DuckDuckGo is one of the alternative search engines that is less privacy intruding than the omnipresent Google.

It has improved a lot lately and works quite satisfactorily for general web search. It is nowhere close to Google when it comes to local search.

However, DuckDuckGo (fondly nicknamed DDG) has some cool features most users are not aware of. If you are an ardent DDG fan, you may enjoy enhancing your search experience with these tricks.

1. Jump on a specific website

Type ! before your favorite website name and directly enter the website. This is like the ‘feeling lucky’ feature of Google but in DDG terms, it’s called ‘bangs.’

There are short forms for the websites, which will be suggested when we start typing.

duckduckgo bang feature
duckduckgo bang feature

Entering the search term just after the website name will land you on the required result from that website.

2. Convert text to ASCII

Figlet is one of the fun Linux commands. It converts any text into a decorated ASCII format.

Type figlet before any search term; it will print its ASCII output. No need to open the terminal.

figlet
Figlet in DDG

3. Check social media status

Use ‘@’ in front of the proper twitter name of someone will show their status (followers etc.).

itsfoss twitter
Itsfoss Twitter

4. Generate a strong password

Type ‘password’ followed by the number of characters to be included and it will generate a strong, unique password for you.

password 30
Generating password in DuckDuckGo

5. Generate Random Passphrase

Type ‘random passphrase’ to generate a passphrase, usually 4 words long.

random pqssphrase
Random Passphrase

6. Get a cheatsheet

Type cheatsheet after the term whose cheatsheet you want. If there is a cheat sheet for the searched term, it will show it immediately on the search page.

vim cheatsheet
Vim Cheatsheet

7. Get color from the color code

Type ‘color’ followed by the hex code of the color you want to check and it will show what that color looks like.

color
Color

8. Generate a random number

Searching ‘random number’ will output a random number between 0 and 1

random number
Random Number

You can also specify the range to look for.

random number between 1 and 1000
Random Number between 1 and 1000

9. Convert to binary and other formats

Type a binary number and append it with ‘binary’ will convert it from binary to decimal

binary
Binary to Decimal

Similarly, it works for hexadecimal and oct, but I am confused about their logic.

10. Find rhyming words

Type ‘what rhymes with ‘ followed by the word you want to get rhymes of. Helps with your poetry skills, no?

what rhymes with rain
What rhymes with rain

11. Get Ramanujan number, Pi, and other constants

Type the name of the constant whose value you want and you get it right in the search result page.

ramanujan number
Ramanujan Number

12. Check who is currently in space

Type ‘people in space’ and get the list of those currently in space. It also shows how long they have been in space.

people in space
People in Space

13. Check if a website is down

If you want to know if a particular website is down for you or for everyone, just use the “is xyz.com is down” search query.

is down
Is down?

14. Get quotes on certain topics

Type a word followed by quotes, and it will give quotes related to that word.

life quotes
Get quotes in DDG

15. Get Placeholder texts

Search for ‘lorem ipsum’ and get 5 paragraphs of placeholder texts. Useful for web developers perhaps.

lorem ipsum
Lorem ipsum

16. Get the calendar of any month

Type calendar followed by day, month, and year and it gives you an interactive calendar of that month.

calendar
Calendar

17. Generate QR code

Search ‘qr’ followed by any text, be it a link or anything, will generate the respective QR Code.

qrcode
QRCode

18. Get some CSS Animations

Search for ‘css animations’ to get some CSS animation examples.

css animations
CSS Animations

19. Expand a shortened link

Got a bitly or some other shortened link but not sure where it takes you. Instead of landing on a spammy website, expand the shortened URL and see the actual website URL.

Use the keyword expand followed by the shortened URL and it will show the actual destination URL.

expand shortened link ddg
Expand Link

20. Get HTML codes for special characters

Search ‘html chars’ and get a very long list of HTML entities and their description, if pressed show more in the result

html chars
HTML Chars

21. Why should I use this?

This one is pretty useless. If you enter the term “why should I use this?” it shows “cause it’s awesome” at the top of the search result page. Clearly, DuckDuckGo is referring to itself.

why should i use this
Why should I use this?

22. Convert case

This works in two cases. lowercase <searchterm in Upper-case> will show the lowered case result

lowercase
Lowercase

uppercase <searchterm in lower case> will show an uppercase result.

uppercase
Uppercase

23. Encode a URL

Search ‘encode’ followed by a URL will give an encoded result

url encode
URL Encode

24. Motherboard

Search for ‘Motherboard’, and you can see that the logo of DuckDuckGo on the left side is changed. It shows a random logo from the selection of a few.

motherboard
Motherboard

25. Get HTML Color Codes

Search for ‘color codes’ and you get a chart of colors. Again, this one is more for web developers and designers.

color codes
Color Codes

There are many more…

My teammate Sreenath came up with this post idea. He says there are more such ‘easter eggs’ in DuckDuckGo and I believe him. But it won’t be feasible to list them all here.

If you know more such interesting DDG search features, share them in the comments. If you found your next favorite search feature, do mention that too.



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