Google Buzz Tips & Tricks

I just wanted to quickly share some tricks with the rest of you Buzz users out there that I've picked up since Buzz rolled out. Nothing too fancy, but useful nonetheless.

First of all, you can format your text with bold, italics, and strike-through. Accomplishing this trick is simple, and most everyone has discovered the bold trick already, or if you're a regular on Google Talk, you may already know them all.

  • To make text bold simply enclose the text in asterisks, *like so*. The words "like so" would appear bold in Buzz.
  • To make text italicized, enclose it in underscores, _like so_. Honestly, I wish they would change this one to forward slashes (/like so/) instead, so underscores could be used to make text underlined, which as far as I can tell is not an option in Buzz.
  • Make text strike-through by enclosing it with dashes, -like so-.
  • You can also use combinations of these, but make sure you nest them properly. E.g. *-this is a bold strike-through-* but -*this is normal text-* (see the difference?). The first example would show up formatted as you would expect, but not the second. Or you might only achieve partial formatting, something -like this-, when you meant to also strike it out.
Another great tip that I figured out, and I hope Google decides to make this a full feature of Buzz, is to Star a Buzz. Now, in Buzz itself, there's no option to Star a particular Buzz. So what you've got to do is wait for the Buzz to show up in your inbox, and while looking at your inbox view in Gmail, you can Star it just like you would any email. This way you can access this Buzz later from your "Starred" folder without having to worry about the Buzz getting buried under other Buzz (or cluttering up your inbox).

Also, just like with your emails in Gmail, you can search through your Buzzes. If you're in the Buzz folder in Gmail, there's the search box at the top. If you just enter a word or phrase and search here, by default this searches all public buzzes, not just your own or your friends. This can make it a little harder to find what you're looking for, but again like with Gmail you can use search operators, such as "has:", "author:", "commentor:" and "is:buzz". These operators work just like you'd expect and you can even make them "exclusion" operators but prefixing them with a minus, such as: -commentor:"ch3mical fusi0n" to hide anything I already commented on.

Another great thing you can do with search operators in Buzz, is the "source:" operator. Source can be any "source" you might see a buzz from (enclose multiple-word sources in double-quotes), such as Twitter. For instance, search source:"Google Reader" to search for all Buzz from Google Reader. Don't forget: you can make them exclusions with the dash prefix.

Lastly, you can save your searches by using the Labs feature "Quick Links" which allows you to save a quick link to whatever page you're on in Gmail. Perform whatever search you want saved and then just hit "add quick link".

That's it for now. If you know any other tricks, be sure to share them with us in the comments.

(Feel free to view/comment on this post on Buzz: http://j.mp/bBwZub)

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