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Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Clever Hack Unites Google Deskbar with Google Desktop Search

I often use the Google Deskbar, a clever little tool that sits in the Windows (2000/XP) Taskbar. And I am absolutely hooked on Google's new Desktop Search capabilities. As soon as I started using it, I realized how great it would be if the two applications were combined in one interface.

Google publishes an Application Programming Interface (API), so if you can dream of a Google hack (I'm using "hack" in its original, good meaning of "clever programming tweak"), there's usually a way to make it a reality.

Usually Google leaves the writing and dissemination of "clever hacks" to others, but this time the company issued instructions on how to unite the two. It's rather simple, and if you use both Google Deskbar and Google Desktop, you'll love this tweak. (Thanks to http://oksoft.antville.org/stories/952320/ for the pointer).

To unite Google Deskbar and Google Desktop:

  1. Go to Google (http://www.google.com) and click on the Desktop tab.
  2. Copy the URL that displays, which should look like this: http://012.3.4.5:4664/&s=6789012345&q=.
  3. Go to Google Deskbar and click Options.
  4. Go to Customized Searches, click Add, paste the URL you just copied into the URL box shown, but add {1}
    (it'll look like:http://012.3.4.5:4664/&s=6789012345&q={1}) and name it Google Desktop Search.
  5. That's it, unless you want add the ability to assign a keyboard shortcut to this new option.

So, now I can search my desktop from the taskbar. Awesome!

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