SANDY BERGER: Internet Explorer 7 Offers New Features
Those of you who have downloaded and installed Microsoft's new Web browser, Internet Explorer 7 (IE 7) will find that it is very different from Internet Explorer 6.
We all know that change can be intimidating and sometimes difficult, but in this case the changes are sure to improve your Web browsing. So here are a few tips to get you through the travail of learning this new program.
The first thing that everyone laments is the lack of the toolbar that contained the File, Edit, View, Favorites, Tools, and Help menu in the previous versions. How are you supposed to find your favorites, to access cut and paste, or to use the Tool menu?
Well, you can easily access your Favorites by clicking on the star icon on the left of the toolbar. You can use the keyboard shortcuts of Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V to cut and paste. And if you look closely, you will see that the Tool menu selection has been moved to the bottom of the toolbar on the right side.
But if you really want to go back to the menu bar that you are used to, you can do it quite easily. To temporarily show the File, Edit, View menu list, just press the Alt key on the keyboard. The old menu will miraculously appear. It will, however, disappear after you use it or if you click on another selection.
If you want to show the old menu permanently, just click on the Tools menu choice at the right of the toolbar and choose Menu Bar.
Another function that can confuse new users is the new ability to use tabs to view Web pages. Tabs allow you to view multiple Web sites in a single browser window. Once you start using tabs, they are sure to become one of your most-used IE 7 features since they save you both time and effort.
There are several ways to open a new tab in IE 7. You can click on the small tab on the right of the tab showing the currently displayed page. This will open a new tab where you can enter the URL of the Web site you would like to open.
Your previously viewed Web site will be in the tab to the left, and you can switch between the two quickly and easily. You can also open a new tab by pressing Ctrl+T on your keyboard.
If you see a link that you would like to follow, but you want to keep the current Web page open, you can simply right click on the link and choose Open in New Tab. Open as many tabs as you like. It makes surfing much easier. If you want to see all the Web pages you have open in the various tabs, just click the Quick Tabs button (four squares on a button) to the left of the row of tabs. This will show you miniature views of all the open windows.
The tabs feature goes even further. You can save a group of tabs and call them all back with one click.
When you have several tabs open, just click on the Add to Favorites button, which is the plus sign with the star on the left side of the toolbar. Then click Add Tab Group to Favorites. Give the group a name, then click Add.
When you want to reopen all those tabs at once, you simply click on the Favorites star icon, choose the folder by the name you gave it, and click on the arrow to the right of the name. All the tabs will reopen at once. This is especially useful if you follow the news, stocks, or other related information at several sites.
Also don't overlook the fact that you can now have more than one home page. Just click on Tools, choose Internet Options, and put several addresses in the Home Page area, each on a separate line.
I entered the Web addresses for the Compu-KISS Web site, my blog and the Compu-KISS computer help message boards in this area. So now whenever I start IE 7, each of these Web sites is opened in a separate tab. Also, anytime I click on the Home icon, all three pages will open.
As you use IE 7, you will notice that just about everything has been moved around. The double-arrow Refresh icon is now next to the Address.
The Home and Print icons are now on the toolbar on the right side and they are lower down. Next to Home and Print are icons that let you access the Page and Tools areas.
The Tools choice gives you many new options including an easy way to delete your browsing history, and access the new phishing filter and pop-up blocker. Don't miss the Page option. Click on it, and you will find another way to cut, copy and paste, as well as an easy way to send the Web page you are viewing by e-mail.
The Page choice will also let you change some viewing options. You can increase the size of the text as you could in the previous version. Now, however, there is a useful Zoom option that lets you increase the size of the entire Web page. You can also get quick access to this wonderful zoom feature by clicking on the magnifying glass in the lower right hand corner of the page.
Whether you have aging eyes or eye strain, the zoom feature is a handy one.
If you decide to take the plunge to Internet Explorer 7, be sure to look through the various options and features. You'll find that it includes many useful new printing options, a built-in RSS reader, the ability to use additional programs called "add-ons" for additional functionality and much, much more.
Sandy Berger welcomes all of your questions and comments on today's column. Please post them on the Compu-Kiss Message Board at www.compu kiss.com/kcmessageboard.
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