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How to search the internet for terms with special characters

For example, I wanted to know what the % meant in this python expression. It's the modulo operator, but I would have no way of finding out aside from looking in the index of a book or laboriously trawling through documentation. If I wanted to search the web for such a thing, how would one do it?

x = y % 2

3 Answers 3


Sometimes Wikipedia can be of assistance.

You can also Google the name of the character if you know it ("percent" in this case).

python % character

on Google always worked for me

  • It did not work for me. Look, nothing about % on the first page.
    – Andris
    Feb 17, 2011 at 22:26
  • Also take a look at this question.
    – Andris
    Feb 17, 2011 at 22:31
  • @Andris - Who said it had to be on the first page? That's the point of searching; to work a little until you find the solution. If I knew the result is on the first page, then I probably knew the result too.
    – Rook
    Oct 22, 2011 at 3:20

The other option for specific phrases is to simply enclose the phrase in quotations

"x = y % 2" should work well as well.

Hope this helps