"Googlebar: Help"

Googlebar Help Page

About Us

The Googlebar project was created to attempt to mimic the popular Google Toolbar, previously available only in Internet Explorer browsers, after we noticed that many people would be perfectly happy to use Mozilla... if only they had their Google toolbar. So, when no Mozilla Googlebar appeared, this open source project was created to attempt to mimic at least some of the functionality and appearance of Google's original Internet Explorer version, and since then we've added quite a few features of our own as well. The result- the "Googlebar"- is an open source port of the Google™ toolbar, with a long list of third-party contributors (none of whom, as far as we know, are employed by Google Inc.)

Documentation


Some of the Google Help content is revelant to GoogleBar, but the best place to ask questions or discuss issues on the Mozilla GoogleBar is on either our mailing list or feedback page, since the Googlebar is neither written by nor supported by Google, and the Mozilla and IE toolbars have no code in common.

Frequently Asked Questions

(Note that the most commonly asked are marked in bold letters)

About the project

  1. Does Google Inc. formally provide support for the toolbar?
  2. Why doesn't Google offer their own mozilla version of the toolbar?
  3. Someone told me that this works in Netscape and Firebird too. Does it?
  4. The Internet Explorer version has feature X (example, pagerank). Why don't you?
  5. Why not support search engines besides Google?
  6. Can I get the toolbar in a language besides English?
  7. Where can I get the latest version of the Googlebar?
  8. Is this connected with the "Googlebox" for Multizilla?

Using the Googlebar

  1. I've downloaded the Googlebar. Now what do I do to install?
  2. How do I dock the toolbar with others on the same row?
  3. The buttons, Duke, the buttons!! What are they all for?
  4. How do I uninstall this crazy thing?
  5. How do I show or hide buttons on the toolbar?
  6. Is there a way to display descriptions on each button?
  7. How can I search for text that I've selected on a web page?
  8. Are there any keyboard shortcuts I can use?
  9. I heard that special keys can be set up to run different searches. How?
  10. How do I use the university search?
  11. What do the result navigation buttons do?

Troubleshooting/Development

  1. After installing, the Google search result come up in spanish/some strange language I don't understand.
  2. I can't seem to install the toolbar on linux (or elsewhere).
  3. After installing, a red "xul error" message appears on screen and won't go away. Help!
  4. The newest release set my Googlebar search preferences to some bizarre combination. Why?
  5. I opened mozilla and the googlebar has disappeared. How do I get it back? (OR "It installed fine, but I don't see it")
  6. I've found a bug in the Googlebar. Should I panic?
  7. How can I get involved in the development of the Googlebar?
  8. Why should I get involved with the project?
  9. I have a problem with a project that was based off the Googlebar. Who do I contact?
  10. I am interested in adapting the Googlebar to my needs. What license do you use?
  11. I've found a typo or omission in these questions. Who do I tell?
  12. The university search menu does not save between browser sessions
  13. Is there an easy way to customize the Googlebar for my own use?


About the project

Does Google Inc. formally provide support for the toolbar?
No. Although we have contacted them, and they appear interested to know that the project is providing these functions to mozilla users, Google inc. provides no formal support- technical or otherwise- for the project.

Why doesn't Google offer their own mozilla version of the toolbar?
According to Google's zeitgeist page, traffic from Mozilla-based browsers is so far relatively small, and google has many other projects to keep them busy as far as we can tell. However, we've also heard from a lot of people who claim that the Googlebar has helped them make a full transition from using IE, so it's possible that Google may decide to offer their own toolbar (or one based off of our own) some day in the future- in the meantime, they are aware of the project and our rampant speculation, so we plan to continue developing our own version with its own unique additions to the original toolbar (leaving out some proprietary features, like PageRank and Voting buttons). For a free psychic reading, call someone else.

Someone told me that this works in Netscape and Firebird. Does it?
The answer is both yes and no. The toolbar works best in most recent versions of mozilla, since this has been where development has occurred all along. Due to XUL changes in the mozilla versions following the release of Netscape 6.2, the Googlebar will not work at all in any release of Netscape 6.2.x or below. However, in Netscape 7, which is a close cousin of recent mozilla versions, the Googlebar works. It has also been tested to work in Phoenix/Firebird 0.2 and above.

