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Like many features at Powerset, our highlighting feature came about through the ingenuity of one of our engineers. Ian was having a discussion about circular polarized filters for camera lenses with his brother. He copied and pasted some text from Wikipedia into an IM chat, but his brother was dubious: “Where did that come from?” After Ian tried, unsuccessfully, to navigate his brother to the right passage in the Wikipedia article, he thought, “There must be a better way!”
Hence, a new feature was born. User Highlighting allows you to highlight sentences on a Powerset page. The highlighted passage persists when you bookmark or share the URL.
To use, just click the highlighter icon in the Article Outline and then click any sentences that you want to highlight. You can copy and share the URL; your modified page will automatically scroll to the highlighted section. This is made possible by the fact that Powerset semantically marks up Wikipedia and knows where sentences begin and end. It’s a great tool for sharing notes with a friend, posting a specific sentence in context to your blog, or proving someone wrong in an argument.
For example, let’s say that you wanted to share with a friend that John McCain has been a guest on The Daily Show more then anyone else, as of 2006. As opposed to just sending over that bit of information, you can send a link directly to the text. Now they can read the fact in context of the Wikipedia article, and read about McCain’s other television appearances. Check out the video below for a full demonstration.
Find a great use for the Highlighting feature? Let us know in the comments.
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