Hyperwords is a plug-in for the Firefox and Google Chrome browsers that takes hypertext to the next level. Double-click a word or select a phrase and a small blue ball appears beneath the selection. Roll over this and the Hyperwords menu pops up, offering a range of useful tools related to the phrase.
You can choose to search the phrase in Google, or look it up on Google Maps, YouTube and Flickr. The Reference submenu lets you look up the word in Wikipedia or the Google dictionary. Rather than switching to a new page, you can just hover over the reference you want to look up and the Wikipedia or Google page will appear in a floating window, with your background page greyed out behind. You can even follow links on this floating pane and then dismiss it when it's no longer required. And the pop-up menu can be used to share the page with Facebook, Twitter or by email, to copy the selection to a new document, and so on.
There are some seriously clever technologies in Hyperwords. Select a word or phrase and choose to translate it between any pair of languages, and the translated text will appear in place on the web page. You can also choose to view all occurrences of a word or phrase on the current page, and to highlight either that word alone or all paragraphs containing it.
You can view web and blog links to the current page, show trend and traffic reports, keyword density in a cloud, as well as many other analytical reports related to the page.
Hyperwords is context sensitive, the menus varying depending on the selected text. Highlight a price and the pop-up menu will allow you to convert it between a range of currencies. The only drawback is Hyperwords can't recognise the currency, even if a currency symbol is present - it will always use the most recent conversion type. Other conversions include weight, volume, distance, area and speed. There's no need to jot down the result: Hyperwords places the translated figure directly into the web page.
Hyperwords can be customised to a huge extent. You can choose from a huge range of reference sources, including newspapers, movie sites and encyclopedias; you can select exactly which languages you want to translate between, how you want to share or blog pages or phrases, and which shops you want to include in our shopping searches. If a favourite shop, search engine or reference site isn't listed, you can add it from a URL.
Hyperwords brings real added value to Chrome and Firefox, enabling you to perform a range of common tasks without leaving the page you're on. It's a real productivity enhancer, it's hugely powerful and it's free.