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January 24, 2013 / carlispina

Search For Information Without Leaving A Website With Asterisk*

Asterisk*Have you ever been reading something on the internet that led you to wonder about something else? For me, this always ends with me opening yet another tab in my browser to google the answer to that question and sift through the results until I find the answer.

Asterisk* is a new search tool that aims to simplify this process. This new browser add-on allows you to highlight sections of any article you are reading and search for information on this section in a sidebar that pops up on the left side of your screen. To help you limit the results to those that are most relevant to you, Asterisk* limits itself to searching a limited list of websites, which can be customized to include only sites that you like and trust. While Yahoo, the New York Times, Mashable, and Wikipedia are the default sites that are searched, adding or subtracting sites is extremely simple. A second tab on the Asterisk* sidebar also lets you see recent tweets that are relevant to the topic for which you are searching. If one of the results looks interesting, a single click makes it pop out into a new tab so that you can review the full text.

Asterisk* is a very easy-to-use add-on. Installation is quick and doesn’t require you to restart your browser. As soon as it has been installed, an asterisk will appear anytime you highlight passages online and clicking on that asterisk will launch the sidebar with search results on that topic. I found the search results to be relevant and I liked the way that you could limit the search to selected websites. As an added benefit, Asterisk* offers stronger privacy protections than many other search tools. It is a nice option for integrating search into your normal web-surfing activities.

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