If Yahoo is your home page, your search engine, and your e-mail
service of choice, you can install the Yahoo Toolbar and pretty
much get a new version of what you already have. The only advantage
is that it’s always there, even when you’re not visiting a Yahoo
Web page. Whether that’s worth sacrificing some browser real estate
for one more toolbar is a question you’ll have to ask yourself.
On the other hand, if you don’t live in a Yahoo world, I can
answer this question for you: It’s not worth it.
The Yahoo Toolbar gives you a button to take you to the Yahoo
main page, and a pull-down menu for Mail, My Yahoo, Games, and
other pages. There’s also a search field.
Most of the Toolbar is taken up by something called My Apps–a
row of icons for various Yahoo and non-Yahoo web sites. Click an
icon, and the Yahoo Toolbar will take you to the appropriate page.
Click the down arrow next to the icon, and you’ll get a pop-up
window of site-related information. For instance, click the Mail
arrow, and up comes a glimpse of your inbox. Yahoo Toolbar defaults
to displaying six such apps: Bookmarks, Mail, Weather, Facebook,
Finance, eBay, and Travel. You can remove any of these, and add
more from a selection of 186 others. Newsfeed apps are often RSS
feeds, and these can be very convenient; click the down arrow, then
pick a story.
One nice feature: When you install the Toolbar, you’ll be asked
if you want to install the Yahoo Mail Plug-in. If you pick that
option, it becomes your default mail application, not only for Internet
Explorer but for any program that uses the default mail
setting, such as Windows Explorer, Microsoft Word, and WinZip. This
enormous convenience solves one of Web mail’s biggest problems.
Just one word of advice: If you’re mailing a file from Windows
Explorer, don’t select Send To, then Mail Recipient. Select Send
To, then E-mail with Yahoo! You’ll get better results.
Another installation option allows you to install the Toolbar
into Firefox as well as Internet Explorer.
Note: This link takes you to the vendor’s site, where you
can download the latest version of the software.