Image Searches

Learning Objectives

  • Perform a web search for an image.

In the last section, you learned about the search menu, which organizes a search into various categories. One search category that is often used is the Images option. This section will teach a variety of ways to find images and how to use them. 

Identify Image Search Engine Tools

To get started, let’s start with a simple, fun search of strawberry pie images. As before, first open a browser window by clicking on the desktop icon or the icon on the computer desktop’s taskbar. Type in www.google.com in the address bar and press the Enter (or Return) key on the keyboard.

The Google home page is open, with the address bar highlighted in green.

In the Google search bar, type strawberry pie and press the Enter (or Return) key. The webpage displays the results of your search. Above the displayed search results look at the menu with six choices. As with all searches, the search results are defaulted to the All category.

A Google search for "strawberry pie" has been entered. Above the displayed search results the menu with six choices is displayed in a green box.

To find just the images for a strawberry pie, click on the Images category in the menu bar and look at the results.

A Google search for "strawberry pie" has been entered in the images section. There are four green boxes highlighting different sections of the page. The first one is indicating where the image category button has been entered. The second one is highlighting where the additional category button arrow is. The third is highlighting where the scroll bar is and the fourth shows where the safe search feature is.

What a delicious-looking webpage! Besides the delectable images, there are a few tools to understand and be able to use on an image search results page.

  1. Image Category Buttons. This bar is an additional menu of categories that narrow down or focus in on a particular type of image. You many only want to see an ice cream strawberry pie or pie with ice cream scoops. For example, look over the options and notice the one for ice cream. You can click that to focus on images that feature ice cream. Hooray!
  2. Additional Category Button Arrow. If a narrower category is desired and the first options don’t fit what you are looking for, click on the right arrow. This arrow moves the category menu bar to the right to display more options for narrowing down the images. Once this moves, an additional arrow appears on the left side. Clicking on the left arrow moves the button menu back to the previous buttons.
  3. Scroll Bar. As in many other webpages, the scroll bar on the right is moved downward by clicking on the gray bar and dragging it down. This action moves the main page downward to display additional images.
  4. Safe Search. The default setting for images is set to be a safe search for images. This default filters out any explicit images that may be associated with a particular search. It is important in a work setting to have this filter turned on. If you begin to search for images and discover this setting has been turned off, select the SafeSearch button and make sure the Filter explicit results option has a check mark on it. If it does not, click on the option to turn the filtering on for searches.
The SafeSearch dropdown menu on a Google search has been zoomed in on. A check mark is next to the filter explicit results on the dropdown menu.

Search by Image

Google search has an option to search by a picture or image instead of words. To search using an image, click on the camera icon in the main search bar.

A Google search for "strawberry pie" has been entered in the images section. A green arrow is pointing to a green box which is highlighting a the image icon.

Two options will appear after the camera icon is selected: type or paste an image’s URL, or upload an image file from the saved files on your computer.

A Google search for "strawberry pie" has been entered in the images section. A green box is highlighting where the paste image url is. A Google search for "strawberry pie" has been entered in the images section. A green box is highlighting where the upload an image is.

To get a better sense of how to use these two options we’ll stick with strawberry pie images. Our first search is with a hyperlinked image.

Search by Image Address

Open a tab for a webpage with an image of a strawberry pie. Remember the button to open a new tab is the small gray button next to the currently open tab. Type in a webpage address. In the screenshot below, the webpage address is browneyedbaker.com and once the page loads, search for the strawberry pie picture.

A Google search for "strawberry pie" is open in one tab. A new tab has been opened with a green arrow demonstrating that the page is about strawberry pie. Another green arrow indicates the option to open a new tab.

Scroll down to the image on the webpage and use the mouse to right-click on the image and open a menu. In the menu is an option to Copy image address. Navigate down the menu to that option and then click the left mouse button to select this option. The image URL is now copied.

A recipe page on how to make strawberry pie is open. On the image displayed on the webpage is a dropdown menu. There is a green arrow pointing at a green box showing the option to copy the images address.

Click back on the first tab with the main Google search box and make sure the Search by image box is displayed. In the Paste image URL section, make sure the curser is in the text field before you use Ctrl+V to paste in the address and select the blue Search by image button to begin the search.

A Google search for "strawberry pie" has been entered in the images section. A green arrow is pointing from the Google logo to a new menu where there is a green box highlighting the address bar.

Another option to paste in the address is to use the mouse buttons again. After making sure the cursor is in the address box, click on the right mouse button to make a menu appear. Select the Paste as plain text option by clicking on the left mouse button. The image’s hyperlinked address is now in the address box and to start the search, click on the blue Search by image button.

A Google search for "strawberry pie" has been entered in the images section. On the images displayed section from the search results, a dropdown menu has appeared. There is a green arrow pointing at a green box showing the option to paste as plain text.

The Google search engine does its best to identify the image and return results that match the image to which it was linked. It keeps the image in the upper address bar and instead of defaulting to the All option keeps the search in the Images category. Notice Google considers this its “best guess” for the image. Sometimes Google might not identify the image correctly, but that is okay. You can find a different image of the same thing and try again.

