Features of Internet Explorer

Whether you're familiar with past versions of Internet Explorer or not, you'll find a lot to like about version 6.0. But before we delve too deeply into the advancements that have been made for 6.0, let's look at some of the basic features of the software that have been available in older versions (and continue in 6.0).

Basic Features of Explorer 6.0

Because of Microsoft's position on the cutting edge of Internet technology, Internet Explorer has always been able to display pages that contain advanced programming. Microsoft continues to keep pace with new advancements in software design (if not making those advancements themselves ).

There's not enough space here to go over all the many features of the software, but I'll do my best to highlight some of the ones that are most likely to come into play for you. Some of these are discussed in greater detail later in this chapter.

  • IntelliSense ” Explorer senses the direction you're heading in many different ways and helps you get there faster. For example, if you're typing in the address of a site you've visited before, Explorer fills in the rest of the address and opens a History window for you to choose other possible options (see Figure 8.9).

    Figure 8.9. As soon as you start typing an address, Explorer offers options based on your browsing history.


  • AutoSearch ” There are lots of ways to conduct a Search in Explorer. You can click the Search button, open the Search bar from the View menu, or simply type in a search word or phrase directly into the Address box. (Searching is covered in detail in Chapter 12, "Searching.")

  • Related Links ” No matter what site you visit, Explorer is ready to offer you some options for other sites just like it. On the Tools menu, just select Show Related Links, and the links appear in the Explorer bar to the left of the main browser window (see Figure 8.10). This window, called Search Companion, also gives you valuable info about the site you're seeing, such as an address and phone number.

    Figure 8.10. Related Links offers users options for other content similar to what they are viewing.


  • One-click Email, Printing ” Buttons to print the page or to quickly open Outlook Express for email are available on the main toolbar. Many Web pages don't print out like they appear onscreen, however, so Explorer offers a Print Preview option from the File menu that allows you to see how the page will print before you waste the paper.

There are many more features available in Explorer, and some of them are discussed throughout the rest of this chapter.

Using the Explorer Bar

One of the many things you'll notice is the Explorer bar. Although it's not visible when you first start up the program, you might soon find that it's a valuable part of your surfing experience. It displays on the left side of the browser window, taking up as much as half the screen if you expand it.

Best of all, the information it presents is up to you. To get to the Explorer bar, open the View menu, select Explorer bar, and here are your options:

  • Personal Bar ” This feature, new for version 6.0 allows you to use the left portion of the browser window to display personal information (see Figure 8.11). You can use the Search feature at the top, display news and weather from your area in the middle, and use the bottom portion to play and/or manage media files. The first time you use the Personal Bar, you can enter your ZIP code and the symbols of your favorite stocks and your personal information will be displayed.

    Figure 8.11. The Personal Bar offers you the ability to display information you choose in Explorer.



    The three choices on the Personal Bar ”news, search, and media ”can also be used to fill up the entire Personal Bar if you select them individually as options from the Explorer bar menu.

  • Search ” The Search Companion displays in a couple of different circumstances. If you choose Search from the Explorer bar menu, you can type a question into the Search box and use it to search the Internet or your own hard drive.

  • Contacts ” This is a handy feature to have on your screen while surfing the Web. You can create a list of Contacts that you regularly interact with (see Figure 8.12), and by double-clicking on a name , a New Message window opens with the contact's email address included, so you can send them a quick email.

    Figure 8.12. Viewing your Contacts in the Explorer Bar allows you to send off a quick email.


  • Favorites ” Your Favorite Places are the Web sites you have stored for quick access later (there's more information on Favorite Places in the next section of this chapter). You can display them in the Explorer bar, too, so you can jump to them quickly.

  • History ” As you travel around the Web, Explorer keeps a little record of your travels for you called History. This is a useful feature in that it allows you to return to these sites more quickly, even if it's been a few days since you last used your computer. Sites you've visited are stored in History for 20 days by default.

  • Folders ” You can use the Explorer bar to display folders on your computer, so you can access them quickly.

Customizing the Personal Bar

The center panel of the three in the Personal Bar displays the News view by default. However, you can change that so your Personal Bar is, shall we say, more personal. The two right-pointing arrows in that center panel lead to a list of Explorer bar options that you can display in that panel (see Figure 8.13). Simply select the one you would like to display from the list.

Figure 8.13. The Personal Bar can be customized to show other views.


Adding/Removing Explorer Bars

Another option on the list of Explorer bars you can display in the center panel is Add/Remove Explorer Bars. There are a number of different bars that can be added for services offered over the Internet, and more are expected.

You can get travel information from Expedia, or you can use the MSN Calendar to display your appointments for the day. Simply click the Add/Remove Explorer Bars option, and then click "Add new Explorer Bar" to get a list of options.

They load quickly, and you can change your display to show them almost immediately (see Figure 8.14).

Figure 8.14. Displaying Expedia in the Personal Bar allows quick access to flight and other travel information.


Working with Favorite Place

As you travel around the Web, you're going to find a lot of sites that you like. In some cases, you'll know right away that you're going to want to return. In others, you might find yourself going back to the site a few times before you realize it's one of your favorites.

Explorer makes it easy for you to return to those places over and over again, by allowing you to add them to a list called ”cleverly enough ”Favorite Places.

It's very simple to use, and it's a great resource. It eliminates the need to remember the URL of the sites you like to go to. Even better, you're not just limited to home pages for your Favorite Places list. If you've found some obscure page deep within a Web site, you can add it to your list. Then, you'll be able to return to it with one click, instead of going to a home page and navigating your way back to your favorite spot. It's a little like leaving a bookmark in the book ”in fact, in Netscape Navigator, they're called Bookmarks.

Adding a page to your Favorites list is extremely easy. All you have to do is go to the exact page you want to jump back to. Then, open the Favorites menu and select Add to Favorites (if you've displayed your Favorites in the Explorer bar, you can just click the Add button there). The Add Favorite window opens, as you see in Figure 8.15.

Figure 8.15. Adding a page to your Favorites list makes it easy to get back there.


A name is provided for the Favorite, but you can change it to whatever you want by clicking in the box and typing. Then click OK, and the next time you open your Favorites list, it will be there.

To go back to that page next time, just select it from your Favorites list.


You might notice the "Make Available Offline" check box in Figure 8.15. This feature allows you to view this site even if you are not connected to the Internet.

That list will grow pretty long, pretty quickly, and you'll need to pare it down some. You can create folders for Favorites by category, delete those that have fallen out of favor ( excuse the pun), move your Favorites into different folders, and rename them by using the Organize Favorites option from the Favorites menu (see Figure 8.16).

Figure 8.16. Organizing your Favorites makes your list cleaner and easier to use.


Creating folders is easy ”click the Create Folders button ”and you can move Favorites by dragging and dropping them on folders or by highlighting them and clicking the Move to Folder button. Take a few minutes every couple of weeks to clean up this list; if it's not organized well, you won't save much time by using it!

Sams Teach Yourself Internet and Web Basics All in One
Sams Teach Yourself Internet and Web Basics All in One
ISBN: 0672325330
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 350
Authors: Ned Snell

flylib.com © 2008-2017.
If you may any questions please contact us: flylib@qtcs.net