Google Toolbar Option’s Unexpected Consequence

March 20, 2009 08:38 – 08:38

Yesterday, I installed Internet Explorer 8 (IE8). Along with it, I installed a new version of the Google Toolbar (beta). Mind you, I normally use Firefox rather than IE8. Its logic better fits my way of thinking, and it has some features I deem essential. But, I’m a new-version-aholic, so when something new appears, I have to try it, and since I’m a big fan of the Google toolbar in Firefox, I figured I’d try it as well.

Within a few minutes of installing, however I discovered that the new Google Toolbar had hijacked Ctrl+Space to make its own quick search box work. I use Ctrl+Space in Word and many other applications to clear character formatting. So, having it suddenly made unavailable was unwelcome. That first time I pressed Ctrl+Space, instead of seeing the character formatting reset to normal, I saw this:

Cute, perhaps, but unwelcome, since I already use Ctrl+Space for something else. Unfortunately, I don’t see any way to change this assignment to something less invasive and more useful. Fortunately, you can turn it off—and that’s what I did. Right click the Google toolbar in IE and choose Google Toolbar Options. In the Search Tab, turn off Enable quick search box to search outside the browser, and you get Ctrl+Space back.

If it were just in Word that I use Ctrl+Space, I could reassign the function to a different key combination. But, this handy shortcut works in a variety of programs—most of which do not permit key reassignment. So, instead, I’m saying No to Google’s offer.

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