The Internet Explorer version has feature X (like pagerank). Why don't you?
The Googlebar project is an independent organization, which means that although we try to copy some of the functions in IE, we start from scratch without any access to how Google does things, and some features, such as pagerank, appear to be proprietary; others, like the new popup blocker and form autofill, are already built into Mozilla and there is no need for us to implement them. But if there's a search feature in the IE toolbar that you would like to see in the Googlebar, we'd welcome any contributions of ideas or code. We currently have no plans to implement pagerank or the voting buttons due to their proprietary nature (ie, we'd get sued!!).

Why not support search engines besides Google?
The main focus of the Googlebar project is to mimic the functions of the Google toolbar in IE. While we do try to expand on this, we tend only to add functionality within Google in keeping with our main purpose. Other projects, such as the very nice Easysearch, offer advanced search functionality in other search engines as well as basic Google search.

Can I get the toolbar in a language besides English?
Other languages are available if translated by volunteers, and translations will be posted at the new Googlebarl10n translation project as they are received. For more information on how to create a new translation, read the documentation.

Where can I get the latest version of the Googlebar?
We usually keep the latest versions of the code for the project in CVS, and make an installer containing these files available, linked to on our installation page as the "Experimental version". These are a great place to start if you want to file a bug or contribute code to the project, but even the newest xpi may not be 100% up to date- your best bet is always to work from the code in CVS for new features.

Is this connected with the "Googlebox" for Multizilla?
No, the Googlebox is a separate project produced by the Multizilla team. While we are investigating the possibility of sharing code for some features, the two efforts are currently completely separate.

Using the Googlebar

I've downloaded the Googlebar. Now what do I do to install?
If you're having trouble installing, first make sure that under Preferences, Advanced: Software installation is set to "Enable software installation". Once this is done, installing is easy- just click on the install link next to the desired release on the installation page, or download the XPI file and then open it from the "File menu: Open" option in your browser. After the "Installation is complete" message comes up, you will need to close the browser (including all windows- mail, chatzilla, quicklaunch, etc) and start mozilla again.

How do I dock the Googlebar on the same row as other toolbars?
Currently, the Mozilla browser for which the Googlebar is written does not support moving toolbars onto the same row, and neither do Firebird or netscape. If you would like to see this feature and have an idea on how to implement it, please volunteer for one of the several relevant Mozilla.org bugs and help make this feature available for the Googlebar and many other mozilla toolbars as well.

The buttons, Duke, the buttons! What does it all mean?
The Googlebar for mozilla offers a wide variety of buttons to perform many kinds of special searches, but it's not always easy to tell what does what. One way to avoid confusion is by turning on the "Show button labels" option: just click on the context menu and check the first option in the list. This helps, but to save space it also hides the images: to figure out what a button does while still showing the images (which fits more buttons onto the toolbar), just hold your mouse over any button until a tooltip appears with its name. There is presently no "show selected labels" intermediate option, but this may be implemented in the future depending on interest. Each search type has a descriptive name related to a special feature that can be found on Google's search options page.

How do I uninstall this crazy thing?
Versions 0.5 and above provide an easy way to uninstall- select "Toolbar options" from the Googlebar menu on the left hand side of the toolbar, then click the "uninstall" button on the preferences panel.
If you are using an older version, you may either upgrade to version 0.5 or newer (which will simultaneously make uninstalling easier and remove your desire to do so), or follow these manual instructions:
  1. Close mozilla. That's a given.
  2. Then, go to where mozilla is installed, and to the chrome directory, and locate the "googlebar" subfolder. Delete it.
  3. Now, to keep mozilla from looking for it, remove just the lines referring to Googlebar from "installed-chrome.txt", a file in the chrome just above where your googlebar folder used to be. There are at least two; more if you installed more than once.
  4. You also need to edit the file "chrome.rdf" in this directory, again removing only those sections referring to googlebar (there are at least six references in different sections- easiest to find using the "find" tool in your text editor).
  5. Now for the profile editing. Go to your profile directory, wherever that is, and delete a certain "fast-loading XUL" file-
    On Windows it's named XUL.mfl
    On Linux it's named XUL.mfasl
    On Apple it's named XUL FastLoad File
  6. That should take care of it, but to be on the safe side, you may also want to delete the Googlebar preferences in your prefs.js file, also in the profile directory..
  7. For screenshots and a detailed look for windows users, try John Woods' uninstall page.

