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Groovy toolbar

Add easy, customizable metasearch capabilities to the Firefox toolbar with this free add-on.

Search toolbars may be the most common of Firefox add-ons, and not without reason, since they let users quickly search the Web directly from the toolbar. Groowe Search Toolbar for Firefox adds a customizable metasearch toolbar to your Firefox interface. It automatically and simultaneously queries a list of search engines that you specify, returning more results more quickly than searching each engine one by one. It searches not only a variety of popular search engines but also Wikipedia and social media and sharing sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Digg.

We installed Groowe Search Toolbar and restarted Firefox. The new toolbar appeared at the bottom of our Firefox toolbar panel. Clicking the small icon on the far left edge of the Groowe toolbar called up a file menu accessing Help, FAQ, and About files; a blog and other links; and an entry to open the add-on's Options dialog. This is the familiar add-and-remove dialog; it's a pair of panels, one listing all sites, and another selected sites, with arrows to add or remove sites from either list and the ability to move selected sites up or down in order of access. A button let us choose any individual search engine's toolbar entry and customize what it displays: Web, images, market, and so on. We removed some social media sites and substituted some good but less common search engines, closed the dialog, and restarted Firefox. We entered a search, and the Groowe Search Toolbar opened a window displaying Google results. The second icon on the toolbar selects the next search engine in the list; clicking it opened results for our search in Bing, Yahoo, Wikipedia, and even Amazon.com. A drop-down menu let us choose any of our selected search engines for the main toolbar display, each with its customized selection of icons and features. The toolbar contains some useful extras, such as a search highlighter and a page search tool.

We've never really taken to browser search toolbars, but Groowe Search Toolbar for Firefox made us take another look. The ability to choose just what it displays and when answers most of the objections about earlier toolbars and their all-or-nothing choices.

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