A Google search for "strawberry pie" has been entered in the images section. A green box in the address bar is highlighting that a jpg search has been entered for an image. Another green box highlights where the Google feature to use the best guess for this image is shown.

Search by Uploaded Image File

Google search has an option to search for a picture file uploaded from a computer. Now we’ll use a different type of strawberry pie image for Google to search with once uploaded. Return back to the search bar.

To search using an uploaded image, click on the camera icon in the main search bar.

A Google search for "strawberry pie" has been entered in the images section. A green arrow is pointing to a green box which is highlighting a the image icon.

Two options will appear after the camera icon is selected. Select the Upload an image tab. A button to Choose File will be displayed.

A Google search for "strawberry pie" has been entered in the images section. On the images displayed section from the search results a green arrow is pointing at the option to upload an image.

Click on Choose File to bring up a window for selecting an image file on the computer.

The file finder has been opened and is displayed in front of the google home page screen. There are 5 green numbers highlighting where different things are. The first shows the current files, drives and network drives for a computer. The second shows the left scrolling menu lists the areas on a computer to look for files. The third displays the current location being shown by the window. The fourth shows where the search box is which searches for files, images, and text in the currently displayed window. Finally the fifth shows the file folder with image to be uploaded.
  1. This is the window displaying the current files, folders, and network drives on the computer.
  2. The left scrolling menu lists folders and directories on a computer.
  3. This displays the current location shown by the window. Clicking this field will show you the file path for this location.
  4. The search box can let you search for files, images, and text in the currently displayed window.
  5. This is the file folder containing the image to be uploaded. To select this folder double-click on it or select it and click on the Open button in the window’s bottom right corner.

The folder with the image file is now open. Scroll down until the image you find the image you want. To select the image either double-click on the file or select it and click on the Open button in the window’s bottom right corner. Another method to find an image on the computer is by file name. Type the file name into the search bar area of the computer window and click the small magnifying glass or hit the Enter (or Return) key to search for and find the file.

The file finder has been opened and is displayed in front of the google home page screen. There is a green box showing where the search bar is in the file finder. Another green box highlights what image has been selected. A third green box indicates where the scroll bar is.

Once the file is selected, Google will upload the image and automatically search for that image file. The results page is displayed once the file is uploaded with the chocolate strawberry pie image.

A Google search for "bake chocolate strawberry cake" has been entered in the images section. A green box in the address bar is highlighting that a specific jpg search has been entered for an image. Another green box highlights where the Google feature to use the best guess for this image is shown.

Like the URL search, a picture of the image file is in the main search box, the search results are in the Images category, and Google has taken its best guess as to what the image represents. Notice in this case it is searching not just for a pie, but also a chocolate strawberry cake. Uploaded images are a little trickier to work with, but Google still usually brings back relevant results. However, you may need to scroll through the choices a bit more to find those that are a close match.

Practice Question

 

Image Search

To run an image search for business, use the same methods as described in the above sections. Let’s identify an image to use in a presentation for the office products team.

You and your team must present the newest office products you suggest be stocked in the store. The presentation will be to the other managers so they can inform their teams of the latest trends customers may ask about. Your team has identified ten new products to put in the presentation. Finding images for a presentation is quick using a Google image search. Start by searching for an image of one of the most popular products: the Adjustable Sit-Stand Workstation.

Open a browser window, go to the Google search bar and enter the phrase adjustable sit-stand workstation. Select the Images category and you will see a page of images for different products fitting that description. The upper images will be sponsored or advertised products that fit the search and will have an arrow on the far right to look at more of the sponsored products. Look for an image for the presentation and locate the one that looks exactly like the product that will be in the store.

A Google search for adjustable sit stand workstation has been entered. There are three green boxes highlighting different important option available. The first green box indicates the option to view what images have been sponsored. The second green box is showing how to go the next page of images. The third green box surrounds an image from the search entered.

Click on the image and a box will appear showing a variety of ways to navigate to the image selected.

An image of a desktop from a Google search is displayed. There are two green boxes highlighting the options to view the source of the image and another showing where the related images can be found.

Below the title of the image are three buttons showing different actions you can take. Also notice there are additional suggested smaller images related to the image which was selected. These can be navigated to by clicking on any of the images under the Related Images headline.

If the image needs to be seen in a different setting, the Visit Page button opens a new tab or window with the website containing the image. If the View Image button is selected, a new tab or window will open with only the image displayed.

If the Share button is selected, a small menu will appear giving a selection of social media apps that can be used to share the image (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Email). This is an easy way to share possible images for presentations if you need to collaborate on using specific images with your team.

An image of a desktop from a Google search is displayed. There is a green box highlighting where the option to share the image selected is. A new dropdown menu has appeared which has been highlighted by a green box. This box shows the different places you can share the image.

Image searches can be run for all of the products for the team’s presentation. This is one of the quickest ways to find images for almost anything you need.

Practice Question

 

Finding Noncommercial Images

Watch this video to learn how to find images licensed for reuse and/or commercial use.


Check Your Understanding

Answer the question(s) below to see how well you understand the topics covered in the previous section. This short quiz does not count toward your grade in the class, and you can retake it an unlimited number of times.

Use this quiz to check your understanding and decide whether to (1) study the previous section further or (2) move on to the next section.