Speed Up Web Searches with Inquisitor

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When it comes to searching the Web, most folks use the search field that's built into their browser. (I say "most" because I know a few crazy types who insist on going to, say, Google or Yahoo and then running their search. Nuts, right?)

Built-in search is the best thing to happen to browsers since tabs, but there's a way to make it even better: Inquisitor, a free plug-in that displays fast, polished-looking results as you type. Check it out:

A familiar favorite among Safari users, Inquisitor (which was acquired last year by Yahoo) recently made its way to Firefox and Internet Explorer.

All you do is install it, restart your browser, and then start typing in the search field like you normally do. Now, however, each keystroke brings search results, suggestions, and shortcuts to other search engines.

All this appears in a slick-looking black box, which is enhanced with search-history flags that help you quickly zero in on sites you've visited before.

Though it's not surprising that Inquisitor makes Yahoo your browser's default search engine, it is rather annoying. Fortunately, you can switch back to Google (or whatever) if you prefer: Just click Search Options at the bottom of an Inquisitor results list.

If this plug-in sounds at all familiar, it's because the CyberSearch extension for Firefox offers similar capabilities, as does Google Chrome's address bar. Of course, Google Toolbar users have long enjoyed this search-as-you-type goodness, though without the same flair. Bottom line: Inquisitor brings faster, simpler searches to your favorite browser. (Unless it's Opera, ahem.)

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