Searching for an image online looks like a easy task: you go to Google Images, enter the corresponding keywords, press Enter and choose the one you like best from the results. Easy peasy. But there is more elements to consider. What if you need an image of a specific size, or a specific type of file? What if you need to use it on a website where there are advertisements (that is, for commercial purposes)?
Not all the images you find on the Internet they are good for everything, and it is not always easy to find exactly what you are looking for. But luckily there are some tools that you can use to help you in that search, and other resources besides Google Images with which you have more possibilities of find the perfect image.
Firefox Multiple Picture-in-Picture
Google Images and its filters
Google is probably the search engine most used to find images on the Internet. But sometimes we use it so cheerfully that we don’t realize it has a number of filters that allow refine your search to increase the chances of finding what we are looking for.
These filters are built into the option “Search tools”, within the top menu, just below the Google Images search field. Thanks to them it is possible to filter the results of an image search according to certain personal preferences:
- Size: allows you to select a size range or a specific size for the image you are looking for, including icons.
- Colour: Search for images in black and white, with a transparent background, or filter results by dominant color.
- Kind: locates images of a certain type, such as faces, line drawings, or animated images.
- Date: allows you to select a date range to determine the age of the image.
This last point is especially important, since not all the images you see online are capable of being used wherever you want, however you want. Many of them are protected by copyright, and it is precisely this filter that allows you to locate those that can be reused, even in some cases for commercial purposes.
As they exist various types of user licensesIt is important to know all of them before embarking on using one of these images in a commercial project. On the Creative Commons page you have a detailed explanation of what each license allows to do. Remember that in all cases you must give credit to the author of the original image.
There are other very practical filters when searching for images on Google, and that you can use in combination with the previous ones. The first is that of if you:, which allows you to limit searches to a single specific website. Thus, if for example you want to search for images of something specific in Genbeta, you can put “site: genbeta.com” in Google Images, followed by the keyword of what you are looking for.
The second interesting filter you can use to search for images is filetype:, with which you can locate images of a specific type: JPG, GIF, PNG, etc. It is especially useful, for example, if you are looking for PNG with a transparent background. To do this, you just have to put your keyword in Google Images, followed by “filetype: PNG” and use the Color: transparent filter that we mentioned before.
Google images … with images
The words they are not the only way to search for images on the Internet. If you have a photo that you would like to use but for some reason you cannot (use license, some detail that does not convince you …), you can try to find a similar one using the reverse lookup of Google.
To do this, go to Google Images and click on the icon in the shape of camera – or simply drag a photo onto the search field. You can use both photos that you have on your computer and online images (providing the URL of the same). The accuracy of the results is quite variable, yes.
Image Search Extensions
Although going to Google is the first thing we usually do when we think about looking for images, there are other ways to do these searches. For example, with extensions installed in your browser that make your job a little easier.
If you use Chrome, some very practical extensions in image search are:
- Quick Image Search, which allows you to search for images from the context menu (by right-clicking on a marked text or an image)
- Omni Image Search, which adds to Chrome the ability to search for images from the address bar
- Fast Image Search, with which to quickly do a reverse search in both Google Images and TinyEye – a site that we will talk about later.
In the case of Firefox, you can use:
- Google Image Search, which adds the option to search Google Images from the contextual menu, selecting a text or right-clicking on an image
- Image Search, with which you can do a reverse search in several search engines
- Image Search Options, similar to the previous one but with more configuration and customization options.
There is life beyond Google Images
So far Google Images has been the protagonist of image searches, but it has become clear that it is not the only one. Several of the extensions I mentioned earlier search other websites where you can find interesting material.
One of those that is worth naming apart is TinyEye, specialized in reverse searches – that is, locating images with the help of other images. You can use it directly on its website, although it also has extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Safari, and even with a bookmarklet to make things easier for you.
TinyEye has a database of more than 14 billion photos, and allows you to search with images that you have on your computer or that are on the Internet – providing their URL. Its Labs section also includes some curious search tools, such as this search engine that locates images on Flickr with the combination of colors that you want.
Other interesting sites, especially if you have a blog or online medium and you need images that can be used for commercial purposes, are the royalty-free stock image finders. There are a lot of them available, and in this post we recommend a few.
There are also specialized image services in mock-ups: images of devices (laptops, tablets, mobiles, etc.) that you can easily modify to insert a personalized capture in them, so that it seems that said device is showing the image you want . Two of them are, for example, mockDrop Y SmartMockups.
The best of both, also, is that you don’t even need to use Photoshop or any other editor to adapt your capture to the device. Simply upload the capture in question to the web, and it takes care of everything so that later you only have to download the already edited image.
Finally, if what you are looking for is the company logo, you can use Instant Logo Search, a recently launched website that allows you to locate in a few seconds the logo of thousands of brands and companies around the world, in the most used formats for this type of graphic: SVG and PNG.
In Genbeta | Shutterstock creates a new way to search for images that goes beyond keywords