NooG is a compact web search bar for your PC desktop

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NooG is a lightweight Internet search bar for the Windows desktop.

We have been watching the installation process closely, as it’s just the kind of app to destroy your system with a stack of adware, but no – the entire program is less than 2MB, nothing intrusive at all.

The interface is equally compact, a tiny 452 x 35 pixel search bar that stays on top of other desktop windows for easy access.

Basic operations are working as expected. Type a keyword or two into the search bar, hit enter or hit the search button, and your default browser should appear with the results of a Google search.

Perform another search and a new tab appears in the same window, with the relevant results.

If you do not want to use Google, clicking on the right Menu button followed by “Search engine” gives you three options: Google, Bing or Wikipedia.

Otherwise, deactivate the “Compact” display and the interface offers the possibility of selecting a different engine for each search.

The interface is a little weird in places. That down arrow to the right of the address bar doesn’t show a list of recent searches, for example, as you might expect: instead, it opens an Advanced Find dialog box.

Nonetheless, these additional settings give you a lot more control over the search, with options covering language, file type, time period, country, site-specific search, even which browser you want to use to view results. .

These more sophisticated searches can also be saved for later reuse.

The program also supports a History dialog box, which lists all of your search queries in their entirety, along with their date and time of use. (This can be turned off if you believe it is a privacy risk.)

It looked good, but is poorly implemented. You can find an old search, for example, but double-clicking won’t restart it. Instead, it closes the History window – annoying if you’re not done with it – and pushes your search term to the main bar, which means it takes another click to show the results.

There are various other elements that we did not understand. You can select multiple history items, and there is a Run button that you think would run those old searches in parallel, but no … Whatever we chose to “run”, the history window simply has disappeared and nothing else happened at all.

NooG is still a cool tool. It is compact, uses minimal resources, performs simple searches with ease, and can handle more sophisticated advanced searches if needed.

OK, the History feature needs some work (it just doesn’t seem to be complete). Some documentation would be helpful, we’d like more keyboard shortcuts for different actions, and there seemed to be occasional issues with browser state (sometimes searches didn’t launch at all).

Despite this, there is the basis for a practical research tool here, and we’ll be interested to see how it develops in the future.

NooG is a free application for Windows XP and later.


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