Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Google’s Sidebar

StylishGoogle has a free service called iGoogle which is a custom home page you can design with your own widgets.  Widgets can be news feeds, stocks,  games, weather, social and many other categories.  It’s a great home page where you have what you want.  Around two years ago Google made a design change to iGoogle which was a major boneheaded idea.  They added this silly sidebar to the left side of the page which wastes a lot of valuable screen space.  Instead of using a typical menu bar going horizontally they chose to go vertical.  So what you get is a very small menu with lots of white space down the left side of the screen.  Users blasted Google on many discussion forums and their stubbornness is only rivaled by Steve Jobs when it comes to admitting they screwed up. 

Luckily some java talented programmers came to the rescue to get rid of the sidebar.  A popular plugin for Firefox is called iGoogle Tab Remover which until recently worked great.  Google made more changes this past month which broke all the javascripts which helped rid us of that stupid iGoogle sidebar from our screens.

You may not have the problem yet, because Google rolls these changes out very slowly. When you finally get the problem you can install an addon called Stylish for Firefox which allows you to change the style of any website.  There are tons of scripts out there for Stylish to change the way many sites look. A script has been developed for the latest iGoogle sidebar and it works great!

You need to install Stylish and then plug this code into Stylish:
(FYI you may need to change the moz-document line in bold to match how you load your google page)

@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);

@-moz-document url-prefix("http://www.google.com/ig") {


#gb{display:none}

#nhdrwrap{height:100px;overflow:hidden}

#gsea{display:none}

.gsealog{display:none}
.gseaopt{display:none}
#btnG{display:none}
#btnI{display:none}
.G-JK{display:none}
.G-LR{display:none}

}

*** 04/08/2011  (use this script now, Google changed it again!)
@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);

@-moz-document domain("google.com") {

#gb{display:none}
#nhdrwrap{height:0px;overflow:hidden}

#full_nav.section,.leftborder {
display:none;

#col1_contents{display:none}

}
}


And here are the results, screen grab on the left is with all the wasted space for that silly tab location and to the right is with Stylish change.
 

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