How do I show or hide buttons on the toolbar?
Right-clicking anywhere on the toolbar will bring up a context menu allowing you to select which buttons to show or hide. Our next release will also offer the ability to show buttons as combined menus or as separate buttons for further control.

Is there a way to display descriptions on each button?
The context menu for the googlebar (accessible by right-clicking anywhere on the toolbar) has an option to show/hide button labels that will appear next to the buttons. Since most monitors are not wide enough to show all of them at once, though, we automatically hide several of the buttons when this option is selected, and you can choose to show them again. Also, if you prefer to work without labels, each button has a "tooltip"- text that shows up when you hover over it and describes what that button does.

How can I search for text that I've selected on a web page?
Simply select the text you want to locate, then click the button marked "search for selected text" (a green highlighter with a plus sign next to it). This will add the words you selected to the phrase in the search box. In newer versions of mozilla, if Google is your default search engine, you can also simply right-click on the selected text and choose "Web search for..." to find it directly.

Are there any keyboard shortcuts I can use?
Pressing (Cmd or Ctrl)-F8 will show/hide the google toolbar; this is useful in Firebird where there is no menu option to do so (the key is "ctrl" on PC keyboards and "cmd" on macintosh computers; on all platforms, the SHIFT key in place of CTRL will also work). To get to the search criteria textbox without using the mouse, press (Cmd or Ctrl)-F12. Lastly, pressing the cmd/ctrl key as you click on any button on the toolbar will perform that search in a new tab.

I heard that special keys can be set up to run different searches. How?
In our version 0.5 or newer, you can choose which searches will be run when you press certain modifier keys plus the enter key as you search- this option is completely configurable on the Googlebar preferences panel (select "Toolbar options..." from the menu of the left side of the toolbar). For example, you can set the toolbar up to run an "I'm feeling lucky" search in a new tab when you press the control and enter keys, or to run a new university search in a new window... or one of many other possible combinations.

How do I use the university search?
To use this feature for the first time, select the "Update list" option from the university search menu. This will load a list of (most of) the universities that use Google search. Once this is loaded, select the university desired from the menu and run the search. The most recently used university will become the default option for that button and will be saved across browser sessions, but the menu will need to be reloaded when the brower is closed and reopened if a different university is desired.

What do the result navigation buttons do?
The result navigation buttons allow the user to move back and forth between the results of a search (1,2,3, etc) by clicking the backwards and forwards buttons, or to jump to the results page by clicking the "Back to search results" button (which looks like the rewind button on a VCR). They also have other uses, however: by selecting the "use page for navigation" option from the web page context menu (under "Googlebar items", you can make these buttons act for that page in the same way they would for a search results page. For example, navigating to the XUL tutorial table of contents and choosing this option allows the buttons to move between sections of the tutorial.

Troubleshooting and Development

After installing, the Google search result come up in spanish/some strange language I don't understand.
Until the release of Googlebar version 0.8, when we added new countries to the list of google sites available, this could screw up your currently selected country (US users would find themselves searching Google Nicaragua or Spain). We now changed how the countries are stored, but this will most likely mean that after upgrading to Googlebar 0.8, you will have to re-set your country preferences one (hopefully) last time)

I can't seem to install the toolbar on linux (or elsewhere)
There are a variety of causes of this problem, though- the simplest is that the "enable software installation" option under advanced preferences in mozilla is not checked. On linux, a common problem is that the files are installed with the wrong permissions, and so can't be read if not accessed as root. To solve this, use version 0.5 or newer with mozilla 1.4, which will allow you to install to your profile (nonroot) and avoid permissions issues. Older details- from Googlebar users who have made it work on linux with a bit of work- are available in bug 1667.

After installing, a red "xul error" message appears on screen and won't go away. Help!
This is a bug on some platforms with the installation of the "locale" files that googlebar needs to be able to appear in your language- namely, if you get this message, it can't find these files or they may not be installed. The first thing to try is to make sure that the line
locale,install,url,resource:/chrome/googlebar/locale/en-US/googlebar
appears in the file "installed-chrome.txt", located in the "chrome" directory under where mozilla is installed. If this line isn't there, add it to the end, and mozilla will now be able to find the files it needs. Further discussion can be found in
bug 1932, but this should be fixed in our more recent versions (0.5 and later). One recent cause is that you may be using an old translation with a new version of the Googlebar: try the English language files included by default, which are always current.

