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Wall Street Journal adds Selection-based Ajax Search

The Wall Street Journal Site has implemented a new feature that could definitely start popping up more and more all around the web – a new seach function for any word on the page.

You can now do a quick Online Journal search on any word or phrase on the site without leaving the page. Here’s how: Highlight (or define) the word or phrase, and right-click it with your mouse. You’ll see WSJ.com search results instantly in a blue box next to where you clicked. You can also turn this off by clicking on the link that says “turn this feature off temporarily.” If you want to restore it, open a new browser window and it will become available again.

The feature isn’t perfect – there’s still some browsers it doesn’t work on – but it is an impressive, non-obtrusive search method that keeps the data out of the way until you need it. The results appear in a “pop-up” window in the browser, do doubt populated with a simple Ajax call to their backend search. Each item on the list is linked to its article and has the date is was posted beside it. For those that find it interesting but slightly annoying when all you really need is the regular context menu, there’s a “Turn this feature OFF temporarily” option as well.  

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