Internet Explorer/Print version
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The basics and installation
Internet Explorer is one of the most popular browsers out there , before and now. For those who think that IE is outdated compared to the likes of Chrome and Firefox , they are terribly wrong. Since the advent of IE9 , Internet Explorer is back on the force again. The latest version of IE , IE11 , is available for Windows 7 and 8.1 users.
|For Windows XP usersː- You must upgrade your Windows version immediately .Both Windows XP and IE8(the latest version of IE for XP are no longer supported by Microsoft since April 2014. This means that any security issues will NOT be fixed after that and could put your PC into risk. Note that an anti-virus will not fully subvert this risk. Additionally , Windows 7 based users not using IE11 must upgrade to that version by January 2016 to avoid risking the loss of security upgrades.|
Internet Explorer is already included with Windows. But for those who do not use Windows Update , their version might be too old. You can either go to Microsoft's website to download the latest version of Internet Explorer for their version of Windows or let Windows Update do the work by itself. It is important to note however that unlike other browsers , the latest versions of IE cannot be used by users running on Windows version below 7. Windows Vista is limited to the still good IE9 and Windows XP users to IE8 , which is no longer supported for them. Users running Windows XP should upgrade immediately to Windows 7 or later. You should enable Windows Update , it's important for IE and Windows to get important security updates. You'll need a restart after installation , so save your files.
|Windows version||Initial IE version||Latest version|
|Windows 10 1||11||11|
1 - Internet Explorer has been replaced by Microsoft Edge in Windows 10. However , IE11 has been retained for backwards compartibility.
The majority of features of Internet Explorer are available on all the supported platforms. However , mostly due to architectural changes , a few special/specific features may not be available for your version of Windows. Here are some of them(A bracket shows the version with which they were first introduced)
- Protected Mode(IE7 +) This is a security feature that reduces the chance of attack by sandboxing IE in a 'Protected Mode' and reducing its privileges , thereby preventing it from making system-wide changes and also reducing the impact if a breach does occur. This feature is not available for Windows XP only.
- 256-bit encryption(IE7+) This increases the bit encryption to 256 bits , increasing security. This feature is not available for Windows XP only.
- Website pinning(IE9+) This useful feature allows websites to be pinned to the Windows taskbar. Not available to Windows Vista users.
- App pinning(IE10+) This feature allows websites to be pinned to the Apps section in the Start menu. Only available to Windows 8 and higher users.
- Metro mode(IE10+) This is a separate Metro-optimized version of Internet Explorer that is designed with touch in mind. This version cannot use plug-ins and is available for Windows 8 users and later users only.
Pre release versions(Betas)
Internet Explorer does not usually have as much betas or development versions as other browsers have.
However , if you're after the latest pre-release version of Internet Explorer , you can download it.
If you're running Windows 7 , you can download Internet Explorer Developer Channel 
The version for Windows 8.1 does not work currently as it has expired.
The latest pre release versions do not work on Windows Vista or XP.
The UI(User interface) of Internet Explorer is similar since IE9. Here is the layout of Internet Explorer 11.
- This shows the address of the website. The main domain(here msn.com) is shown in bold.
- This shows the title of the tabs.
- This adds a new tab.
- This directs the user to the Home page , which can be changed in Internet Settings.
- This shows the currently added favourites.
- This shows setting-related operations of Internet Explorer.
We'll be seeing more of this in the next sections.
The about:tabs screen is shown by default when you click New Tab. If you do not see the about:tabs screen, make sure that the setting is not changed.
The Frequent Sites listing (which has been set to hide websites) shows the websites which you've visited most frequently. A bar shows how active you are in that site. You can delete individual tiles, and if you do so, the next active website will take over.
Below it (which is covered with a white rectangle) shows the websites that you've visited on your other Internet-connected Windows PC's. This applies to Windows 8.1 systems only and those which use a Microsoft account as your user account. Below that gives you the option to let Internet Explorer suggest sites for you. On the right gives the option to hide/show sites.
