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Windows Vista hints and tips 3

Tips index

Searching alternatives

Internet Explorer has a search box in the top right corner of the window. If you type a word or phrase into the box and click the magnifying glass icon Internet Explorer will send the search query to Microsoft's Live Search and then display the results. It's a useful feature, but it is also irritating if your favourite search engine is Google, Yahoo! or some other search engine.

Fortunately, you can easily add more search engines and all you need to do is to click the tiny down arrow at the right of the search box and selecting Find more providers. A list of search engines is displayed and you can add one or more just by clicking the appropriate link. A message box pops up asking if you want to add it and clicking Add Provider adds it to the list. There are general search engines like Google, AOL, and Yahoo!, and a list of topic searches, which may contain searches of local stores that are specific to your location (US, UK and so on).

Set the search default

In an earlier tip we showed how to add more search engines to the search box in the top right-hand corner of the internet Explorer web browser window. When you want to find something on the internet, just type in a word or phrase and then click the small down arrow at the right-hand side of the search box.

Select the search engine you want to use and you will see the search results in a second or two in the browser window. If you can't see what you are looking for in the results, click the down arrow at the right of the search box and select a different search engine. The previous search results are replaced with results from the new search engine.

Internet Explorer uses Microsoft's Live Search by default, but you can choose another search engine for the default. The default is used when you just type in a search term and just hit the Return key without selecting a particular search engine.

There are two ways to set the default and when you add extra search engines you are asked if you want to make the one being added the default. Just tick the option if you do. The other way is to click the down arrow at the right of the search box and select Change search defaults from the menu that is displayed. Select the search engine to use and click the Set Default button. (Notice that you can get rid of search engines you don't want in this dialog by selecting them and clicking the Remove button.

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