Have you ever been typing a post or comment in a forum, only to want to end your sentence with a smiley? Sometimes you’ll be on a forum or other environment that will allow you to browse through a selection of different smileys. Google added this feature to Gmail, which is obviously not a forum environment, but for Gmail users it was a nice addition. Still, many forums – while they will display graphical smiley faces – don’t offer any way to come up with the code necessary to display them. You could use a website such as easyfreesmileys.com, but that would involved going back and forth from page to page (or tab to tab), but why not make it easier and install Smiley Search, an extension for Google Chrome that lets you search for a smiley right from the toolbar?
Smiley Search is simple to use. Click the new smiley face icon that has been placed in your toolbar. A pop-up will appear with a “Find smileys about:” option and a text entry field. All you need to do is type whatever you’re looking for – happy, angry, confused, etc. – and Smiley Search will look for it. It uses the aforementioned website (easyfreesmileys.com), but the big advantage is not needing to first load the website in a new tab or window before performing the search. Just like using a web browser’s built-in search box is quicker than first loading Google or Yahoo or Bing and then searching, Smiley Search speeds up the smiley search process.
Once you’ve typed in your text, hit the Enter key and you’ll be shown a list of all the different smileys that have been tagged with the word you entered. The results can sometimes be surprising. For instance, a search for “glad” returns no results, while a search for “happy” returns thirty-two results. So, while I’d generally search for “happy” instead of “glad,” you may need to try a few options before finding the smiley you want.
After you’ve looked through the search results and found a smiley you like, all you need to do is click it, and you’ll be taken to the easyfreesmileys.com page for that particular smiley. On this page, you’ll see the code necessary to use that smiley in different environments. There is an option for Forum code, HTML code, MySpace code and Email code, which should pretty much cover everything for most people.
About the only thing Smiley Search could do better in my mind is to have the code page load inside the extension itself, instead of having to load a new browser tab. It seems as if this should be possible, but maybe not. If so, Smiley Search would be a lot more useful. If I know that I’m going to have to load easyfreesmileys.com in a tab anyway, I might be more likely to go there in the first place. On the other hand, if everything could load in the Smiley Search extension interface, it would be more useful, or at least more efficient.
Still, it is a nice option for people who use smileys, and want a wider variety than the stand happy, sad or surprised.