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The Google Toolbar is a great way to extend your browser. It includes a lot of useful buttons, and the button gallery has even more if the default buttons don’t meet your needs.  But what if the button gallery does not have something you’re looking for? Fortunately, creating a custom search button for the Google Toolbar is quick and easy!

The other day, I created a search button for Google Reader, because surprisingly enough it doesn’t come with one and the button gallery doesn’t have one either. Mark O’Neill has already put together a search button for MakeUseOf How To Add MakeUseOf To Your Google Toolbar How To Add MakeUseOf To Your Google Toolbar Read More , and I’ve made use of it myself quite a bit. For demonstration purposes, let’s pretend he didn’t make one and you’d really like to have one. Here’s what you would do to create a custom search button for MakeUseOf:

  1. Navigate to the MakeUseOf homepage
  2. Right-click inside of the search field.
  3. add button to google toolbar

  4. Left-click on the menu item that says “Generate custom search”¦”
  5. You’ll see the “Google Toolbar Custom Button Generator” automatically load in the page title, icon (if the site has one), and display the URL as the description. The description is what is displayed in the tooltip when you move your mouse over the button, so you might want to change it to something more descriptive like Search MakeUseOf.
  6. Click Add and you’re done!

The new button will appear on the toolbar with a yellow box around it to highlight the new button.

The search button that Mark created also includes the MakeUseOf RSS feed as well. You can learn how to add an RSS feed in the Google Toolbar API documentation. The API docs contains additional information on how to create more advanced buttons.

Do you use the Google Toolbar in your browser? Have you created any custom buttons you found were lacking?

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  1. Gabber
    August 13, 2009 at 2:45 pm


    Thanks for this nice trick. With the latest ENG 3.5.2 firefox I could not install any google toolbars to use my local google search. All used the default english version even though I selected my local google search in the toolbar options. Now with this I simply used it on the local google search field and set this button up.

    Thanks Again

  2. NR
    December 10, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks. Didn't know it could be done. Is there a way to make toolbar "buttons" for other programs that would lead to, say, a menu action?

    • Jorge Sierra
      December 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm

      The API is more or less limited to submitting data to forms that use the GET method (i.e. the form fields are transmitted within the URL) and retrieving information in RSS feeds. The version 5 (beta) of the Google Toolbar does allow you to assign gadgets to buttons. However, they are rendered in their own windows, so you would not have access to the DOM for the current page being viewed in the main browser window. In other words, you wouldn't be able to do any kind of manipulation on the page or even read from it. The API does not provide any hooks into the browser, so unfortunately you can't perform menu actions and such either.

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