четверг, 19 июня 2008 г.

Selecting a Mac Search Tool

Many small applications exist that allow Macintosh users to send their queries to selected search engines. I'll refer to these as search tools. These are summarized in Table 1 on pages 24 and 25. The table lists the name and Web site as well as other pertinent information. These applications range from free to $15. Some are expandable and others are not.

I look for a search tool that allows me to define my own favorite search sites and to add them easily. Interfaces in these applications vary, but all simply send the query to your default Web browser. I personally use SearchBar by Pomm"Soft (see Figure 12 below). It also has a preference to show the search engines in its icon on the dock, a handy feature that lets you reach all your search sites easily without having to switch the SearchBar application first (see Figure 13 below). It also has an icon installed in the menubar to allow for easy access to SearchBar from within any application (Note: This does not seem to work with Microsoft Office applications). SearchBar does not allow you to organize your search sites into separate folders, but it does allow you to order the sites in any order you wish, including an option to alphabetize the list. I tend to have so many search sites that the list becomes overly long and requires much scrolling. I prefer applications that allow me to organize sites into categories of my own choosing and then add the sites to the appropriate category.

Another search tool I use is jSearch, a Java-based tool. Unlike some of the other application, its interface is very sparse. It resides in the menubar. (Note: Again, this does not show up within Microsoft Office applications) and gives you access to many search sites. Customizable, it allows you to set up your own categories to organize your sites. It already comes set up with the major search engines (Google, Yahoo! and Ask.com); other useful sites for shopping, entertainment, etc.; as well as Mac-specific sites.

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