OmniWeb 5.6 full review

The Omni Group’s OmniWeb browser is like an enhanced, extra-powerful version of Safari. If you’ve ever been frustrated by Safari’s limited flexibility in areas such as controlling security settings and managing bookmarks, OmniWeb 5.6 is for you.

The most visible difference between OmniWeb and most other browsers is its approach to tabbed browsing. Rather than use conventional tabs across the top of the window, OmniWeb puts a list of thumbnails (optionally replaced with page titles) in a drawer at the side of the window. Thumbnails can be reordered, dragged to new windows, or deleted.

OmniWeb can automatically save all open windows and tabs (including their sizes and positions on screen) and restore them when you relaunch the application. In addition, you can manually store your own sets of workspaces and recall them later.

OmniWeb gives you extraordinary control over the way each site appears and behaves. For example, on a per-domain basis, you can specify details such as the default text size, whether pop-up windows and various other ads are blocked, and to what extent Java, JavaScript, and cookies may be used. (In most other browsers, preferences such as these apply globally.)

In addition, OmniWeb offers built-in HTML editing capabilities, including syntax colouring and on-the-fly reformatting, all of which may be handy for anyone who maintains a website.

Besides the usual array of bookmark management features, OmniWeb lets you specify how often any page should be checked for changes.

Like Safari, OmniWeb has a search field built into the toolbar; unlike Safari, you can choose from among several different search engines using a pop-up menu, or add new sites if the built-in choices aren’t adequate.

On the other hand, OmniWeb’s RSS capabilities are modest. The developer says expanded RSS capabilities are planned for a future version. (Version 5.7 is currently in beta and available from the company’s website.)

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