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If you want to create your own own sidebar then it is simply a matter of creating the HTML page in the correct format. Your sidebar can contain links to anything that you like, so this could include a search box, links to other sites etc. As the page can be loaded from a web server it is ideal to use internally and have messages and status information for internal networks in that column.
Creating the Page
The page is a standard HTML page, so can contain any elements that you can place in a regular page. However in our experience we have found that placing all elements in the centre of the page will allow it to be displayed correctly in the bar.
Creating the Links
For the bar to work successfully you need to be careful about your links. If you create the links in the regular way then when the links are clicked they will open in the side bar rather than in the main page. In some cases you may want this to happen, so that the user's regular browsing is not affected. However if you are including a search box then you may want the results to appear in the main window.
Adding the Sidebar to Internet Explorer
To make the sidebar available to Internet Explorer you need to make some registry changes.
However before you start modifying the registry, you will need a unique identifier for your sidebar. This ensures that it doesn't clash with anything else on your machine.
You can use the same GUID on other machines for the same sidebar.
The registry entry below is the base for what you need to use to add the side bar to your machine. Copy and paste it in to a new notepad document so that you can edit it.
There are three things that you need to change, plus one to review during testing.
Enabling the Explorer Bar
You need to restart all Internet Explorer sessions before you can use your new Explorer bar. On Windows Vista a reboot is often required. However once the entry is in the menus, any further changes that you make in the registry are live immediately, allowing you the opportunity to test before deployment.
To enable the bar once you have created the registry entry, choose View, Explorer Bar and select your bar.
Registry Disclaimer: We cannot be held responsible for any damage done to your machine by using registry files or following any of the advice given on this site. Modification of your registry is done at your own risk. You should always have a back up of your registry before making any changes. Click here for more information on backing up your registry.