NetCaptor: A Browser on Steroids

NetCaptor is a browser on steroids, powered with features that Microsoft should have, but didn't, put in Internet Explorer.

In the 1980s, Peter Norton made a fortune selling his Norton Utilities. These were simple but incredibly useful programs that Microsoft should have -- but didn't -- include with its operating systems.

NetCaptor has taken the same strategy for Internet Explorer. In essence, NetCaptor turns Internet Explorer into a browser on steroids.

Like the Opera browser and the newly released version of Netscape Navigator, NetCaptor allows you to open multiple Web pages in a single browser window, assigning each page to a tab at the bottom of the window. This makes it easy to flip from page to page, a boon if you're scanning multiple sites at once. You can also arrange the tabs by simply dragging and dropping them into any order you like.

Even better, you can organize sets of pages into "CaptorGroups." CaptorGroups are similar to favorite folders, except all pages in a CaptorGroup open simultaneously with a single click. This is incredibly useful for scanning a bunch of sites at once.

When I'm giving presentations, I use Captor Groups to pre-load a bunch of web sites I want to demonstrate. Rather than having to click individual links in Power Point or in IE, all of the sites are pre-loaded, making it a snap to keep things moving rather than having to constantly wait for a new page to load.

You can save as many CaptorGroups as you like, giving them meaningful names like "news," "sports," "search engines," and so on. You can edit CaptorGroups, and you can control their behavior (how tabs open, their size, etc.) through the Options command.

NetCaptor includes other enhancements to basic Internet Explorer functions. For example, to display the source code of a Web page, NetCaptor lets you choose from a list of installed HTML Editors, rather than simply defaulting to the Windows Notepad. It also provides a stronger "auto-complete" function allowing you to type partial Web addresses.

NetCaptor also has its own internal pop-up killer that's configurable, so you can still see the pop-ups you want to see without having to endure those awful X-10 or low mortgage rate ads.

You can try a trial version of NetCaptor for 15 days. The program costs $29.95 to register, and upgrades are free for life.

If you'd like Opera's or the new Netscape's multi-browse capabilities built into Internet Explorer, NetCaptor is definitely worth a look.


System Requirements:
Windows 95, 98, NT4, ME, 2000 and XP and requires that IE is installed (though you don't have to use it).
No Mac or non-IE versions available.

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About the author

Chris Sherman is a frequent contributor to several information industry journals. He's written several books, including The McGraw-Hill CD ROM Handbook and The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See, co-authored with Gary Price. Chris has written about search and search engines since 1994, when he developed online searching tutorials for several clients. From 1998 to 2001, he was's Web Search Guide.