Time Saving Tuesday

Converting from one unit of measurement to another is something that should never be difficult, and luckily there are several online unit converters that make the process drop-dead simple. They save you from having to lookup any conversion values, and often take less than a second to return an answer to you. That’s why today we’re going to outline three of our favorite websites that will do the conversion work for you.

–Unit Converter–

Unit Converter is exactly what you would expect from a conversion utility. First it breaks down the different types of measurements into 14 different categories, and from there you can enter in the starting measurement along with the type of units you’re converting between.

You’ll notice that there is no “submit” button anywhere on the site, and that’s because there’s no need for one! If you change a value in either the “from” or “to” fields it will automatically adjust the result in the other field. That’s definitely nice in the event you have to convert several different numbers.

unit converter.png


The search engine that many of you probably use every day, Google, is also one of my favorite unit converters! Whenever you perform a regular search it will try to determine if you’re looking to convert a value. The keywords that you want to be sure to include in your conversion query is either “in” or “to,” which can be seen in these examples:

When performing a search that Google recognizes as a conversion it will show the results immediately below the search box:

google converter.png

Mac users can grab this Dashboard widget which utilizes Google Calculator to perform a conversion. Similarly Yahoo! Widget users (both Mac and Windows) can add a Google Calculator widget.


Instacalc is the online solution for performing and managing several conversions simultaneously. Much like the Google Calculator it uses a natural language system to bypass the need for excessive drop-down menus, but it takes it a step further than Google. It’s actually more like a spreadsheet because it lets you add as many rows as you want, and in each one you can get fast conversions:


We actually covered this site back in October 2007 because we found the Vista Gadget which gives the same conversion power right from the sidebar of your computer. Then just a few months ago they kicked it up a notch by making a bookmarklet that works in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. For the sake of convenience I’ve copied the bookmarklet, and all you have to do is right-click on this to save it to your bookmarks:

Instacalc bookmarklet

If you want to see what the bookmarklet is capable of first just try clicking on it. You should see a small “window” open in the upper-right corner of the site where you can perform your conversion. Now how’s that for efficient?


Unit converters have been incredibly useful for me in the past, and Google’s method has quickly become my favorite. We’d love to hear in the comments how you go about doing your conversions!