HydraLinks is a simple utility that lets you manipulate and save search results to a customizable list, speeding up your searching and letting you easily share results with others.
Unlike most search engines, which have improved dramatically over the past few years, browser technology hasn't changed much since the 20th century. HydraLinks is a browser enhancement utility that addresses some of the shortcomings of our primary web access tool.
We all have our own techniques and tricks to speed up the drudgery of scanning search results for the information we're looking for. All too often, this means clicking on a link, examining a page, clicking the back button and repeating this process until we find a satisfactory result.
"It's a very time-consuming, trial and error way of navigating," says Steve Mansfield, president of iLOR, the company behind HydraLinks. It's also easy to lose your train of thought if you follow hyperlinks after you've clicked through on a search result.
HydraLinks helps solve these problems. At its most basic level, HydraLinks lets you quickly scan search results and save selected links to a separate list for later investigation. It also allows you to set an "anchor" link that lets you surf the web to your heart's content, then instantly return to your anchor page without having to repeatedly click the back button.
Two other options allow you to open a page in a new window or a background window. Simple tasks, but ones that can dramatically speed up your search process.
The program is unobtrusive, consisting of tiny popup menu buttons that appear only when you mouse over a hyperlink. If you find this too intrusive, you can optionally configure the menu to appear only when you right-click a link.
HydraLinks comes with a number of "skins" that change the appearance and function of the popup menu. You can also select an option to save your link list in a popup window or on the task bar for later use.
Once you've created a promising list of links for further exploration, you can open the pages one by one, or use the check boxes next to each link to open several pages at a time. You can have pages open in cascading or tiled windows.
Once you've created a list of links you want to keep (think a mini-favorites list for one particular topic), you can save the list. You can also email lists of search results to anyone -- a nice feature that makes it easy to share your search results and collaborate with others.
HydraLinks is useful for other activities apart from searching. iLOR's Mansfield says he finds HydraLinks particularly useful on auction or shopping sites, as a quick way to collect product information for comparison. He also says it's helpful for choosing the optimal itinerary when using online travel sites.
iLOR offers a free version of HydraLinks that works with the Teoma search engine. The HydraLinks popup menu appears automatically for Netscape and Mozilla browsers; Internet Explorer users must install a free plug-in to see the program in action.
Although it's a simple utility, HydraLinks combines a number of functions into a useful package that can save time and make it easier to share your search results with others. Try it free using Teoma via the link above, or download a free 30 day trial version of the desktop software that works with any search engine or web site.
HydraLinks Desktop Edition - 30 Day Trial
Works only with Internet Explorer version 5.0 or higher running within a Windows operating system.
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