The Google Toolbar for Firefox is a free add-on for Mozilla's Firefox browser. It adds a toolbar to the Firefox interface that includes a field for Google searches as well as icons for quickly launching Google Mail, Google Earth, and a variety of other useful features.
The Google Toolbar for Firefox is easy to install, and most users will simply need to download and run the program and restart Firefox, though some may need to enable it in the browser's add-on manager. We restarted Firefox and clicked Tools/Add-Ons to open the Add-On manager. We clicked Options on Google Toolbar's entry, which opened a tabbed settings dialog accessing Search options; Tools, such as spell check, bookmarks, translation, and a new feature, Sidewiki; Sharing, which enables easy sharing of Web pages with friends via a wide range of e-mail and social media resources; Buttons, which selects Google features to appear on the toolbar; Layouts, for changing the look; and an AutoFill feature for Web forms. After making a few changes, we closed the dialog, restarted Firefox, and clicked Sidewiki, since it was the most intriguing new feature. This is an expandable sidebar that lets Web surfers attach "wikis"--comments, notes, and even videos--to Web sites. Readers can vote to rank the value of comments, report abuse, and share entries; it's probably moderated to discourage trolls, too. You access it via an entry on the toolbar or by clicking a small blue tab. We also love the Search for News Articles feature, the Search Highlighting tool, the customizable Autofill feature, and quick access to Google Earth.
We didn't post any comments in Sidewiki (yet) but we heartily approve of Google's ongoing effort to bring openness to the Internet and the world at large through free tools like Gmail, Google Earth, and Google Maps, and now Sidewiki. We've never been much of a fan of search engine toolbars, until now.