Finally, the bottom of the page shows (in order from left), the websites which you've closed in your session, the option to reopen the last session, and the option to start in Private browsing (more on that in the next sections).
The menu in IE since version 7 is not shown by default; it is hidden. It can be enabled temporarily by pressing the ALT key or otherwise by clicking on the IE area and clicking Menu Bar. However, the Menu bar contains many interesting features, often otherwise hidden. Some of the more advanced topics are to be covered in the next sections. Also note that some features may be different or not there in your version of IE.
- Opens a new tab.
- Duplicates a tab(copies the current tab into another tab).
- Open a new independent IE window.
- Opens a completely new session of IE.
- Opens a specific website or file.
- Saves the current webpage.
- HTML file format:- Saves a webpage in the default webpage format(HTM/html). Images are saved in different files.
- MHT file format:- Saves a webpage in the MHT format. Here images and accompanying files are saved into the webpage itself.
- TXT file format:- Saves a webpage in the text format.
- Closes the current tab.
- Opens Page Setup. This setting allows you to change layout properties of the webpage, such as margins.
- Prints the current page. The format for printing is similar to other programs.
- Previews the current page to be printed.
- Sends the page/link by email or a shortcut on desktop.
- Imports / Exports the browser settings in a file.
- Shows the current properties of the website.
- Exits Internet Explorer.
- Cuts the selected text to be pasted.
- Copies the selected text to be pasted.
- Pastes the cut/copied text.
- Selects the whole content of the webpage.
- Open the Find toolbar, where you can search for specific words in the webpage.
- The Previous and Next shows the previous or next location of the word if it is present in more than one location.
- The Highlight option(which looks like a pen) highlights the locations found.
- The Options shows what you want search, whether you want it precise.
- This option determines which toolbars(such as menu, status bar etc) you want shown.
- This option shows which panes(such as the Favourites or History) you want shown.
- This sub menu gives the option to go back or forward and also lists the recent webpages you've visited.
- This stops the webpage from loading.
- Refreshes the current webpage. To completely refresh the page, press CRTL+F5.
- Decides the zoom you want on the page. The default is 100%.
- Similar to the Zoom option, this option determines the size of the text on the webpage.
- Changes the encoding of the webpage. Change this only if the webpage is garbled.
- Determines whether you want the default style of the webpage or none at all.
- Turns on Caret Browsing, which puts a movable cursor which can be used using the keyboard to select webpage. This is an accessibility option.
- Shows the source(HTML code) of the webpage. For more advanced options, press F12.
- Shows the security(if applicable) of the website.
- Shows IE in full screen.
This menu is to be explained in detail in the Favourites and History section.
This menu consists of a lot of features and options.
- Deletes the browsing history of IE. When you click it, you are given options as to what you want to delete with an explanation at the bottom.
- Opens InPrivate Browsing mode. This is to be discussed in the next sections.
- This option turns on Tracking Protection, which enables 'Do Not Track' to websites so that they do not track you.
- Filters ActiveX(?)
- Opens Connection diagnostics on Windows, and tries to fix internet problems.
- Opens the website you visited in the last session.
- Adds the site to the Start Menu.
- View the files you've recently downloaded. Applies only to IE9 and later.
- Determines whether you want Pop-Up Blocker, which blocks pop ups from coming up, or not and the settings related to it. The settings allow you to allow/block specific sites, and to control the severity of Pop Up Blocker. This feature was introduced back in 2001 with IE6.
- SmartScreen Filter allows IE to verify the website whether it is safe or not and to warn/block the user of continuing. It also allows users to report unsafe website. This is one of the best security features of IE.
- Check the website currently to find out whether it is safe.
- Turns off SmartScreen(not recommended).
- Allows you to report to Microsoft that the website is not safe.
- Allows you to control media licences.
- Manages the add ons currently in your computer and allows you to enable or disable them.
- Controls Comparability Settings. This feature was introduced in IE8 so that unoptimized and old website would better display in Internet Explorer. Until IE11, this feature could be turned on manually and automatically but since IE11 it can be controlled only automatically. This allows you to add specific websites to Comparability Mode.
