This article will serve as an introduction and “setup guide” for the Windows Live Toolbar, version 3.0. The Windows Live Toolbar requires that you have Internet Explorer 6 installed, and must be using Microsoft Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2003 or Windows 2000 SP4. It’s also suggested that you have a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 (or higher).
To download and install the Windows Live Toolbar, visit
http://toolbar.live.com/ and follow the instructions from there.
After you’ve installed the Toolbar, one of the first things you’ll want to do is customize it to your liking. Start by opening the Toolbar preferences. To do so, select the drop-down arrow next to the main Toolbar icon (see image below) and select Toolbar Options…
From here you can add or remove the buttons and tools. Start by removing some of the buttons or tools you know that you won’t use. For example, if you’re not ever going to use the Microsoft Live Writer to update your blog, it’s a good idea to remove it from your Toolbar.
One of the interesting (and surprising) features is that you can change the default search engine that the Windows Live Toolbar uses. To do so, select Web Search from the list of options in the left column of the Options.
To make Google your default search engine in the Microsoft Live Toolbar, select Other search service and then enter: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=$w
The Windows Live Toolbar also (finally) introduces Tabbed Browsing to Internet Explorer 6. Click the large blue + (plus) sign to open a new tab. You can also open a new tab just by double-clicking on a blank space in anywhere in the Toolbar row.
You can also create “sets” of tabs – which can be very handy if you like to start each day by reading a number of different web sites. To create a set of tabs, one by one open each site in its own tab. When you’re ready, select the small arrow next to the Open My Tabs button, and choose Set Current Pages as My Tabs from the drop-down list.
If you’re prompted to over-write your current My Tabs, click Yes
Another handy way to use Tabs is to open a group of favorites all at once. For example, if you have a Sports folder where you save all of your favorite sports sites, you can open them all at once (each in their own tab). Start by selecting the small arrow next to the My Tabs button, then Open Favorites in Tabs, then the folder name, and finally Open in Tabs.
Download and install more buttons and tools for the Windows Live Toolbar by visiting the Toolbar Gallery.
Obviously you’ll want to install the Simplehelp button :)
Customize your Windows Live Toolbar even further with buttons for your favorite web sites by using the online at tool at http://gallery.live.com/createcustombutton.aspx.