude says:

    Found elsewhere. Even easier. You can make a slew of alternative search bookmarklets with it:

    javascript:Q=[];'&'); for (i in c) { f=c[i].split('='); if (f[0]=='q' || f[0]=='as_q' || f[0]=='p' || f[0]=='query') if (f[1]) Q.push(f[1]) } R=unescape(Q.join('; ').replace(/\+/g,' ')); location = '' + escape(R);

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