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  • Secrets of the EarthLink Toolbar
    By John Nolt

    EarthLink revolves around you! With that in mind, we've built in lots of ways to customize the EarthLink Toolbar to get things set up just the way you like them. But first I'll describe just what the EarthLink Toolbar is, for those of you who don't know.

    EarthLink Toolbar is a free plugin for Internet Explorer and Firefox, which supercharges your chosen Web browser with lots of new features (we call them modules). It's a great way to make your Web surfing a lot more convenient and much safer. For example, EarthLink ScamBlocker, part of the Toolbar, protects you from "phisher" Web sites—and with the push of one button on the Toolbar you can scan your computer for spyware and viruses.

    OK, now that we're all on the same page, let's check out a few of the ways you can impose your will on the EarthLink Toolbar.

    Figure 1. The EarthLink Toolbar

    Move Buttons Around
    Most of the buttons on the Toolbar can be dragged and dropped. For example, if you want the search box on the right side of the Toolbar, just click on it, hold your mouse button down, reposition it to your liking and release the mouse button. In Figure 2, the Search button (and its text box) will be moved to where the cursor is when I let up on my mouse button.

    Figure 2. Moving a button

    Hide Stuff
    There are a lot of modules available in Toolbar—more than most screens can hold! Click the arrow next to the EarthLink button and choose Toolbar Options.

    Figure 3. The EarthLink button and its menu

    You can hide or show individual modules, and you can hide the text labels, so you can fit more stuff on your Toolbar.

    Figure 4. Toolbar with Labels Hidden

    Talkin' 'Bout myEarthLink
    Several Toolbar modules communicate with myEarthLink to get the information they show you. Things like the weather in your area, your favorite stocks to follow, and local news headlines.

    To activate these features, you have to Sign In. You can find Sign In under the EarthLink button. Just enter your EarthLink email address or ID and you're in. What? You don't have either of those things? You can get a free EarthLink ID right here.

    Click the arrow next to a module and look for Customize. When you select the customize option, your Web browser will open to myEarthLink, where you can make your choices. Click Save Changes and your Toolbar will start showing you the information you desire.

    Figure 5. Customizing the Weather Module

    Moving the Toolbar
    Did you know that you can move your Internet Explorer's toolbars around? Well, you can. You can reposition the toolbars, arranging them on any row you want. In Figure 6 below I've put the EarthLink Toolbar at the top, next to the Help menu.

    Figure 6. Moved the Toolbar

    Sometimes the toolbars get moved accidentally. You can prevent this from happening by Locking them, like in Figure 7.

    Figure 7. Locking the Toolbars

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