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The Toolbar

Quicklinks buttons can each be changed to point to any 5 web sites (URLs) you like. Select 'Options...' on the View menu, click the Navigation tab, and select the Page drop-down to set each Quicklink button. You can change the Name field on each Quicklink to set the friendly name caption of the button.

Quicklinks buttons can also be configured to launch any program or executable you like. In the Navigation tab of the 'Options' dialog, just type the full path in the Address field for each Quicklink to point to a program file (.EXE). This program file can exist either on the local hard disk or on the LAN.

The 'Home' and 'Search' buttons can likewise be customized to point to any URL you like. These are customized in the same way, except that you cannot change their captions. You can even set them by typing in the URL, and clicking the "Apply" button. Add an 'Edit' button to launch your favorite HTML editor by creating an 'Edit' command for Internet Documents. To do this:

  1. Click 'Options' on the View menu go to the Programs tab, and click File Types.
  2. Choose "Internet Document (HTML)" from the list, and click the 'Edit' button to see its properties.
  3. Click the 'New' button under the list of Actions to add a new action.
  4. Type 'Edit' as the name of the Action, and enter the path to your HTML editor program.

The next time you start IE, you will see an 'Edit' button on your toolbar. Click this button to edit the web page you are currently viewing. Note: your editor must understand URL addresses (e.g. "file://C:\My Documents\Cool page.htm") in order for this feature to work. (Note that in step 3 an action for "edit" may already exist. If that is the case, you merely need to select the "edit" action, and then select the Edit button in the dialog box.) If you install Internet Assistant for Word, IE will add an 'Edit' button to its toolbar automatically.

The three sections of the toolbar (Address bar, Links, and Standard buttons) can each be enabled or disabled separately. This gives you more area for viewing HTML pages. Click 'Options...' on the View menu, and on the General tab just toggle the appropriate check boxes under 'Toolbar'. You can also rearrange these toolbar in any order and arrangement you like, just by dragging them around (grip the far left edge of each section to drag it).

The bitmap shown behind the toolbar buttons (which normally features the swirls from the IE logo in a light shade of gray) can be changed to whatever bitmap you want, using the registry editor. To do this:

  1. Click 'Options...' on the View menu, and on the General tab make sure the 'Background bitmap' check box is cleared (otherwise the registry key won't appear).
  2. Next, run 'regedit', and go to the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar. Double click on the "BackBitmap" value under Toolbar, and type in the path to the bitmap you want to use as the background. (You may need to do a refresh on the registry (F5) to see changes once the state of a registry key has changed.)
  3. Finally, go back to IE, click 'Options...' on the View menu, and change the 'Background bitmap' checkbox so that it is checked. Click the 'Apply' button in the Options dialog for the new background to take effect. Viola - customized toolbar!

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Keyboard Shortcuts

Use the TAB key to find all the hyperlinks on a web page. Pressing TAB repeatedly will highlight each of the hotspots that you can key to on a web page, in sequence.

To open a hyperlink you have tabbed to, press Enter. To click a button you have tabbed to, press the Spacebar. To get the right-click menu of commands on a hyperlink you have tabbed to, press Shift+F10. You can press Shift+TAB to highlight the hotspots on a web page in reverse sequence.

The TAB key visits any hyperlinks that are embedded inside pictures (client-side image maps). If you are having difficulty figuring out where hyperlinks are located inside image maps, you can use the TAB key to highlight where the hot spots are.

The TAB key works across HTML frames in a Web page!. If the web page you are viewing contains separate frames, you can hop between frames quickly by pressing Ctrl+TAB. Pressing Shift+Ctrl+TAB hops between frames in reverse sequence.

If you have used Netscape Navigator, you'll notice that all of your favorite keyboard shortcuts also work in Internet Explorer 3.0 or higher.

  • Alt+Left Arrow goes 'Back' to the previous page
  • Alt+Right Arrow goes 'Forward' to the next page
  • Ctrl+B opens the Organize Favorites window
  • Ctrl+D does immediate, silent 'Add to Favorites' on the current web page
  • Ctrl+H opens the History folder
  • Ctrl+L lets you open a new web page
  • Ctrl+N opens a new browser window
  • Ctrl+R reloads the current page
  • Ctrl+W closes the active Internet Explorer window

Some other keyboard-related goodies:

Hold down the Shift key while clicking a hyperlink to open the hyperlink in a new window. Hold down the Shift key while clicking 'Organize Favorites' from the Favorites menu or from the Favorites button on the toolbar, to open the Favorites folder directly.

