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OmniWeb review: OmniWeb

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The Good Beautiful rendering; autoupdates bookmarks; searchable history; built-in HTML editor; pop-up blocking; form autofill; elegant interface.

The Bad No tabbed browsing; very slow; more JavaScript errors than other browsers.

The Bottom Line OmniWeb offers some unique and useful features, but its poor performance is frustrating.

6.8 Overall

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OmniWeb offers a stunning interface and good rendering, along with a unique collection of features. For instance, you can set OmniWeb to automatically update bookmarks periodically or to run as a batch, and you can delete any dead links the browser finds. OmniWeb's Dock icon tells you how many bookmarks were updated. We also like the way OmniWeb can search for keywords in the History panel. If you remember reading a news story about Hawaii, just type it in the search field of the History drawer; OmniWeb returns a list of the past pages you've viewed about Hawaii.

Webmasters will like OmniWeb's built-in HTML editor. If you see something wrong with a page you've built, select View in Source Editor from the Browser menu; there you can edit your code and view the result of your changes. The Save command saves any Web page, modified or not. OmniWeb also includes popular features such as pop-up blocking and autofilling of forms, but there is no tabbed browsing, a glaring omission in the Mac browser field.

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OmniWeb doesn't have tabs, but it does let you search through pages you've already visited and can autoupdate your bookmarks.

We love the degree to which you can configure OmniWeb. OmniWeb offers more settings than Safari, and preferences are organized more intelligently than they are in IE and Opera. As with Camino, you can move around any of the buttons on the toolbar by Command-dragging them--just like in the Finder toolbar. You can also drag any icon from the Preferences dialog to the toolbar for easy access to a particular configuration window.

The biggest drawback to OmniWeb is its performance. Its rendering speed is slower than that of any other browser we tested. OmniWeb also returned more JavaScript errors than the others, which further hindered the browser's usefulness.

The Omni Group has included good built-in and online help and FAQs, and it even offers a support mailing list. For an optional payment of $30, you can send tech-support messages through OmniWeb's Help menu. You can get e-mail tech support for free, but your problems will be a lower priority than paying customers'.

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