The tyranny of the toolbar

The rapid proliferation of toolbars in browsers has introduced a bunch of problems. I ran into one with the Google toolbar - see for yourself.

Here's a shot of a portion of a form on IE without the Google toolbar...


and then with the Google toolbar...


As you can see, the Google toolbar has gone and set the background of fields it can auto-fill to a shade of yellow which is quite dramatically different from the blue that we were using on the original fields. Given the number of people who have one sort of toolbar or the other installed, you can see why this is going to be quite a headache for developers.
There's an excellent post on how to work around this problem at http://code.jenseng.com/google/ - but to summarise, if the look of the form is critical, then you can mark the background-color attribute as !important to force the toolbar into not modifying it. Your attribute would end up looking something like background-color:#D9EEF8 !important;

3 comments:

Mark said...

It has an ironic "not important" feel :)

David Dorward said...

Ah yes, tyranny. User chooses to install toolbar. Author prevents toolbar from telling the user it can do its job on author's page. User sighs and manually enters the data that the toolbar should be entering for him.

Sidu said...

The 'tyranny' does work both ways, doesn't it? :-)
But jokes aside, the good Mr. Jensen has listed a very clear workaround at the link I've mentioned in the post. It uses javascript but allows you to factor in the changes made by the Google toolbar and replace the yellow background with something more in line with your site's colour scheme. You don't deprive your site's visitors of the toolbar's functionality, and the toolbar doesn't make you site look jaundiced. A fair compromise, I'd say.