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36. Use and Customize the Sidebar



Search Your PC with Google Desktop

Set Indexing and Desktop Preferences

The Sidebar extends the usefulness of Google Desktop by giving you instant access to information from the Web and your email, all from a sidebar panel that appears on your desktop. It displays constantly changing information that you can access with a click.[click here]

Use and Customize the Sidebar

Turn on the Sidebar

To turn on the Sidebar, right-click the Google Desktop icon in the system tray and choose the Sidebar option. The Sidebar panel appears on the right side of your PC's desktop.

Display Information from a Module

The Sidebar has separate modules that display many kinds of information:

  • Email displays your most recently received emails, whether or not you've actually read the email messages.

  • News displays news from a variety of websites. At first, the news you see is Google's choice, but you can add your own preferred news sites as explained in Set Indexing and Desktop Preferences

  • Web Clips displays information from RSS feeds, which can be from blogs, news sites, or other sources of information.

Key Term

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds A technology that allows websites to send a feed of information to subscribers. You can subscribe free to RSS feeds. A typical RSS feed includes a summary of information. To read more, you click a link to go to the site that originally published the information.

  • Scratch Pad is a small note-taking module that enables you to jot down notes and ideas. You can save these notes as text files that are stored in the Google Desktop program folders.

  • Photos displays photos from your PC, one after another, in a kind of slideshow. You can specify the folders and websites from which you want to pull the images for the slideshow.

  • Quick View displays recent or frequently used files and web pages.

  • What's Hot displays current trends on the Web. The content for this module is automatically generated by Google and is compiled from many sources.

  • Stocks displays stock information for the stocks you choose.

  • Weather displays weather information.

  • Maps enables you to view maps of your choosing.

  • Todo enables you to create a to-do list.

For each module, you see only one or two pieces of information. To see more, click the double-left arrow in the module's title bar. A larger pane slides out, displaying more information from the module. Click the information you're interested in, and you go to the web page that has the information, or a new pane slides out with more details.

Customize a Module

Many modules enable you to customize the information they displayfor example, the Stocks module allows you to choose which stock information to display. To customize a module, click the down arrow in the module's title bar and choose Options. A dialog box of options for that module opens. Then fill out the form for customizing the module and click OK.

Remove a Module

Most likely, you won't want to use all the modules in the Sidebar, especially because as you remove some modules, you leave room for others. So, for example, if you remove several modules, you are able to see more information in each of the remaining modules without having to slide out its pane. To remove a module, click its down arrow and select Remove.

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