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Making the most of the right mouse button: the Right Click

Right-clicking on any hyperlink, picture, or background of any web page gives you access to special commands related to what you right-clicked via a shortcut menu. This gives you a great way to get quick access to some common commands. Here are some commands you may not be aware of:

  • Right-click on a hyperlink, 'Copy Shortcut'. Invoke this command, then click 'Paste' in any folder or document to paste a hyperlink to that web page into the folder or document.
  • Right-click on a hyperlink, 'Print Target'. Print a web page without even navigating to it.
  • Right-click on a picture, 'Set as Wallpaper'. Make any picture the wallpaper for your Windows desktop.
  • Right-click on a picture or hyperlink, 'Properties'. Get detailed property information about any hyperlink without even navigating to it.
  • Right-click on the background of a page, 'Properties'. Go to the 'Security' tab to find out details on what security mechanism (such as a security certificate) is being used on the current web page, if any.

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Windows 95/NT Integration

Versions of IE 3.0 or higher for Windows 95 and Windows NT include great features that let your browser truly harness the power of your operating system.

Get a list of every site you've visited in the last 20 days by clicking 'Open History Folder' in the Go menu. The list shows up in an ordinary Windows Explorer window, as a list of URLs. In the history folder, choose Details to see other properties on the hyperlinks, such as the full internet address and when the hyperlink will expire from the History list. Right-click on each hyperlink to get special commands.

Click 'Options...' on the View menu, and go to the Navigation tab to set the number of days to save your browsing history. You can also empty the History list by clicking the 'Clear History' button. Clicking this button will also remove all items from the drop-down list in your address bar.

Use IE 3.0 or higher to visit any folder/directory on your hard drive or on your local area network. Just type the path of the folder into the Address Bar and press Enter. You can create a hyperlink to this folder in your Favorites for quick access. This is super-useful if you typically download files to a single location. (By the same token, you can also type in "C:\" to get a listing for your entire hard drive.)

IE 3.0 or higher lets you drag and drop hyperlinks to any where else in your operating system. Try dragging a link to the desktop to create a hyperlink icon there. You can drag that hyperlink icon back to IE to view the web site again.

You can drag and drop any Microsoft Office document icons (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) to any part of the IE window to view the document directly in place, without launching a new window. Note that if Word, Excel or PowerPoint are already installed on your system, all of the editing features of those applications are enabled as well. This means that features like Zoom, font selections, editing options, and the like are fully operable in your browser!

IE 3.0 or higher uses Windows tooltips to give you extra information as you surf.
  • Tooltips on Back and Forward buttons tell you the names of the sites each button is pointing to.
  • Tooltips on pictures on a web page will show you alternate text the author has written. On many sites this can help explain what the pictures mean.

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Better Performance

With a slow modem disable multimedia downloads Turn off items such as pictures, sounds and videos via: View / Options/General.

Remember even if you turn off the display of multimedia via the check boxes for Show Pictures/ PlaySounds / Play Videos (via View / Options / General Tab), you still can right click on an image and have it download now.

While a page with a lot of graphics is loading, use the arrow key to scroll through the page - it will delay graphic download so the page can be read.

Uncheck the check box "Allow smooth scrolling" (in View / Options / Advanced) if you have a slow display card. This is a good tip mainly people with 486/25 machines or slower.

Depending on how much disk space you have, you can set a bigger cache size via View / Options / Advanced via the Temp Internet Files option. Choose the "View Files" button. Then, sort by last accessed date. If you notice all your files have recent dates either you don't have many files in your cache, or you could benefit from a bigger internet cache because IE has been aging out the older ones and perhaps some newer ones because they don't fit.

Just disabling scripting will result in speedup: many people are annoyed by the blinking, flashing scripts that are usually used for on-line advertisements. Do this via View / Options / Security / Run ActiveX Scripts, and turn off the check box.

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