Search MSDN with Google

Monday, July 19, 2004
By: Matthew Doucette

Anyone who has used The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) to aid in developing software, knows how difficult it is to search using MSDN's search.  The solution?  Use Google!

Google has site-specific search capabilities.  This means you can make Google only return results from specific sites.  You can even set it to return results from two or more specific sites, and no others.  To help you search MSDN, you should set those sites to be "" and "".

Why not just ""?  There are many sub-domains under that are not related to developing software.  Without specifically defining your site to only to the "msdn" and "support" sub-domains, you would get lots of irrelevant results.  To make things even easier, create your own Google search box with the site-specific information in the search field by default.


The Code:

<FORM name=googleform method=GET action="">
<INPUT TYPE=text name=q size=80 maxlength=255 value="">
<INPUT type=submit name=btnG VALUE="Google Search">

<FORM name=googleform method=GET action="">
<INPUT TYPE=text name=q size=80 maxlength=255 value=" OR ">
<INPUT type=submit name=btnG VALUE="Google Search">

Here are the forms the above code creates.  Test them out:

The top form is a normal Google search, and the bottom one is a site-specific Google search.  The reason I use both, is so that I do not have to delete " OR" in my search field to perform a regular Google search every time.


Put The Code Where?

Copy and paste the above code into your own HTML document, then set that document to be your home page.  As explained in my Windows XP Setup Tweaks & Tips article, your home page should not be set to anything that pulls attention away from your work.  Many popular home pages do this (,,,, etc.)  Instead, use a home page that increases your productivity, like or your own homepage with faster links to Google's site specific searches as I have explained here.


Also See:



About the Author: I am Matthew Doucette of Xona Games, an award-winning indie game studio that I founded with my twin brother. We make intensified arcade-style retro games. Our business, our games, our technology, and we as competitive gamers have won prestigious awards and received worldwide press. Our business has won $190,000 in contests. Our games have ranked from #1 in Canada to #1 in Japan, have become #1 best sellers in multiple countries, have won game contests, and have held 3 of the top 5 rated spots in Japan of all Xbox LIVE indie games. Our game engines have been awarded for technical excellence. And we, the developers, have placed #1 in competitive gaming competitions -- relating to the games we make. Read about our story, our awards, our games, and view our blog.