As a word, soople is said to derive from an early English dialect and mean to soften or make supple. As a Web site, Soople is Google for dummies. Google has a front page so Spartan that the casual user might never suspect that it is home to an array of search power tools. Even going to Google’s advanced-search page fails to reveal the site’s full power.

Soople offers a more forthright approach, providing explicit gateways to Google’s advanced search features. Soople’s creator calls it “easy expert search,” and says he did it for his mother. From Soople’s front page, you can conduct a normal Google search, or choose more narrow inquiries. Limit your search to sites that focus on particular topics. Search for specific types of files, such as a Word document or a GIF image. Search only within a specified Web site or domain. Even search by courier tracking number or patent registration number.

Soople devotes a second page to Google’s little-known calculator functions. Perform simple calculations and conversions, or use more-advanced trigonometric and logarithmic functions. Calculate percentages and square roots, or determine the number of possibilities within a set of variables. A third Soople page provides entrée to Google’s tools for finding people, places, phone numbers and addresses. Taking a road trip? Use this tool to search for a sushi restaurant in Chicago or a movie theater in Minneapolis. Soople also provides an interface to Google’s translation tools and its “superfilter,” combining multiple filters in a single search.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.