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Search Tips of the Rich and Famous

Google and MSN both let you fill out forms automatically with their new toolbars.

Published: March 24, 2005

If you shop a lot you’ll love the new Autofill features of Google and MSN.

I’m an inveterate online shopper. It’s bad enough that I can wile away the hours looking at the latest fashion or travel destinations, but when I have to wile away my precious hours filling out online order forms to purchase my goods, it’s worse than standing on line at that real world cash register.

Now, using the new downloadable toolbars from Google and MSN, I can press a button and have my forms filled out automatically, and you can too.

Step 1. Download the Desktop toolbars for either Google or MSN. Both of these have features that will automatically complete most online forms.

Google: Go to www.toolbar.google.com.

MSN: Go to www.desktop.msn.com .

Step 2: Use the Autofill Feature

Goggle: From the Google Toolbar, any time that you see an online form to be filled out on your screen you can fill in the fields automatically by selecting Autofill from the toolbar. The first time you use Autofill you’ll be prompted to store information like your name, address, and phone and even credit card information. (Credit card information is encrypted and password protected.) Once you’ve entered that basic information you can simply place your cursor on the top space of the online form and click on Autofill. The requisite information is automatically filled in.

MSN: From the MSN Search Toolbar select Formfill. You’ll access a pull down menu that allows you to enter multiple names and addresses for shipping, billing, and credit card information. Once you’ve entered and saved the information you can fill out any onscreen form by selecting Formfill.

Try it, but promise you won’t go overboard.