July 30, 2005
The Google Suggest Toolbar extension for KDE's Konqueror web browser adds functionality similar to the official "Google Toolbar" (available for Mozilla Firefox on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, and Internet Explorer on Windows) and the Open Source Googlebar for Netscape 7, Mozilla and Firefox.
I currently run Konqueror 3.4.1 on my Debian Testing ("etch") Linux system at home, and Mozilla on my Windows XP system at work. I had seen the Google Toolbar, and heard about some of its capabilities, but never used it, so when I saw this clone for Konqueror over at KDE-Apps.org, I decided to try it out.
It wasn't very well documented, and there's no website for the project, aside from the project page at SourceForge.net, so I had to figure it out myself. I liked it so much that I decided to create some screenshots to share with my Linux User Group friends at LUGOD in Davis and SVLUG in San Jose, California.
I had to install some KDE- and Konqueror-related development packages for Debian so that I could compile the extension (since practically everything else I use is installed via pre-compiled binary packages), but after that it was simply "
make" and "
make install". It compiled and installed without a hitch.
I normally run KDE with a few instances of Konqueror pre-loaded so that new browser windows come up instantly. It seemed like I had to disable this (in "KDE Components->KDE Performance" in the KDE Control Center), make sure no copies of Konqueror were still running, and then launch a new instance of Konqueror for the toolbar extension to appear. After that, everything seemed to be working, and I could re-enable pre-loading.
Here's a gallery of screenshots covering most of the major features. It should be useful if you've never used any kind of "Google Toolbar" before, like was the case for me, 24 hours ago.
The "Google Suggest Toolbar" extension pair of pull-down buttons and a search form to Konqueror's toolbars.
Google Toolbar and Searching with Suggestions
When searching the web, an additional toolbar appears, the "Google Toolbar."
A search form on Konqueror's "Location" toolbar is available for quickly searching different Google search tools. Like Google's front page (on some browsers, at least), it also has the ability to show you Google's suggestions for other related keywords.
- On the left are some quick buttons for going to Google search results for the entire web, just the current website, an "I'm feeling lucky" result, and Google Groups and Web Directory searches.
- On the right, buttons appear for each keyword/phrase entered. Clicking them acts as a quick way for searching for the word/phrase on the current web page, much like Edit->Find Next would.
Other buttons available on the Google Toolbar:
Like other KDE application toolbars, you can add, remove and rearrange the buttons on this toolbar by simply going to Settings->Configure Toolbars...
- Computer searches (Linux, BSD, Microsoft, Mac)
- "First," "Previous" and "Next" search results, for navigating the search results pages at Google.
- A button for using the current text selection as your search keywords
- A button for displaying the current page with any keywords highlighted
- A 'close' button to hide the Google Toolbar
Here's just a search results page after using the search form.
Computer Search Results
Using the "Computer Searches" button, you can quickly switch to a restricted search, such as only "Linux"-related results.
Highlighting Search Words
Clicking the yellow highlighter button ("Highlight Search Words") causes all of the keywords to appear highlighted on the current page!
Additional Context Menu Items
Selecting some text and then right-clicking it in Konqueror brings up a context menu. The Google Suggest Toolbar extension adds some more items:
- Search for the keyword at Google
- Dictionary clip for the keyword
- Encyclopedia clip for the keyword
The dictionary clip and encyclopedia clip options bring up a special pop-up window with the clip. This means you can now quickly ask Konqueror to define a word without leaving the page.
Page Info Button
The 'i'-shaped "Page Info" button provides some additional Google links for the current page:
- Google's cached copy of the page
- A search for similar pages to this one
- "Backwards links" — what other pages link to this one
- The Google Translation Tool's translation of this page into English
Clicking "Backwards Links" from the "Page Info" button brings you to a Google search results page showing what other pages link to the one you were looking at.
Translate to English
Clicking "Translate this page to English" from the "Page Info" button brings you to the Google Translation Tool's English translation of a page.
The 'g'-shaped "Google Menu" button has quick links to various Google tool pages, as well as a way to get to an options window for the "Google Suggest Toolbar" Konqueror extension.
Google Suggest Toolbar Options Window
There are some settings available for the "Google Suggest Toolbar."
Enabling Google Suggest Toolbar in Konqueror Extensions
Konqueror comes with a "Search Bar Plugin" extension for the "Location" toolbar, but with the "Google Suggest Toolbar" extension, unless you regularly use other search engines, you can simply turn off the "Search Bar Plugin."
Note that you need to use the "Google Menu"'s "Goolebar Options" to change the settings, as Konqueror's "Extensions" window doesn't show them, for some reason.
The magnifying-glass-shaped "Special Searches" button next to the search from in the "Google Suggest Toolbar" can act as a pull-down menu to let you use various other Google search engines:
Note: The last four seem to be out of sync with what Google can do, and where the tools are located. Such is to be expected when dealing with Google's "Beta" tools and things found in their Lab.
- Google Search — show web search results
- Site Search — show search results restricted to the current site
- "I'm feeling lucky" — go directly to the first search result
- Image Search — search for images
- Google Groups Search — search Usenet newsgroups and Google Groups
- Web Directory Search — search the Google Directory (based on the Open Directory Project at dmoz.org)
- News Search — search the latest news headlines
- Answers Search — search Google Answers, where researches have found answers to questions, or you can pay to have them answered
- Catalog Search — search printed product catalogs for keywords
- Froogle Search — search online e-commerce sites via Google's Froogle search
- Stocks quotes — get stock information from various resources, based on ticker symbol
- Unclesam Search — search US government documents via Google's Unclesam search
- Viewer — use Google's slideshow mode, Viewer
- Web Quotes — use Google's Web Quotes tool to see multiple viewpoints and descriptions of a specific site
- Dictionary Search — view Dictionary.com's definition of a term
- Glossary Search — Use the "define" keyword to ask Google to define a term
Example: Site Search
You can use the "Site Search" to use Google to search only the current website for particular keywords.
Configuring the Toolbar
Like toolbars elsewhere in Konqueror and other KDE applications, you can add, remove and rearrange icons ("actions") in the "Google Suggest Toolbar" by simply going to Settings->Configure Toolbars...