Roam around the Web armed only with a browser and you're liable to be buried by an overload of information. Browsers need help with information management. Utilities like these can help you find, sort and store Web data.
NetAttaché Pro 2.5 ($40; Tympani Development, 800-922-2712, 408-735-9555). If you have only one utility to complement your browser, make it NetAttaché Pro. This all-in-one surfing sidekick will help you organize your bookmarks, download sites for offline browsing, schedule updates to them and automatically perform searches across several engines.
Retrieving pages and sites with NetAttaché Pro is a cinch. You can streamline these downloads by excluding images, frames, plug-ins, ActiveX controls, Shockwave and QuickTime objects, and Java applets. Schedule downloads and select what pages or sites you want to update. When you use NetAttaché to search for information, you download the results and specify the number of internal and external links to grab. With a sticker price just under $50, NetAttaché is a steal that can save hours of online time.
WebCompass 2.0 ($49.95; Quarterdeck Corp., 800-683-6696, 310-309-3700). The Web might be the easiest place in the world to wander aimlessly. This program provides some direction with its excellent offline searching and information management tools.
With the aid of a predefined and user-configurable topics database, you can search 38 different search engines. WebCompass produces search summaries based on a page's contents and will even group related results into subcategories and cross-index them. You can schedule periodic Web searches and update your knowledge base regularly.
WebPrinter 2.0 and ClickBook ($24.95; The Forefront Group, 800-653-4933, 713-961-1101). This print-utility duo helps make printed Web documents a little more attractive. WebPrinter's printer driver intercepts output as it's sent to the printer from IE or Navigator. Using the layout interface, you can print pages in a double-sided, flipbook format or standard landscape. ClickBook includes 30 more advanced layouts, such as pocket-address books, trifold brochures and business cards.
WebRecord ($29.99; Canon Computer Systems, 800-848-4123, 718-438-3000). Though the Web might be a digital dream, you sometimes need to get information down on paper. But Web documents don't always print the way you expect them to. WebRecord lets you print a downloaded Web page or an entire site. You can choose from several formatting options, including number of columns, background colors, font sizes and page orientation. The program offers a print preview and can organize a page's links into a table of contents. WebRecord can work without a browser, too: Just specify a URL and the program will fetch it for offline formatting and printing.