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Offline Readers

By Paul Silverman

Does Web surfing feel more like Web crawling these days? Blame the sheer volume of information and activity on the Web, along with overworked bandwidth. Wending your way from site to site, or even from page to page within a site, can be time-consuming and frustrating--especially when the clock is ticking and your online costs are climbing. Offline browsers and local search engines can help. You can download a site or selected pages, then explore it more quickly and economically than you can online. Here are some products that can speed you on your way.

DocuMagix HotPage

DocuMagix's offline reader is distinguished by its easy integration with Netscape Navigator 2.0. The program installs an icon on Netscape's menu bar and stores HTML pages with the live URLs intact. Information is housed in a local filing cabinet for easy management.

$39. DocuMagix, 800-DOCUMAGIX, 408-434-1138,

Internet Marauder 1.4

Download only the files you need with this keyword-based search and capture tool. It can automatically update your local files at regular intervals by revisiting the sites you designate.

Shareware; $10. Bourbon Street Software, fax 504-866-2937 (registration),

PLWeb Turbo

You can manage gigabytes of information with PLWeb Turbo. This search engine is ideal for sites with large, frequently updated databases. Designed for Windows NT, PLWeb creates form-based HTML interfaces that can be integrated into existing Web pages with no coding.

$49.95. Personal Library Software, 301-990-1155,

WebAnalyzer 1.0

Checking Web links on your pages is no longer a time-consuming chore. This utility maps sites graphically, detects broken links and allows you to update them with any HTML editor.

$149. InContext Corp., 800-263-0127, 416-922-0087.

WebCompass Professional 1.02

Need to find something on the Web? WebCompass locates and indexes information using various search engines, including Yahoo and Lycos. Summarized findings can be stored in an Access database that can be automatically sorted and updated.

$79.95. Quarterdeck Corp., 800-282-0866, 310-309-3700,

WebMapper 1.0

Create directory-tree maps of sites that you can use to search for broken hyperlinks. The maps display all the links and pages contained on a server. End users can map out any site on the Internet or an intranet and use the result as a navigational guide.

$499. NetCarta Corp., 800-461-2449, 408-461-8920,

WebWhacker 2.0

This browser saves user-defined pages, text, graphics and HTML links from the Web onto your desktop, letting you surf a site without the hassle of online traffic delays. You can also schedule periodic downloads, helpful if you want to limit your Net accesses to low-traffic times. $49.95. ForeFront, 713-961-1101, fax 713-961-1149,

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