The Mozilla Google Toolbar

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Googlebar for Mozilla-based browsers emulates many of the features of the official Google Toolbar.

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The official Google Toolbar [Tip #24] runs only on Internet Explorer for Windows, making it unavailable to those who use other operating systems or prefer other browsers such as Mozilla, Netscape, and Opera.

While still in its early stage, a team at Mozdev.org (http://www.mozdev.org/) has created a third-party toolbar, Googlebar (http://googlebar.mozdev.org/), that brings much of the functionality of the Google Toolbar to the Mozilla and Netscape browsers. The only notable missing feature is the Google PageRank [Tip #95] indicator.


Make sure you have software installation enabled in your preferences before installing the Googlebar or this won't work.) Go to Preferences Advanced Software Installation, and make sure the box is checked.


The latest Googlebar is available for download from http://googlebar.mozdev.org/installation.html. Installation is a snap, performed from right inside Mozilla/Netscape itself. Visit the download URL and choose the "Install Version" link. You'll be prompted to install the software, which will take only a moment. After it's been installed you'll need to restart your browser.

If you've used the "official" Google Toolbar, the first thing you'll notice is that Googlebar looks almost exactly like it.

The default toolbar gives you the options to search all of Google, search a single domain, use the I'm Feeling Lucky feature, or search Google Groups [Tip #30] or the Google Directory [Tip #29]. Filling out the query box and hitting enter will give you search results in the same window; however, filling out the box and using Ctrl-Enter opens the search result in a new Mozilla tab - handy for when you don't want to abandon your current surfing to do a search. You'll also notice when you enter a query term in the box that it appears on the toolbar as a button; click that button to find the term on the web page you're currently viewing.

Besides the major Google searches, you can also invoke several special searches, including Google Images, Google Catalogs, and Google's UncleSam search. There's a separate button for Google's computer-related special searches (including BSD and Linux). You can also get information about a page you're viewing (including a cached version, if available, similar pages, links to the page, and an English translation if necessary.)

Right-clicking on the toolbar gives you the option to perform a Google search on any word or words you may highlight on the current web page. If you click the Googlebar logo on the left of the bar, you'll find links to several Google properties, including Google Images [Tip #31] and the Google Directory [Tip #29]. You'll also have a chance here to set up a keyboard shortcut to take advantage of the Googlebar without your mouse.

At the time of this writing, the Googlebar is in the early stages, but rather stable, nonetheless. If you use Mozilla or Netscape and spend any time at Google properties, it's a must-have.