Monthly Archives: April 2015

#DuckDuckGo goes !Bang

I love DuckDuckGo !Bang.

DuckDuckGo is a search engine for finding what you want on the worldwide web. It’s unique selling point is that it doesn’t track your search history like all the other mainstream search engines. Which is just one good reason for trying it out.

Because DuckDuckGo also have a great search facility called !Bangs – these are special short cuts exclusive to DuckDuckGo that always start with an exclamation point, followed by a short cut letter, typed into the search slot. Like all useful computer tricks you have to have a need for the trick to find it useful.

I use Wikipedia a great deal and for this !bangs are perfect.

Go to DuckDuckGo and type an ! in the search slot. Some of the available !bangs will pop up. Type in the letter w directly after your ! – then a space – then your Wikipedia search word or words – click Enter.

duckduckgo bang

DuckDuckGo will go to Wikipedia, search, and return with the Wikipedia page you were looking for like magic.

For users of a Launcher Application such as Kupfer on Linux, you can enter a DuckDuckGo !bang directly without having to load a web page.

First, in Kupfer Preferences, enable the Wikipedia Plugin.

Now when you want to look something up in Wikipedia, while writing in your word processor say – Launch Kupfer – Type a period . (to start free text mode) – Type ! followed by w followed by your search terms – and Launch. You will be taken directly to the Wikipedia page from your word processor, in just a few clicks – wonderful.

To use a !bang other than Wikipedia choose from the others available, the YouTube !bang !yt is also very useful.

==DuckDuckGo !Bangs==

It’s ‘Quick look’ in #Linux via #kupfer – wonderful

One of the few tools I missed all the time, coming from Mac OSX to Linux Mint, is Apple’s Quick Look. Quick Look is a powerful and useful tool that it is easy to overlook, but for taking a peek at a document without opening it, it is wonderful. One click of the spacebar and a functional view of the focused document pops up for a word, image, video or sound file, which you dismiss by clicking the spacebar again.

While I was looking through Kupfer’s preferences the other day – Kupfer at its most basic is a launcher application – I spotted a plugin called Quick Image Viewer and guessed that it might offer a Quick Look facility – it does!


The facility isn’t available from the Linux equal of Finder so you have to access it via Kupfer, but this is no hardship at all, in fact it is exactly the same as using OSX Search. Invoke Kupfer with Ctrl+Spacebar, locate the file, hit Tab, type View, Enter, and hey presto. To dismiss the Quick Image View hit Esc.

This made my day and has improved an already top notch Linux Mint user experience to something that to all intents and purposes is as fine and useful as using OSX, but with none of the walled garden annoyances.