- This opens Windows Update in Control Panel, Windows Update website(only for Windows XP and older)or PC Settings as appropriate.
- This is a dashboard on the upper-left corner(but can be moved) of the website. It shows the following things:- Note that clicking on any of them will open a bar graph or normal graph(Memory) with the utilization per 6 seconds.
- The paint time(the time for the object to come on screen)
- The FPS(frames per second) of the website.
- The memory currently taken by the website.
- The CPU utilization currently used by the website.
- This opens the F12 developer tools which gives advanced developer-related features. This tool is to be discussed in detail in the next sections.
- This option will send the page to a mobile phone.
- This option allows you to report to Microsoft problem with the website rendering on Internet Explorer 11.
- This opens the Internet Settings of Internet Explorer. This is to be explained in detail in the Settings section.
There is not much to discuss in the Help section. The help section allows users to view the full Help on the internet/locally depending on their IE version. It also allows users to view the new features in their IE version, gives online supports and shows the About of Internet Explorer, which shows details concerning the version of IE, patents and related information.
Favorites and history
Favorites and history are one of the most important parts of IE since the early days. If you use other browsers, you'll have noticed them as well.
What are they?
Favorites is a type of pining your favourite websites so that it is easy to access that website by a click rather than having to enter the whole website in the address bar. Internet Explorer allows you to add and manage favourites.
Accessing your favourites
You can view your favourites by:-
- Enabling the Favourites bar by right clicking on the IE area and clicking Favourite Bar.
- Going to the Favourite Menu > Favourtie Bar.
You can add favourites by the Favourite Menu or by the Favourite bar.
- Adds the website to the list of Favourites in the menu(represented by the website in (6) and the Favourites Pane.
- Adds the website to the Favourite Bar. Also available in the menu under Favourites Bar(represented by (5).
- Adds the website of the current tab in Favourites.
- Organises your favourites. You can create folders to manage your favourites, move website between folders, or add and delete websites.
- Contains the list of websites in the Favourite Bar.
- Contains the websites added to Favourites.
This is the Favourite bar, which enables quicker access to your websites without hindering the view of the website by taking up too much space. You can add websites to the Favourite Bar by clicking the star icon.
- Allows you to subscribe to the site(applies only to website with feeds, such as RSS)
- Deletes the website from Favourite Bar.
The Favourite, Feeds and History sidebar is a pane that shows you the list of websites conveniently. This pane lists the websites in the Favourites, not the Favourite Bar. This also takes up more space than the Favourite Bar and can be set to dock or undock as needed. This picture below should explain everything required.
- Adds the website to Favourites.
- Adds the website to the Favourite Bar.
- Adds the URL of the current webpage to the Favourite Bar.
- Allows you to import(restore) the favourites and export(backup) the favourites from/to a file.
- Allows you to organise your favourites by allowing you to create new favourite folders and modifying them(adding/removing/renaming).
- Shows the websites currently in the Favourite Bar.
- Websites and folders in Favourites.
- Favourites from your phone.
What are they?
History is a feature that allows you to view the sites you've visited earlier.
You can view your History on many areas:-
- In the Address bar
- History Pane
- about:tabs where you can see the tabs you've visited earlier and also if you're running on Windows 8.1 and have a connected Microsoft account with another Windows 8.1/Windows PC, the tabs on the other PC/phone.
In the next section, we'll see how to make use of them.
Accessing your histories
Using the address bar
When you start typing on the address bar, a list of websites that you have visited(and also some popular sites) will be displayed on the bottom. Also since IE9, if you have a search provider, results from what you're currently typing out will be displayed. You can even change search engines on-the-fly by clicking your desired search provider below(not shown in the picture)
Using the History pane
You can open the History pane in much the same way that you'll do for other panes, except that you'll have to click the History tab instead. The History pane allows you to view your history in a variety of different ways as shown in the picture.
We already did see this section before(including the History and the tab syncing).
You can go to the about:tabs section in UI Interface.
