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Monday, December 13, 2004

How To Use The MSN Toolbar Suite

The MSN Toolbar Suite has a full set of options you can access by right-clicking the MSN butterfly / magnifying glass icon in your system tray (the area with the clock) and clicking Indexing Options. You might want to turn on indexing of file attachment (under Desktop Search), set the MSN Deskbar shortcut key (under Deskbar) from the default Ctrl-Alt-M, customize toolbar buttons (under Toolbar), turn off Form Fill and Highlight, and change some pop-up blocker options (or turn it off if you like some other blocker better).

MSN Toolbar Suite uses the new MSN Beta search engine, so you get Near Me searches built into it, as well as most other categories, like News, Images, Dictionary, and so on. The buttons for Hotmail, Messenger and Spaces include options to share the page you are on via those services, and Hotmail and Messenger have numbers that notify you of new messages and online buddies.

Once you've installed the MSN Toolbar Suite, you should see a Desktop tab in MSN Search (it is also accessible via the drop down green arrow next to the search button. If your coputer is in use, MSN won't index it by default, but you can force it to by right-clicking on the system tray icon, clicking Indexing status, and clicking Index Now. Indexing only takes up 20% of my system resources on my Pentium 2.4 GHz system, and moves at a pace of roughly 13 files per second, even while I'm playing music. If you want indexing to stop, you can tell it to snooze for any amount of time.

That's it for the Toolbar Suite. Next: MSN Desktop Search

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