JiveQ lets you use hotkeys to launch Web searches from within any Windows application. Just start up the program, then right-click a word or phrase in an open application to activate the Search Console and select a site. The program is essentially an Internet Explorer shell that is optimized for Web searches, so you'll need to have IE 6 installed to use it.
JiveQ is packed with options and features--for example, there are at least four different ways to access the search tools, and many search engines to choose from. You can customize its Answer Browser (the program's interface) with "SurfButtons" that give you easy access to your favorite research site's search features; your IE Favorites are automatically imported. You can also take a screen shot of your search results and save the image to a .bmp file or print it out.
Unfortunately, JiveQ's interface is frustrating. The first time you launch the program, you get a somewhat useful introduction Web page (except that underlined text that should link to more information does not); on subsequent launches, however, JiveQ defaults to your IE home page. Access to the online Help page is buried within the Applications menu--which itself is hard to find, being labeled only with a cryptic icon. Once you get to the Help page, you'll find a list of features without much explanation of how to use them. What I found most annoying, though, is that it's not too hard to use the WebShot page-capture feature, but I never could figure out how to use the text capture.
Still, JiveQ is free. The program could prove useful to students, writers, and other folks who do a fair amount of Web research.