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  • Building a Toolbar in Internet Explorer Janaki Ram & Srilatha




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    Building a Toolbar in Internet Explorer

                                                      Janaki Ram & Srilatha 


                                                      spoluru@loginsoftindia.com 

            Introduction   


      Toolbars provides a means to activate commands and tools contained in an application. To make the application user friendly, a toolbar can be used to expose the key functionality of the application.

     If you choose to know about the toolbars present in Internet Explorer, or how to build one instead, this is the place to visit. This paper provides requisite information about toolbars in general and LoginSoft’s toolbar in particular. This paper first defines the types of bands present in Internet Explorer and what it takes to build them under the section “What you should know?” Then it provides an overview of LoginSoft’s toolbar and its features in “LoginSoft Toolbar Features”. Then we go over the technical details and the problems faced and solutions while building the toolbar in “Understanding the Technology”.


             What you should know            


     One of the ways of customizing Internet Explorer is by adding a custom Tool Bar. When implemented and registered, it will be added to the Toolbars submenu of the View menu. When selected by the user, the Toolbar will be displayed in the rebar control area of the Internet Explorer.

    Toolbars are created with the help of band objects. Band objects are COM objects contained by either Internet Explorer or the shell, and were introduced with version 4.71 of the shell and provide capabilities similar to those of normal windows. With Internet Explorer, there are 4 types of bands.

          Communications Band, which sits at the bottom of an instance of IE4+.

          Information Band sits on the left hand side of an instance of IE4+, like the search bar that allows you to search for files or folders on a hard drive.

          Desk Band sits on the desktop; it can float or dock to any of the 4 sides of the monitor.

          Toolbar/Tool band sits in the rebar space of Internet Explorer, like the address bar, radio bar etc. By creating a tool band object, a new band will be added to the Internet Explorer’s rebar control.



      

    To see the bands, start IE4+. Click the "View" menu item; go down to the "Explorer Bar" menu item. The top half, above the separator are the available Information Bands, the bottom half are the communication bands.


    In the case of toolbars/tool bands, click “View” menu item; select “Toolbars” menu item. The bands listed are the toolbars present in IE.

    Communication Band




    Information Band

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    Building a Toolbar in Internet Explorer Janaki Ram & Srilatha

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