Saturday, September 27, 2008

Google Toolbar 5 Now Available For FireFox

A few months ago google launched version5 of its popular Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer, with several new features. On Friday they announced the release of Google Toolbar version for Firefox.a

In my opinion the new toolbar really isn't anything to be excited about even with its supposed "new features." Many of the features are already built into FireFox so whats the need? I mean Firefox by default use Google search, there is already an integrated spell checker and a pop-up blocker (2 features that were primary reasons to use the toolbar) so why clutter my browser with another toolbar?

Well the toolbar does come in handy for a few things. First, and the one thing as a blogger I use most, is the “send to” button. The "send to" button allows you to send any link, page, or snippet of a page, to Gmail or Blogger. This allows for easy access to adding in blog posts or simply creating a short stub of a story I'm reading for later use. I'd probably be lost without this feature. I notice in version 5 its no longer a right click option, I'm not at all happy with that. I trim down the toolbar to only have a few icons and integrate it into another toolbar in FireFox to maximize space and loved having the option of right click -send to.

Another pretty nice feature is “Google Docs”. This feature forces documents you find online to be opened by Google Docs, bypassing your office applications. Microsoft, Open Office and rich text documents are supported.

If you use Google Notebook instead of bookmarking sites like, you might be interested in its clipping functionality. The Bookmarks are also saved to notebook and accessible remotely through other Google toolbar enabled browsers or through the Notebook website.

Finally, another of my frequently used buttons, the autofill button. This is used to autofill web forms, which is handy for online shopping, posting comments to other blogs, filling in sweepstakes or any other activity that might make you sick of inserting the same shipping and billing address over and over. You can also add in multiple profiles making it easier to switch between personalities. One for work related info another for personal.

The page rank button was always a nice feature if you are interested in seeing what the PR of sites is. This feature however doesn't seem to be working, at least not with my browser. Many of the features that I use can probably be found as other add-ons (Flock has many of them) so I very easily could live without my Google Toolbar. But for now its making life easier so I'll leave it installed.

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