Use Wordle to analyze documents

Use Wordle to quickly analyze a document by visualizing how frequently words appear in the text. Here’s an example of a word cloud of Barack Obama’s July 25 address to the nation and John Boehner’s response.

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Web search tips

Gathered from the excellent IRE On the Road Watchdog Workshop led by Doug Haddix at The Palm Beach Post in June 2011:

Web searching tips

1. Don’t always rely on Google. Try Infospace to search Google, Bing and Yahoo simultaneously.

2. Use Google advanced search to specify file type (to search for .pdf files if you’re looking for a published report, for example) or to search a specific website (palmbeachpost.com or any .gov or .edu site, for example).

3. Use the “More search tools” link on the left rail of your Google results to narrow a search by date (past hour, 24 hours, week, month, year or custom range) or view results in a timeline.

4. Use * as a wildcard. It replaces any whole word.

5. Google doesn’t officially have proximity searching, but there is an undocumented AROUND operator that lets you search for one word within a specified number of words of another.