Exploring Microsoft Internet Explorer 8

Dec 18, 2012 christmas, facebook, favorites bar, 0 Comments
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 is the Internet browser from Microsoft that was released a couple years ago. Many people, including me, haven’t upgraded to either of the newer versions for one reason or another. Whether IE8 is your favorite browser, or only a backup browser, it has some advanced features that you’re probably not aware of. So let’s take a look at some of them and maybe you’ll decide to switch default browsers.

This is part of a series on Digital Landing that’s discussing the features and tools available on several of the most popular free web browsers, like Internet Explorer, Mozilla’s Firefox, Apple’s Safari, Google Chrome, and Opera.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 InPrivate Browsing

On shared computers, there will be occasions when you don’t want where you’ve been on the web to be tracked (Christmas shopping, for instance). The InPrivate Browsing capability of Internet Explorer allows you to surf the web privately, without having to remember to delete the browser cache and history when you’re done. An InPrivate Browsing session can be initiated from the new tab page (see image above) or from the Safety button (see image below).

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 - InPrivate 1

When you initiate an InPrivate Browsing session a completely new browser window will be opened. You can open multiple tabs in this window and all of them will be protected by the InPrivate Browsing session. To exit the browsing session, simply close the window. During the browsing session, all cookies and temp files will be stored on your system, so that websites requiring them work properly, but they’ll be deleted as soon as you exit the session.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 - InPrivate 2

Restore Your Last Browser Session with “Reopen Closed Tabs”

Have you ever closed a tab and later realized that you need the information it contained? Don’t you just hate that? So do I! Internet Explorer 8 allows you to open a new browser window (or tab) and reopen all the tabs you’ve closed during that browser session, saving you the time and effort of having to not only remember them all, but having to open them all individually. Open a new tab and look in the lower left corner under the thumbnails. You’ll see it: Reopen closed tabs.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 - Reopen Closed Tabs

This feature lets you open any of the tabs that you need access to. Unfortunately, you’re not given the ability to reopen tabs lost because you’ve accidentally closed the whole browser window instead of a single browser tab. Hopefully, that capability comes soon. However, you can sift through your browser history to find those “lost” tabs.

Some of us also get in just a little too much of a hurry and close the whole browser window instead of just a tab. In previous editions of the browser, you were out of luck, you’d have to try to remember all the sites you had open when you closed the window. Not anymore. Next to the “Reopen closed tabs” option (to the right), is the option to “Restore last session.”

Keep Up to Date with Web Slices

Have you ever been following an ebay auction, only to miss out on the item because your previously winning bid had been beaten? Or missed out on something because you didn’t check your email often enough? Well, Internet Explorer’s Web Slices can make these types of occurrences things of the past.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 - Web Slices

A Web Slice is a notification when something on a certain page has been changed. The company running the page has to add a couple lines of code to their page to enable Web Slices, but many companies are doing this (like ebay).

Open Internet Explorer 8 and go to the page you wish to activate a Web Slice for. Click the Web Slice button (it’s a small green icon) on the command bar. Click the Web Slice button on the page. In the dialog that opens, click “Add to Favorites Bar.”

Speed Up Common Tasks with Accelerators

My girlfriend is Brazilian, and I’m still learning Portuguese. This means that quite often, when we talk via email or on Facebook, I have to translate something that she has said. I can grab my Portuguese-English dictionary, or I can copy and paste what she types into a translator like Google Translate.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 - Accelerators

Or, I can use an Accelerator in Microsoft Internet Explorer 8. I can highlight the text I need to translate and click the bluish icon that appears. A menu will popup, allowing me to choose from a variety of Accelerators that I have added to IE. As you can see from the image above, I’ve installed the PROMT translator. There are Accelerators for all sorts of common tasks. Check the list to see if what you need is there.

These are just a few of the advanced features of Microsoft Internet Explorer 8. Microsoft has created a handy page with a fairly complete list of all of them that you can peruse at your leisure.

Don’t forget to check out the other Digital Landing articles in this series on free web browsersMozilla’s Firefox, Apple’s Safari, Google Chrome, and Opera.


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Mike is a certified low voltage installer with over 10 years of professional experience in the field, much of it working for Cable TV companies. He also has over a decade of experience in the computer field as a network engineer and support specialist. Mike's hobbies include installing high-end audio and video systems.

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