[Custom Search through Ready2Search]

Ready2Search makes search plug-in for Internet Explorer 7, Firefox, and Google Toolbar.
This page presents how to make search plug-in through Ready2Search.
Search plug-ins in Examples of Search Plug-in and Link Button for Google Toolbar are installable by just clicking.

What is Ready2Search?

Search Plug-in Maker

Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox have search bar in the browser. Google Toolbar which is available in IE6 has buttons to search in chosen search engine. The search engine loaded in the bar is customizable. Ready2Search is a Web tool to simplify procedures for making and loading search plug-in. In addition, Ready2Search is useful to save and transmit the search settings. Search plug-ins in Examples of Search Plug-in and Link Button for Google Toolbar are installable by just clicking.

Custom Search in IE7, Firefox, and Google Toolbar

Image Operator

Ready2Search accepts image files to make search icon in Firefox and Google Toolbar. The function is useful for making transparent image. When you upload image file, Ready2Search displays the transition from original image to 16×16 icon. The transparent image of the transition is downloadable.

uploading image file for search icon

image transition to icon size

FavIcon Generator converts the image to transparent icon with extension of ico. 16×16 icon is available for favicon in Website. 32×32 icon is available for Desktop icon in Windows.

download transparent icon in FavIcon Generator

How to make search plug-in

I give same examples in Examples of Search Plug-in and Link Button for Google Toolbar (in English). Even if you don't know Japanese Index of direct search (in Japanese) might be useful to get search query and image text.

If you find intended search engine in the list, the plug-in is installable by just clicking. Even if you don't find it, you can make an original search plug-in as the following movie shows.

The procedure is as follows.

(1) Identification of Search Query

Go to the website of search engine. If the search engine has option (order, category), specify them to suit the needs or preferences. Even if the search engine doesn't have option, type abcd in the search entry and click the search button.

specify the search setting

If you find abcd in the address bar, open Ready2Search in new tab of the browser.
  • If the search engine accepts the query with POST method, URL in the address bar doesn't have abcd. In this case, it is difficult to find the search query.

URL of the search result

2: Input into Ready2Search

The solid boxes in Ready2Search are required items. The dotted boxes are optional items.
  • the search name: type the name displayed on your browser or toolbar.
  • the front of search term: paste the left side of abcd in the URL.
  • the back of search term: paste the right side of abcd in the URL. If the right side is blank, don't enter any words.
  • description of the search: Blank is OK. If you have notes for publication or your own, type here.
  • optional XML element: Blank is OK. Google Suggest to Firefox and the base page to Google Toolbar is installable from here.(Optional XML element)
  • input encoding: If you use only English, you don't have to care. Even if you use languages other than English, UTF-8 is worth trying.
  • output encoding: In most cases, you don't have to care. "not specified" is OK.
  • image text: If you have image text for the search icon, paste here. If you upload image file, it converts to image text. Blank is OK. If the image text is blank in making search setting, Ready2Search inserts this hand lens icon.hand lens
  • This copy and paste method usually leaves redundant strings. If the search engine manages accounts, the search query might include ID. When you tell or publish the search plug-in, check the string in advance.
  • Internet Explorer 7 ignores the image text.
After Entering the settings, click Make search plug-in. Ready2Search displays "OpenSearch plug-in the search name" and "Google Toolbar plug-in the search name" as follows.

making search plug-in in Ready2Search

Click "OpenSearch plug-in the search name" to add to Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox. Click "Google Toolbar plug-in the search name" to add to Google Toolbar. The browser asks if you want to add the search plug-in. Reply "add the plug-in", and the search plugin will be installed.

Firefox asks if you want to add the search plug-in.

When "plug-in the search name" is displayed, you can't change the search settings. If you want to edit the settings, click change the plug-in.

Optional XML element

The optional XML element in Ready2Search accepts any type of XML element. For example <Tags>tag</Tags> <Contact>mail address</Contact> in <send>URL {selection}</send>. (OpenSearch Specifications, Google Toolbar Specifications) I introduce practical XML elements.

Base Page for Google Toolbar

Google Toolbar uses <site>given base URL</site> in the optional XML element as the base page. If you click the button in Google Toolbar without entering serach-term, you go to given base URL. If you omit "the front of search term", you make link button without search function as Examples of Link Button.

link button in Google Toolbar

RSS for Google Toolbar

Google Toolbar receives RSS feeds in the optional XML element. RSS automatically receives updated news and summary from chosen website.

Google Toolbar as RSS reader

If you add RSS function to Google Toolbar, input the optional XML element as follows.

<feed refresh-interval="1800" refresh-onclick="true">given RSS URL</feed>

For example, the plug-in of Digg search with Digg RSS is

GoogleチEEルバEReady2Search Digg + RSS(Google Toolbar)

Google Suggest for Firefox

If you use Firefox 2.0 or later, Google Suggest is installable to the search bar. Google Suggest automatically lists popular search words while typing. If you'd like to add this function to the search bar in Firefox, paste the following string to optional XML element in Ready2Search.

<Url type="application/x-suggestions+json" method="GET" template="http://suggestqueries.google.com/complete/search?output=firefox&client=firefox&hl=en&qu={searchTerms}"/>

The auto-complete function is installable to any search engines.

FirefoxReady2Search: Google with Suggest for Firefox

FirefoxReady2Search: Lead2Amazon with Suggest for Firefox

Google Suggest for Firefox

Save and use of search plug-in

When Ready2Search provides search plug-in, the setting URL and buttons are also displayed. Ready2Search can restore the search plug-in with the setting URL. You can send custom search plug-ins to your acquaintances by telling the setting URL.

the setting URL of search-plugin

Ready2Search displays buttons to download of XML. If you open OpenSearch-XML in Internet Explorer, you see the format of the following image. The XML contains the setting URL for Ready2Search in the comment part.

the content of the XML

Using this downloaded XML, you can add search plug-in to Firefox and Google Toolbar without Web connection.

The following table shows the typical location of search plug-ins in each OS. You can make and edit XML by editor. If you put the downloaded XMLs in the folder, Firefox and Google Toolbar accept them as the search plug-ins. Even if you add search plug-ins to more than one PC, you don't have to access Ready2Search with each PC. Putting XMLs to the typical location in the following table, you can copy the search plug-ins collectively.

Firefox in typical location (or under)
Windows 2000/XP C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\string\searchplugins
Windows Vista C:\Users\user name\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\string\searchplugins
Windows 98/ME C:\Windows\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\
Macintosh (OS X) ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/
Linux/Unix ~/.mozilla/firefox/
Google Toolbar in typical location (or under)
Windows 2000/XP C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Custom Buttons
Windows Vista C:\Users\user name\AppData\Local\Application Data\Google\Custom Buttons