The newest release set my GoogleBar preferences to som bizarre combination. Why?
Occasionally as we continue development of the Googlebar, old features are redesigned to work better, or to incorporate additional abilities, but this sometimes involves changing things in an unexpected way. For example, when we added new countries to the "search international google site" option, we inadvertently changed the values associated with the preference and some users found themselves searching Google's Nicaraguan version with their keyboard shortcuts changed. The solution when this happens is to first change your settings to the desired value on the preferences panel, and if the corrected settings don't stick, file a bug and let us know that our preferences may be broken.

I opened mozilla and the googlebar has disappeared. How do I get it back? (OR "It installed fine, but I don't see it")
If you're not using a version 0.5 or earlier, please upgrade, since the most common cause of this bug has been fixed (an easy way to tell is that newer versions of the googlebar have a preferences panel). Sometimes, these newer versions don't show or don't save the setting- this can either be due to an install problem (file a bug, with a copy of your install.log file if possible, and let us know!), or it may be that the Googlebar isn't showing up the first time: if that's the case, push the SHIFT-F8 keyboard shortcut, which toggles show/hide and will make the Googlebar appear.

I've found a bug in the Googlebar. Should I panic?
Yes. Mozilla was named for a lizard that has destroyed Tokyo repeatedly, and panic is advisable. If this is not your style, you could always check our latest version of code to see if it has been fixed, and if not, file a bug (be sure to check for duplicates first). When checking, be sure to use the experimental installer, because we often fix many bugs between releases and the last full version number may be outdated.

How can I get involved in the development of the Googlebar?
If you have code for a feature that you'd like to see added, either contact us on our emailing list, attaching your code (preferably based off the latest version of the code from CVS or our experimental "wheneverlies"), or file a bug with the attachment. If it works well, we'll check in the code and post your name on the credits page. If you can prove that you're a certifiable headcase, we'll even consider making you a full member of the team with CVS access!

Why should I get involved with the project?
The Googlebar project is composed of 100% volunteers, and the more help we have, the more we can do. If you would like to see a feature but development has been slow, contributing the code to make it happen will make it available to all even if our other developers are too busy during the day. To contribute code, you can either attach your work to a bug or send it to our mailing list (please try to start with the latest versions from CVS, as major releases are sometimes followed by major revisions). If you help, we'll gladly list you in our credits or may even give CVS access.

I have a problem with a project that was based off the Googlebar. Who do I contact?
The Googlebar project is usually not affiliated with any other derivative projects, though we welcome any contributions of code and ideas from them. If you find a problem with features they add independently, contact whoever it is that originally created their project. If you think the bug is a problem with the Googlebar (keep in mind that many derivative projects are based off of older versions of the toolbar), try our latest version of code and see if the problem is still there. If it is, file a bug.

What license does the Googlebar use? Is it open source?
The Googlebar is open-source, and we have recently adopted the same tri-licensing scheme as mozilla- namely, the MPL 1.1/GPL 2.0/LGPL 2.1 licenses, any of which can be used as desired. In practice, we do ask that if you find a way to fix a bug or make other relevant improvements to the Googlebar in the course of modifying it, then please share the improvements and help make the Googlebar better.

I've found a typo or omission in these questions. Who do I tell?
Feel free to let us know about any problems with the documentation using our feedback form, which will post a note about it for all to see.

The "University search" menu does not save between browser sessions
This is a known issue; to use the university search option for the first time, users must select the "Update list" option from the menu, which will load a list of (most of) the universities that use Google search. Once a university has been selected, the specific choice will be saved across browser sessions, though the menu will be empty- the name of the last university used will appear in the button tooltip.

Is there an easy way to customize the googlebar for my own use?
Many people have asked us if there is an easy way to modify the Googlebar with a specific set of changes, without having to make every change each time. See the feedback page discussion in which Robert Fernanded outlines one method to add buttons as desired using overlays, or read our now customization tips for more information on adding your changes to a special set of files called "Extras".