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Edit Web pages with E-Quill

PC World
Screen shot
E-Quill's floating toolbar lets you circle or highlight text  

(IDG) -- As more companies move their internal business online, the ability to annotate online documents is quickly becoming a sought-after software feature.

E-Quill is a simple Web application that lets you add notes to, highlight, and write on Web pages; erase your work; and send marked-up pages via e-mail. Currently in beta, E-Quill's appeal is in its simplicity: It launches with your browser as an unobtrusive, floating toolbar, is easily minimized, and provides a limited but highly useful toolset.

The toolbar contains only five commands: Pen, Erase, Hilite, Note, and Send. You can vary the pen's thickness and color, and you can erase a specific mark or all marks on a page. Notes appear as resizable, drag-and-drop windows. A single click activates or deactivates a command. Simple.

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Clicking the Send button prompts E-Quill to determine your e-mail program, then display a Compose window. Recipients receive a message with the marked-up page's URL. Marked pages are viewable by anyone using Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer 4.x and later. Users, however, must use IE 5.x. E-Quill is currently working to expand its browser support.

When you go back to a Web page you've marked up, your marks are still there. That's because E-Quill stores your edits on your PC and on the E-Quill server. When a page is e-mailed, it leaves your PC for the E-Quill server, where it can be shared. For companies sharing sensitive Web-based information--and individuals who value privacy--this could be an issue.

E-Quill is now available for individual use, although the company will customize the application for enterprise use.

While E-Quill's simplicity is its strength, it lacks the more complex ability to organize marked pages or individual marks on a specific page. To find your marks, you have to hunt and scroll. There are also several bugs, E-Quill acknowledges, such as the inability to print marked-up pages and mark Shockwave, Java, and .pdf pages. The company says it's working on these.

E-Quill requires Windows 95, 98, NT, or 2000 and is available as a free download for individual users.



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