Googlebar, Google Toolbar Alternative for Firefox
We have discussed Google's decision to stop updating its Google Toolbar extension for the Firefox web browser previously.
The most recent version of the Firefox web browser, Firefox 5, is not supported anymore and the same is true for future versions of the Internet browser. The last version officially supported is Firefox 4 which means that users who have not upgraded yet can install it in that version of the browser.
What can Firefox users do if they want to retain the functionality? They could try and force compatibility which may work for a while. Eventually though some or all of the functionality may stop working, for instance when Mozilla makes changes to Firefox or Google to their APIs used by the extension.
Googlebar is a Firefox toolbar that might work as a replacement, at least for some Google Toolbar users. It replicates all features of Google's original toolbar with the exception of the following two features: Pagerank and Form Filling. The latter is supported by the Firefox web browser natively which means that only one feature is not really supported by Firefox after installation. For Pagerank, there are better alternatives available like the excellent SearchStatus extension.
There is another difference which most users may not notice at all. It was possible to drag and drop Google Toolbar buttons to other locations of the browser. That was handy if you did not want the toolbar to display in the browser, for instance if you only needed one or two of its features. You could customize the browser, drag and drop the needed buttons to another location and hide the rest of the toolbar to save up space.
When you install the Googlebar in Firefox you will notice that it looks similar to the Google Toolbar. It is displayed in its own row in the browser.
But the toolbar is not the only location that gets modified after installation. The right-click context menu gets a new Googlebar entry as well.
Lets take a closer look at what the Googlebar has to offer (from left to right):
- Google Search form: Enter a search term and search on one of Google's search engines (web, images, groups and a dozen more).
- Google Search: Open the Google search page. Did open Google Argentina for me, which was kinda strange.
- Site Search: Search the currently active website for the phrase entered in the search form.
- Google Groups: Search Google Groups.
- Googlebar Options: Open the configuration menu.
- Google and Special searches: Access to evne more search engines.
- Page Information: Display information about the current page
- Up a directory: Navigate up.
- Search for selected text: Search on Google for the highlighted text.
- Highlight search terms: Highlight the active search term on the page.
It is possible to configure the toolbar. You can for instance remove the search buttons and replace them with other searches. Handy if you do a lot of image searches but no groups searches at all. The toolbar items are customized with a right-click on the toolbar and the selection, or removal, of items listed there.
Update: Googlebar is not compatible with recent versions of the Firefox browser anymore. Googlebar Lite has been updated regularly however which means that it is still compatible and can be used.Advertisement