Make Your Mark on the Web

When I actually find what I'm seeking on the Web, I'm not always sure how to manage the information. Sometimes I add a bookmark; other times, I save pertinent information in a text document.

Neither approach is as streamlined as I'd like. Returning to a bookmarked page requires finding the relevant snippet all over again, and copy-and-paste operations take time.

Enter iMarkup from iMarkup Solutions. This utility lets you make notes on Web pages by drawing, highlighting, and adding messages directly onscreen. The graphical notes resemble those ubiquitous yellow sticky notes.

When you come across something of interest, you can highlight the text or circle it in red. If you have a brilliant idea in the middle of a surfing session, you can jot it on a digital notepad, and then drag and drop it anywhere on the page. You can e-mail your marks of brilliance to other iMarkup users and receive their marks the same way.

The concept is similar to that of Third Voice, which lets you anonymously annotate Web sites so your comments can be read only by other users of Third Voice.

The program is now in beta, but you can download a free test version. It works with Internet Explorer 4 or a later version; a Netscape version is in the works, according to the Web site. It requires Windows 95, 98, or NT.

Store Your Thoughts

Notes made through iMarkup are saved on your PC, not actually on the Web page.

(Similarly, Third Voice saves its notes on its own server, rather than on the annotated Web sites). When you return to a previously marked-up Web page, iMarkup pulls the marked-up overlay from your hard drive and applies it to the page. As long as the data you noted is still on a page, your marks will appear.

You can install iMarkup directly from the Web or download a 2.3MB file and install it later. Upon installation, you might encounter a few annoying features like pop-up tips and funky sound effects, but you can deactivate these through the iMarkup Options command in the View menu.

Once installed, iMarkup integrates with your browser and iMarkup commands show up under the Edit, View, and Help menus.

When you want to see the iMarkup Explorer Bar, it appears on the left side of your screen, condensing the current Web page without any loss of content. Three toolbar buttons -- iMarkup, Themes, and Organizer -- give you the means to create and organize your marks.

With iMarkup you'll find categories like Favorite Web Stickies, Paint Brush, and Text Markups. Using them, you can apply italics, bold, underline, and highlight to the displayed font. Once you've made your mark, you can use the right-click menu to assign it to a category, such as Business or Vacation. iMarkup then uses these categories to organize your marks.

The Organizer is what makes iMarkup truly useful. It's one thing to make marks on a page; it's another to be able to relocate not only the page but the marks you've made there. Organizer lets you group marks by Web page, Web site, category, category and Web site, creation date, last changed date, last viewed date, and sender's e-mail. All in all, a useful tool for organizing your corner of the Web.

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