Create Your Own Google Toolbar Buttons
The following tutorial provides simple and easy to follow instructions for novice web developers and Blog enthusiasts who would like to create a personalized button and share it with the world. The process can take a little time if you want to create unique and nice looking icons that have a personal touch. When you are done, you will have a custom button that anyone can add to the Google Toolbar.
1. Install the Google Toolbar (http://toolbar.google.com/T4/index_xp.html) upgrade if you do not have it already
2. Go to http://www.ExecutiveBlueprints.com to see a sample of how this tool can work for you.
Look for the link: "Add this button to your Google Toolbar for Quick Reference"
The is an example of the how the link and icon may function from your web site or Blog. You can use your own font style and web site placement, or include the link in the signature block of your email messages. This will make it very easy for people utilize your custom button on their own Google Toolbar.
II. COPY CODE TO CREATE YOUR BUTTON
1. Go to http://www.ExecutiveBlueprints.com/slashdot_button.xml Copy and Paste the code as an XML file to your own computer. Name the file "slashdot_buttom.xml".
TIP: Be sure SAVE AS an XML file, not as an HTML page.
2. Modify the URL, Name and Description in the code to reflect your own web page or Blog, Name and Description. The Name and Description must be less than 30 characters. For Example, if your web site is http://www.FirstOCHomes.com, then you might use the following URL, Name and Description as follows:
<site>http://www.firstochomes.com/</site> <title>FirstOCHomes</title> <description>FirstOCHomes: Real Estate</description>
So far you have only copied basic code into an XML file and personalized three lines of text. This is pretty easy so far!
3. Post your XML File to your domain server on the Internet. The file should be in your root (main) directory.
4. Create a link from your Home Page to your personal slashdot_buttom.xml file. (For example: Link text: "Add this button to your Google Toolbar for Quick Reference", Link like this: http://toolbar.google.com/buttons/add?url=http://www.firstochomes.com/slashdot_button.xml)
TIP: Be sure to use the full path of the link, including the "http://toolbar.google.com/buttons/add?url=" and the precise URL for your custom slashdot_button.xml file.
Now you should have a functioning link that will offer visitors the option to create an icon on the Google Toolbar that links directly to your web page or Blog. This custom button is a simple and convenient shortcut.
III. CREATE YOUR PERSONAL ICON
The following steps will help you to create a personalized icon for your custom button. You will need an image editing application. If you do not have any custom software, you can use Microsoft Paint program that is typically included as a free accessory with Microsoft Windows. (Programs > Accessories > Paint).
The following instructions are useful tips for using the Microsoft Paint Program to create your personalized icon: The Icon size must be 16x16. 16 pixels high by 16 pixels wide is a small and simple logo, don't plan on using words or phrases.
- View > Zoom > Large Size: Get a better view.
- View > Zoom > Show Grid: Start at the top left corner and count 16 pixels to the right and 16 pixels down, this is your working area.
- SAVE AS: "myicon.gif" Save your icon as a GIF file, so it will have a clear background.
- POST your "myicon.gif" file to your web site or use it on your blog. This will help people to recognize the icon as your custom button!
IV. TURN YOUR ICON INTO A GOOGLE TOOLBAR BUTTON
2. Scroll down the page and look for the option to "or select a file to convert to a base64 string"
3. Click BROWSE and search for the "myicon.gif" personal icon that you created and saved on your computer.
4. When you have clicked on your icon, then click the button to "CONVERT the source Data". Your icon image will be converted into Base 64 Code.
5. Copy ALL of the Base 64 code text that appears in the top box on the web site and PASTE this code into the slashdot_button.xml file that you created. This Base 64 Code for your icon should be pasted between the existing <icon> and </icon> on your XML page (see the above sample XML page as reference). Be sure to replace all of the previous code, and be sure to use all of the Base 64 Code from the top white box on the Base 64 web site (you may have to scroll to see all of the code).
6. SAVE your updated slashdot_button.xml file to your web site. Now you should have a shortcut for the Google Toolbar and a Custom Button icon that you created yourself! You can create links on your web site or Blog, include the shortcut in emails, and submit it to the Google API gallery at http://www.google.com/support/toolbar/bin/request.py?contact_type=button
V. MORE INFORMATION
For information on how to create more sophisticated search tool and RSS feed functions, go to http://www.google.com/tools/toolbar/buttons/apis/howto_guide.html Email the URL for your XML file to submit your custom button to the gallery at www.BizRolodex.com
Words of Wisdom
"The Internet is like alcohol in some sense. It accentuates what you would do anyway. If you want to be a loner, you can be more alone. If you want to connect, it makes it easier to connect." - Esther Dyson
"You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new." - Steve Jobs
"We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true." - Robert Wilensky ______________________________________________________
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About the Author:
John Mehrmann is a freelance writer and President of Executive Blueprints Inc., an organization devoted to improving business practices and developing human capital. www.ExecutiveBlueprints.com provides resource materials for trainers, sample Case Studies, educational articles and references to local affiliates for consulting and executive coaching.
http://www.InstituteforAdvancedLeadership.com provides self-paced tutorials for personal development and tools for trainers. Presentation materials, reference guides and exercises are available for continuous development.
About the Author
John Mehrmann is a freelance author, industry expert and President of Executive Blueprints Inc, an organization dedicated to developing human capital and personal growth.