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July 14, 2007

Google Sidebars

Firefox and Opera have a little-known feature: the sidebar. You can open any page in a persistent sidebar that sits in the left of your window. Because the sidebar is usually very small, not every web page is usable when added to the sidebar.

If the links from this page don't automatically create a sidebar, you'll have to bookmark them and select "Show in panel" (for Opera) or go to the Bookmark Manager, and enable "Load this bookmark in the sidebar" in the bookmark's properties.

1. Google Notebook - a simplified version of Google Notebook that lets you access your notes and easily add new notes. It's a good idea to use it if you don't want to install the extension.

2. Google Talk - the Flash gadget for Google Talk is a good replacement for the desktop client if you don't use more advanced features like voice chat or file sharing.

3. Google Search - this page was designed for Internet Explorer and it's useful if you want to see the list of search results in the sidebar.

4. Google Docs & Spreadsheets - the list of your files sorted by the last modified date. (If the sidebar doesn't show any document, replace 100 with a value smaller than the number of documents from your account. This is a bug.)

5. Google Calendar - it shows the calendar, your agenda and you can use it to quickly add events.

6. As most of these pages were actually created for Google gadgets, you may be wondering if it's possible to add any gadget to the sidebar. Some of the gadgets can be added by bookmarking this address:

http://gmodules.com/ig/ifr?url=[Gadget Source]

where [Gadget Source] is the URL of the gadget's source code, which can be found if you click on the little arrow from each gadget box and select "About this gadget".

Example: http://gmodules.com/ig/ifr?url=
http://www.counttonine.com/google-sudoku.xml
(a Sudoku game).

Now that you have a lot of sidebars, you'll want a way to organize them. Opera lets you easily switch between panels and for Firefox there's an extension called All-in-One Sidebar that adds this functionality.


This blog is not affiliated with Google.