Deleting your histories
If you want your histories to be deleted, you can go to the Tools menu and click Delete Browsing History or press CRTL+SHIFT+DEL. Make sure that the History box is ticked.
What are they?
Feeds was introduced in Internet Explorer 7. Feeds are included in sites such as Wikipedia itself and allow you to get regular updates in the form of a feed. Note that feeds can also be used by other applications such as Microsoft Outlook. You can get regular feed updates. Feeds could be seen directly in Internet Explorer 7 and 8. For those who run IE9 or later, it is not shown(but it's still enabled) by default.
Determining whether a website has a feed
To determine whether a website has a feed, first open the Command bar by right-clicking on the top area of Internet Explorer. If you use IE7 or IE8, this is not necessary.
The menus you see are basically the menus you used to see in IE7 and IE8 which are now replaced by the Home, Favourites and Settings(the gear icon) in IE9.
This website is blank and has no feeds, hence the feed icon cannot be clicked.
Adding a feed
If there is a website which has a feed, the feed icon will light up to indicate that there is one or more feed available in that webpage.
Web Slice(1) is a web feed technology introduced in Internet Explorer 8 that allows certain portions of a web page to be subscribed to. Since most browsers do not support this feature, this feature is not in much use.
The steps for opening the Feeds pane is the same to that of opening the Favourite Pane, but in addition to that, click the Feeds tab.
This tab shows the feeds that you have subscribed to.
F12 Developer Tools
Developer Tools of Internet Explorer is an important tool for developers.
This feature, which was introduced in Internet Explorer 8, allows developers to test their webpages, maintain compartability and fix errors.
Changes introduced with Internet Explorer 11
Internet Explorer 11 has changed the UI and features of Developer Tools substantically. The UI interface of Developer Tools in IE10 and IE11 is greatly different. We'll be covering both types of Developer Tools here.
Additionally, version 11.0.15(IE11) has changed the base UI into a more menu-like layout, though not similar to pre IE11.
Also, note that as we progress in the guide, some features may be unavailable in your IE version.
Opening Developer Tools
Developer Tools can be opened by pressing the F12 key on your keyboard.
Otherwise, you can open the Tools menu and click F12 Developer Tools.
Developer Tools UI
The picture on the right shows IE after the 11.0.15 update which gives Developer Tools a facelift. The picture on the bottom shows the original Developer Tools in IE11. The picture on the left shows Developer Tools in the older pre IE11 version(here IE9). Note that the features have not changed between the IE11 update.
We'll be seeing the features in the next section.
Features of Developer Tools
This feature allows you to see the basic HTML of the webpage. You can even modify some of them to create temporary changes.
For instance, here we'll change the title of Wikimedia Commons. Locate the <title> part of the webpage(this's where the title of the webpage is taken from) and change it to whatever you like.
Clicking on Select Element(
)will send you back to the webpage where you can click on any main part(indicated by the borders which move according to the location of the mouse) and then it will shows the HTML code for that part.
The equivalent to DOM Explorer in IE11 is the HTML tab in IE10 and below. It works similar, but the UL layout is similar. Here we're editing a part of the Wikibooks text(look at the 'Questions???' and 'Using TEST PAGE'):-
Note that if you click Edit(), then the HTML tab content changes into loose and freely editable HTML, though only for that file(no accompanying files).
If you click Element Source with Style() and you've selected a part within the body tag, then it shows the full HTML code for that section.
If you click Select Element by Click( ), then it sends you back to the webpage, where you can click on any main part (indicated by the rectangles which move according to the location of the mouse) and it'll do the same thing as if you've click Select Element in IE11.
To clear the browser cache, click Clear the Browser Cache( ).
Styles, layout and attributes
These allow you to view the style of the selected part of the webpage. This set of tabs is located on the right of DOM Explorer/HTML tab .
The Style tab allows you to test changes to different style properties of the webpage. This includes font, colour etc. However, as before you cannot make the change permanent. Here, we're changing the colour of the Wikibooks sidebar to aquamarine.
