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PageKeeper: good secretary, so-so librarian

PageKeeper: good secretary, so-so librarian

You know you've seen Joe's phone number somewhere - it's in one of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of documents on your hard disk. But short of going through each document, what can you do to retrieve it? The solution: let a document manager find it for you. Caere's PageKeeper Pro 3.0 can even gather all Joe-related documents in one place, and then fax or e-mail them with a mouse click.

In the prerelease version I tested, Caere made two significant improvements to PageKeeper's search engine: Boolean operators to facilitate searching; and relevancy ranking, which prioritises found documents for you. A third promised enhancement - keyword indexing, which should speed up searches - is yet to be implemented.

One useful new feature that performed flawlessly in my test is Smart Folders, which gathers documents into virtual folders based on criteria you specify and displays them as thumbnails.

Unlike ScanSoft's PaperPort, PageKeeper does not import the documents themselves; instead it creates an index (using optical character recognition, if necessary, to read text) and thumbnail representations of the documents. If you change the original documents, the application automatically refreshes the thumbnails to reflect the changes.

Not importing the actual documents is a mixed blessing: searches always deliver your current documents, but PageKeeper can't create a historical record of them. And unfortunately, as with previous versions of PageKeeper, this latest version doesn't index whole folders with subfolders, or an entire hard drive; rather, it indexes only those files you specify.

Overall, PageKeeper Pro 3.0 is useful for keeping on top of the daily info-glut, but less so for long-term archiving. In other words, it makes a better secretary - a well-priced one - than librarian. PageKeeper Pro 3.0 is available on application from the Web site at http://www.caere.com.


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