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Google Toolbar

Friday, June 16th, 2006 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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Google Toolbar

Are you one of the many who use the Google toolbar in your browser? Both Internet Explorer and Firefox support the Google toolbar and lucky for us, it is a user friendly toolbar. It’s not one of those third party toolbars that seem to invade your computer. The components of the Google toolbar are actually very helpful and they can even save you some time and energy.

For this article, I’m going to focus on the features of the toolbar and just explain them each in depth, so we can all understand them a little more. You may have been using the Google toolbar for awhile now, but maybe you’re a little confused about certain parts of it. Well, hopefully this article will help you with that!

Google Search

This is obviously the main factor of the toolbar. This integrated search box makes it super easy to do a quick search on the Web. You don’t have to worry about typing in a Web address to another search engine. You can just use Google’s and be on your way. Like Google says, “Making it easier than ever to find anything you want on the Web.”

Popup Blocker

The Google toolbar comes with a popup blocker, but for now, it only works in Internet Explorer. This blocker works just like any other and it just helps keep those unwanted popups away from your computer screen. This also helps you stay safe from other risks while you’re surfing the Web.

AutoFill

This feature of the toolbar allows you to choose if you want your information (name, address, etc.) to be saved on certain Web sites. You probably visit several sites every day that require some type of information. Do you want to type it in every time you come back to that site? I sure wouldn’t! With the autofill feature, you don’t have to, because it will save everything from visit to visit. Also, don’t worry, because it is all kept secure and if you enter credit card information, it is kept password protected.

Address Bar Browse by Name

This feature also only works in Internet Explorer. This option allows you to visit a Web site even if you don’t know the address. If you just know the name of it, you’re good to go. For example, if you wanted to visit Ohio State’s Web site and you just weren’t sure of the whole URL, you could type Ohio State in the address bar and you’ll be taken directly to the school’s site.

PageRank Display

You can use this feature to find out rankings of different Web sites. If you’re not sure it’s worth your time to visit a site, find its rank first!

Highlight Search Terms

Every time you put a search word or phrase into the search box, you can choose to have those certain words highlighted in your results and on the actual page you decide to check out. You don’t have to go around looking for your search words, because they are highlighted and easy to find. This saves you a lot of time in the end.

Word Find Buttons

This is similar to the highlight feature. With the Word Find option, you can type in the word you are looking for and then just click on the toolbar’s Word Find and every occurrence of that word will be displayed in a matter of seconds. Pretty cool, huh?

Customize Your Toolbar Layout

This feature is only available in Firefox. With this, you can put your favorite toolbar features right where you want them so they’re always easy for you to find. Just go to View, Toolbars, Customize and start rearranging the toolbar buttons to fit your needs.

Google Suggest

This is another option only available in Firefox. This works when you are typing in a search word or phrase in the search box. When you start typing, Google will suggest some additional words for you. For example, if you type in the word music, Google may suggest music videos, music downloads, etc.

Now, as if that weren’t enough, here are some even newer features for the Google toolbar.

SpellCheck

This new and improved spell checker will find typing mistakes as you type. So, don’t type out a complete long paragraph and then go back and correct spellings. Change them as you go! This works in any Web based e-mail program, discussion forums, applications, etc.

AutoLink

This new feature helps you find locations quicker. For instance, if you’re looking for a restaurant and you find their address, but not a map, the Google toolbar will automatically create a link to a map for you. How convenient! You can also use the autolink for tracking delivery status numbers, VIN numbers and ISBN numbers.

Word Translator

If you ever need to translate a word from English into another language (or vice versa), you can do that with this new toolbar feature. You can just hover your mouse over a word and it will tell you what it means in your own language and also other languages like Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, Italian, German and Spanish.

Okay, I believe that is it. Whew, huh?! That was a lot to cover, but it’s all good for you! Now, to access your toolbar options (this is for both Internet Explorer and Firefox), just go to the Google icon in the upper left hand corner of your browser. There is a down arrow, so just click on that and then choose Options. A box will come up and it will have everything I just discussed. You can either indicate that you want it shown on your toolbar or you can remove it. Make sure you go through each of the tabs to make sure you have everything selected the way you want!

Also, the Google toolbar is always automatically updated, so you don’t have to worry about doing that yourself. And one more thing, the Google toolbar respects your privacy and they won’t ever violate your user rights. So, you basically don’t have to worry about any of that stuff. It makes it even more enjoyable for you, so go enjoy! : )

~ Erin

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