Today Scott Hanselman posted about Adding Custom Search Providers, and it reminded me that FeaturePics has had this capability for a long time. But how many people know how to use it? Possibly everyone but me? I never noticed how it works with modern browsers until today after reading Scott's piece. I wrote the FeaturePics opensearch provider about a year ago for use with Amazon's A9, and then thought no more about it. It seems to work just fine in this context also.
Point your browser at https://www.featurePics.com.
Notice the orange drop down button to the right of the Google search box. Go ahead and click the drop down.
When you do you will see in your choice of search engines, one named 'Image Search'. When you choose it and perform a search, the search is of the FeaturePics web site. I did a search for 'redhead' with the following result.
While you can not really read it in my fuzzy reduced size screen print (2nd image above), one of the options on the page is 'Add Search Providers'. If you choose it you will find the option to add 'Image Search' to your browser and from that point on you will be able to search the images at FeaturePics without even going first to www.featurePics.com.
IE will want to make sure you know what you are doing, and will prompt you as follows:
FireFox works very much the same, except the drop down list is blue instead of orange. The results are the same though.
Windows 7 Federated Search
Scott goes on to show how to add this same capability to both Windows Explorer and the Windows 7 Start Menu. I do not yet have Windows 7 so tried to add it to Vista, but I did not find a way to do that. Oh well! Something to look forward to. Scott gives an example of adding search for his web site to Windows Explorer. The first step is preparation of an .osdx file. I went ahead and prepared one of those for FeaturePics. Hopefully it will work once I get a chance to test it on Windows 7. The file I named FeaturePics.osdx contains the following:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<Description>Buy and sell stock images and illustrations - site search</Description>
If you have Windows 7 please let me know how well it works. I will be installing it soon, but for now Vista is working well enough. Anyway, per Scott: "Just save this as a text file called "FeaturePics.osdx" then double-clicked on it." (slightly edited)
There will be a Windows warning and in order to add it to the Start menu you will need to edit the registry. Scott's detailed directions will make it easy to do that. Once I have Windows 7 I may update this post to provide the detaile how to here.
I see this as being potentially very useful to the graphic artists out there who constantly need images for specific purposes. Having the ability to search for the image you want without leaving the desktop could be a major time saver.