Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Power Browse with ZBrowser

As mentioned in a previous post, ZBrowser is one of the most powerful and innovative tools of the ZCubes platform. The ZBrowser is a built-in fully functional browser with shortcuts to a number of sites for shopping, travel, news and a lot more. The ZBrowser thus brings to life a unique "Browser-in-a-Browser" concept. The ZBrowser can even be made transparent to see the content behind it in the ZSpace (background). With the large proliferation of web content, the ZBrowser tool provides a number of utilities to make browsing efficient for users. This post provides information about some of those tools.

MiniZ - One of the coolest features of the ZCubes platform is the MiniZ. Simply enter a URL in the URL bar and click on the MiniZ button to open an active thumbnail of the website which is called a MiniZ. The Miniz can be moved, resized and even rotated as desired. You can place any number of MiniZs on the ZSpace (ZCubes platform background). This represents a great alternative to window or tabbed browsing since you can actually view multiple websites at the same time and simply enlarge/shrink individual MiniZs as required. In fact, you can press [Shift] and drag-n-drop any link either from the ZBrowser or an existing Miniz onto the ZSpace to open the dropped link in a new MiniZ.

Stardot Command - The Stardot command is a very useful utility for searching multiple websites simultaneously. Simply enter the search term followed by a space and "*." in the URL bar to get the search results for the term from 5 search engines (Google, Yahoo, Live, Ebay and Amazon) simultaneously. The search results are displayed in individual MiniZs (described above) for the different websites. You can then browse the search results from the different engines.

Website Clippings - A very useful tool provided by ZBrowser is the ability to clip web content and save it inside ZCubes. You can select and copy any web content on a website and then simply ZPaste it into a ZCube in the platform. Further, all links inside the clipped content remain active and can be opened inside the ZBrowser. This tool is very useful when you find something interesting on the web that you want to save but do not want to save the entire page in your favorites.

Website Shortcuts - Another very useful feature provided by the ZBrowser tool is the ability to use and add quick shortcuts to websites (e.g. "a." for You can simply enter the shortcut in the URL bar and the corresponding URL can be opened in the ZBrowser or inside a MiniZ. Further, the shortcuts can also be configured to actually search the sites (e.g. "a. baby stroller" will search the Amazon site for baby stroller and open the search results in the ZBrowser or MiniZ. This is very useful if you go to certain sites or search in sites often and do not want to enter the URL repeatedly. The Website Shortcut functionality has been enhanced further through our partnership with YubNub that I had discussed in a previous post.


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