Thursday, April 22, 2010

Drag and Drop Search : make search visible?

Somehow, Aaron Tay from NUS Libraries and I keep passing eachother good stuff back and forth, and usually Aaron ends up writing the big posts :-)
Somehow, I can't take that much time to write extensively, and therefore many ideas, examples, resources and stuff end up being uploaded automatically at my Delicious (By
A few weeks back I noticed a tweet from Aaron about Drag & Drop Search Extension in Google's Chrome Browser. (See all Chrome Extensions:

Although searching in Chrome is easy: you can just start a search from the address-bar (Chrome removed the top-right searchbox that FF & IE browsers still have), selection and managing the search engines is not that obvious or intuitive. It can be done via Options.
Another cool feature is that Chrome does not wait untill YOU decide to save or collect your most used search engines, but IT COLLECTS MOST USED SEARCH ENGINES AUTOMATICALLY when you visit them.
Changing default search engines in Chrome is easy, if you know how to do it:

  1. Right/Click IN the address-bar space & choose Edit Search Engines or
  2. Go to: The Wrench, Options, Manage Default Search (and be surprised ....)

But Drag & Drop Search does something else.
When you select one or more words with your mouse/cursor, and start DRAGGIN them .. a layer will appear over your screen offering you boxes to DROP the words inside to START SEARCH. Each box has it's own defined search enigine.

You can manage you "boxed" search engines via the Drag&Drop Search extension button in Chrome.
This way users can create their own selection of engines and activate them visually. I really prefer this way of searching over constantly switching default search engines.
I promised Aaron to look into a version with prefab  installed licenced library resources ... If anyone can point me to an easy instruction to copy, alter and upload existing extensions ...?
What I miss in this extension is the use of the existing saved search engines in Chrome. they are not automatically added to the drop-zones, a feature you CAN use in the Firefox add-on Drag & DropZones.
This add-on uses all saved search engines from your top-right browser search.

Try them, it is fun.

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