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Internet Explorer Tips You'll Wonder How You Ever Lived Without

Sandra Prior
Jun 4, 2008
Internet Explorer 5.x or greater is the most popular web browser on the planet Earth. It looks as if Microsoft's march to becoming undisputed king of the browser manufacturers cannot be halted.

Whatever your gripes about Microsoft, you can't fault its browser know-how. Each version has been packed with features designed to smooth your surfing experience, but there is one problem; these features are often tucked away in help files, or aren't simply listed at all. There's a strong likelihood that you've been surfing away in ignorant bliss, totally oblivious to Internet Explorer's hidden gems, but we're about to change all that forever.

Internet Explorer has the option to AutoComplete things such as forms, URLS, password boxes and more. To configure AutoComplete (or turn it off completely) go to Tools, Internet Options, Content, AutoComplete and check or uncheck the relevant boxes.

Internet Explorer may be your favorite browser but if Outlook Express isn't your favorite mail client then it can become annoying when Internet Explorer automatically opens it. To set your mail client, HTML editor and other Net applications go to Tools, Internet Options, Programs tab.

If you have one web page you want to use as a base camp, but every time you click on a link from the page it takes you away from your camp, there is an easy solution. By holding down [shift] and left clicking on a link, the page will always open in a new window.

This is a simple tip but one many people don't take advantage of. Rather than having to amend your toolbar or click on the specific icon, you can switch between your normal screen mode and full-screen if you press [F11].

This next tip is really helpful. Rather than spend time typing in the entire URL, simply type the name of the site (the bit in between the www. and .com) in the address bar and then press [Crtl]+[Enter], and the address will complete itself automatically. This only works for a .com domain.

Keeping track of where you've been can be invaluable when using the Net. That great site you found three days ago but never bookmarked can be found just by searching through your history.

If upon installing Internet Explorer you had any problems, then there is a way to fix the browser. First you must go to control panel and open Add/Remove Programs. Now select Microsoft Internet Explorer and Internet Tools and click the Add/Remove button. Check 'Repair Internet Explorer' and hit OK, and this should fix any problems.

Another smart option in Internet Explorer is that you can import cookies and favorites from other browsers. To do this open Internet Explorer and go to File then select 'Import and Export'. This will open a wizard that will guide you through the process.

If you visit a site and want to add it to your favorites, there's no need to go through the menu. Simply press [Ctrl]+[D] and it will be added automatically.

There is only a certain amount of hard disk space allocated to your temporary Internet files, but if you want to keep images of multimedia files it may be necessary to increase this. To do this open the Tools menu, then click Internet Options and then Settings.

If you go to a page and are interested in the links but none of the other content, you can just print the URLs out by going to File, Print and clicking the checkbox called 'Print Table of Links'.

If your toolbar doesn't feature text under the tabs at the top of your browser and you are still a little confused as to what each tab actually does, you can add text by clicking the View menu, scroll down to Toolbars, Customize and then Show Text.

To export your favorites to one HTML file go to File, Import and Export and select the 'Export Favorites' option.

If you have a wheel mouse, you can use the wheel mouse to alter text size. Just hold down the [Ctrl] key as you move the button up and down.

To send a web page to a friend in an email, rather than just the URL, go to File, Send, and click' Send Page by Email'.

You can add and remove buttons in your toolbar by right clicking on the toolbar and scrolling down to Customize. You can then add and remove buttons and choose the size of the Icons as well as the text under the Icons (or whether you want it to appear at all).

If you want to view a page offline then go to File, Save As. You can then save the page in your chosen folder, to view later.

If you visit a site and decide only to return once it has been updated, you can request an email when the website changes. First make the website available for reading offline and then change its Download tab properties.

While most pages are a sensible length and don't require you to scroll down too much, some seem to go on and on. To get back to the top of a page rather than scrolling down with your mouse you can simply hit the [Home] key.

Similarly, to get to the bottom of a page quickly, without the need to scroll with your mouse, hit the [End] key.

If you think you'll be returning to a page repeatedly then why not place a shortcut to it on your desktop. You can do this by right clicking in the page and then selecting Create Shortcut.

In the olden days of the Internet if you wanted to make a desktop image you would have to save it, and if it wasn't in .bmp format then you would also have to convert it. Now if you want to use an image you find on the Net as your background image, all you need do is right click on the image and select 'Set as Wallpaper'.
About the Author
Sandra Prior runs her own websites at http://usacomputers.rr.nu and http://sacomputers.rr.nu.
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