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KallOut is a very simple, yet very functional, Windows program. For highlighted text in many programs (including Firefox, Adobe Acrobat, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office and Notepad) it puts a small icon next to the highlighted words, which looks like this . When you hover your mouse over that icon, it gives you a menu to look up the selected text in many popular services like Google, YouTube, Wikipedia, eBay and many more.

Also with the BestGuessâ„¢ feature, KallOut even analyzes the content you’ve selected and suggests the most relevant places to search for that phrase.

So, if you’ve selected an address, it will suggest Google Maps, Google Street View, and Microsoft Visual Earth. If you selected the name of a famous person, it will suggest their Wikipedia entry. This way, you don’t have to browse through the whole menu of services to find the one you want.

Once you select which site to look up your phrase on, it opens up a floating information palette with your results adjacent to the original content, as shown below.


This floating window stays on top of the original window so you can continue working on your original task while referring to the results that KallOut returned. You can close the pop-up with the X button in the upper right corner, expand the results to a full browser window with the button to the left of the X, and minimize it to the top of the screen with the [-] button (by moving your mouse to the top of the screen, you can access all the KallOut searches you’ve done, or start a new one by clicking the blue KallOut button).


Here is a video demo showing KallOut in action:

To download the Kallout installer (only for Windows XP/Vista) go here.

Do you use KallOut? Tell us what you think of it in the comments.

  1. Transcontinental
    August 6, 2008 at 4:41 am

    I've tried it, but unfortunately I was surprised to notice that when clicking on a result provided in a Google search popped up with KallOut, the linked page was opened in Internet Explorer, whilst Internet Explorer is not my default browser, even when clicking from within Firefox. Why do some software not respect the default browser ? These are annoying. Besides this, KallOut is splendid.

  2. Lee Lorenzen
    August 5, 2008 at 1:20 pm


    Great review and we really appreciate your support. It means a ton to a small company like ours to get this type of press. The product is still in beta and we are working to add the features that are users are requesting. We view KallOut as a platform for improving search and want to tap into the community of smart developers who want to enhance the user's experience of Office Apps, Adobe Reader, IE, Firefox, etc.

    To Vince: WRT Cooliris:
    There are numerous differences between the features of KallOut and Cooliris (e.g., we work over Office apps not just Firefox browsers, our KallOuts can be sized, moved, docked, shared, etc.), however, the best way to experience the key difference is to download both and try them out in a head to head comparison. We've worked really hard to ensure that KallOut seamlessly extends your workflow across all of your favorite apps and provides great content from all of your favorite sites (plus a few you may not have discovered yet).

    To dga5000: WRT memory footprint:
    We are working to make KallOut's 3.2 MB download size even smaller and to reduce our memory footprint even more. Part of the issue is that KallOut has built within it a browser control that allows us to show the most important content of selected web sites (e.g., YouTube videos, wikipedia articles, flickr photos, etc.) in floating information palettes. Currently, these mini-browser views carry with them the full overhead associated with a normal browser however we have plans for dealing with this in the near future.

    Please keep the suggestions for improvements coming and feel free to send them to me directly at the e-mail listed below.

    Lee Lorenzen
    CEO, KallOut -- a new way to search using only your mouse

  3. dga5000
    August 5, 2008 at 10:22 am

    This is a good piece of software BUT it does use the same amount of memory as my Antivirus suite!!

    • Blake Elias
      August 8, 2008 at 9:56 pm

      Yeah, it is a bit memory intensive. I use Minimem to keep it under control, seems to work okay.

  4. Vince
    August 5, 2008 at 7:16 am

    Is it function the same with cooliris?

    • Blake Elias
      August 5, 2008 at 3:13 pm

      Vince, Kallout does not function in the same way as Cooliris Previews does, in that Kallout shows search results for selected text and Cooliris Previews shows a preview of the link you hover over. Furthermore, when I preview pages in Cooliris Previews, I am not able to use Kallout on selected text within the preview.

  5. TheDude
    August 5, 2008 at 4:02 am

    Nice program. Thanks!

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