TKB Custom Search Engine Tutorial

TKB Custom Search Engine & Google Search Operators

For this tutorial, I tested every advanced search operator I could think of that would be useful for TKB users, and gave specific examples of how they can used with the TKB Custom Search Engine. Click on the example links below and it will pull up that search.

“search term”

Force an exact-match search. Use this to refine results for ambiguous searches, or to exclude synonyms when searching for single words.

Example: “emptiness”


Search for X or Y. This will return results related to X or Y, or both. Note: The pipe (|) operator can also be used in place of “OR.”

Examples: emptiness OR shunyata / emptiness | shunyata


Search for X and Y. This will return only results related to both X and Y. Note: It doesn’t really make much difference for regular searches, as Google defaults to “AND” anyway. But it’s very useful when paired with other operators.

Example: meditation AND lion’s dance

Example: “direct perception” AND emptiness or “dependent origination”

Example: “direct perception” AND level AROUND(2) “form realm”


Proximity search. Find results containing two words or phrases within X words of each other. For this example, the words “definition” and “bodhichitta” must be present in the content and no further than 2 words apart. In the other example, the words “ignorance” and “link” must be present in the content and no further than 5 words apart. This would be very useful for searching for all the references of ignorance in the context of the links of dependent origination in the Wheel of Life.

Example: definition AROUND(2) bodhichitta

Example: ignorance AROUND(5) link

In this example, if you want to get even more sophisticated in your search you can combine search operator methods. Forcing an exact-match search of the Tibetan “Dang Po Ma Rig Pa” within 8 lines proximity of karma.

Example: “dang po ma rig pa” AROUND(8) karma

( )

Group multiple terms or search operators to control how the search is executed.

Example: (ignorance OR misunderstanding) rebirth


Restrict results to those of a certain filetype. E.g., PDF, DOCX, TXT, PPT, etc. Note: The “ext:” operator can also be used—the results are identical.

Example: Bhavaviveka filetype:pdf / Tsongkapa ext:doc


Limit results to those from a specific website. This TKB custom search engine is currently configured to search only 2 specific web addresses ( and, however there may certainly be occasions where you’d want to restrict your search to only one.

Example: site: “direct perception of emptiness”