When the most widely used web browser, Microsoft Internet Explorer was updated to version 7 it added features long offered by other browsers, such as Tabs, an RSS feed reader, instant search, and improved security. [First published February 2007.]
The most widely used web browser, Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), was last year updated to version 7. It adds features long offered by other browsers, such as Tabs, an RSS feed reader, instant search, and improved security.
To run IE 7 your computer must at least use Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). Detailed requirements are listed at Microsoft’s website.
When people first see tabbed browsing they’re likely to wonder what the point is and why everyone gets so excited about it. Once they’ve used it for a few hours though, they’re converts.
Suppose you search Google for something and it returns a page of results. In the old days you could right-click on interesting results and choose to open them into new windows. Then you’d have maybe half a dozen windows open on screen, each displaying a different website. The Task Bar would overflow, and you’d have trouble switching around between one window and the next.
The advantage was that you could retain the list of search results, and after viewing a site you could simply close that window to bring the results window back in focus.
Tabbed browsing uses only a single window, but allows you to open each link into a new tab, temporarily hidden behind the one you’re viewing. It’s easy to switch around between the tabs as the title of each page is listed in a special toolbar-like arrangement at the top of the window contents.
IE 7 introduces an interesting feature: click the Quick Tabs button (Control Q) to see thumbnail images of all open tabs displayed on one screen. Click on a thumbnail to visit that page. See it in action at: www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/ie7/tour/fre/tabs.
In a recent informal survey of favourite web browser features almost everyone voted Tabs as Number One.
If you don’t have IE 7, or can’t run it, try out tabs in Opera, Firefox or Safari. These browsers have been using tabs for years.
To search Google do you first load up the Google page, then click in the Search box and then press Enter? Now you can save several steps, because a search box is built right into the IE 7 toolbar, just as in other browsers.
Click in the IE 7 Search box, enter your query and press Enter. You’re taken straight to a page of search results. It’s very convenient, and once you’ve used it a few times you’ll wonder why searching used to take so long.
RSS feeds have really taken off in popularity since browser makers started including feed readers within the browser. Now users of IE 7 can join in on the trend.
Go to the special CommunityNet Aotearoa RSS feed address with IE 7.
and you’ll see a very different style of web page. You can sort items by date or title, filter by category, and view all items or only new items. At the top of the page you should see a box with a yellow background. In that box is helpful information and a link to Subscribe to the feed.
To view all your subscribed RSS feeds click on the yellow star below the File menu and choose the feed to view.
Internet Explorer 7 brings many more features and improvements. To learn about them all visit the page listed at the start of this Tip.
Written for and reproduced from CommunityNet Aotearoa Panui, February 2007. This article may have been modified from the original.