The purpose of the Computed tab is similar.
The Layout tab shows the position of the object with respect to the webpage.
The Events tab shows the events that occurred.
The Changes tab details the changes occurred since you opened Developer Tools for that webpage.
The screenshot below should explain everything.
For the pre-IE11 version (see right), it is similar to IE11's Console feature, but with the inability to show only a particular type of information(eg - only errors) on the console.
This is one of the most important Developer Tools feature of Internet Explorer. As the picture shows, this feature allows users to have full debugging controls over webpages. You can individually select web parts(like JS files) and debug, but the changes(if any) that you make cannot be permanent.
- This option stops Developer Tools to break on any exception.
- This option allows Developer Tools to break, but only on exceptions that are not handled.
- The option allow Developer Tools to break on any exception.
Selecting different webpage files to debug
On the toolbar
- (5) starts debugging the webpage.
- (6) stops debugging the webpage.
- (8) changes the layout of the code to something that is more printer-friendly. This allows you to print in a better layout.
- (9) wraps the code, in a way similar to what you've seen in programs such as w:Notepad.
Call Stacks and Watches
Now, here we aren't talking about any wearable watch! These are simply developer functions available in Internet Explorer.
Generally, this feature is best enabled before reloading or clicking the link you want to analyse. This feature can help developers because it allows them to identify what could cause delays in the rendering and loading time of their webpage.
The picture on the right should explain everything.
- This disables the Network feature
- This saves the data collected by the feature into a file.
- It forces the data to be refreshed from the server.
- It clears the browser cache
- It clears the cookies for the main domain.
- It clears the data collected by the feature.
As it can be seen from the picture, hovering your mouse pointer over the graphical boxes of any entry shows you the approximate time taken to
- Wait for the element to be needed.
- Start the element
- Time taken to request the element
- Time taken to respond to the request
- Gap time.
Also, some events may not be completed yet or may have been automatically(or otherwise) been aborted by the webpage or by manual stopping. These are indicated as (Pending) or (Aborted). You can, using the search box, search for events.
If you click an element, it goes into a detailed view. The screenshot below shows it.
- This shows the link of the element.
- This are the 7 sub sections of the detailed page. While we're covering the first section here, the other 6 will also be covered.
- The request for the element.
- The acceptance code of the element is shown here.
- From where is all this going on? The link of the main page is shown here.
- The language in which the acceptance was sent.
- The user agent of the browser selected. Here, it is the default user agent of IE11.
- Encodings which have been accepted by the webpage.
- Main host of the webpage.
- Connection status for the webpage.
- Cookie details. The details have been blacked out because they reveal the IP address and geolocation data.
Adding User Styles
Page Under Construction - 30 Dec 2010
What is it?
Microsoft Edge(formerly called Project Spartan) is a browser that is the successor of Internet Explorer. It should be noted that there are significantly major differences in hand between the two browsers which you must be aware of.
- It is available only on Windows 10.
- It uses a different rendering engine; some websites working on Internet Explorer can break on Project Spartan. This is done to alleviate the problems on Internet Explorer's Trident Engine, as many websites detect Internet Explorer and apply ugly 'fixes' meant for older versions of Internet Explorer(mostly before version 7).
- It features a much streamlined interface compared to Internet Explorer.
- It features deep integration with Windows 10's Cortana, allowing you to 'speak' to the browser.
- Updates are released much faster; major updates are usually released every half an year through Windows 10 feature updates.
- It has better use for touch; you can draw on the webpage. It also features better integration with OneNote.
- Addons are incompartible with those on IE11. However, a similar feature called Extensions is available and extensions (with most popular ones already available) can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store.
However, most of the features present on Internet Explorer 11 will carry over to Project Spartan, and this includes important features such as the Internet Explorer/F12 Developer Tools, Download Manager and safety protections.
This means that you do not have to mostly bother which one of the two you are using, both will do what you want. Also, Internet Explorer is not going anywhere; Windows 10 cqarries both browsers, with Internet Explorer handling the functions for older websites and businesses which need it.