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TECH TIP: 
Internet Explorer 7

 

It’s been 4 years since Microsoft came out with Internet Explorer 6.  And now it has finally arrived – Internet Explorer 7.  It’s more powerful and more sleek than before.

 

Why now?  Because Microsoft is threatened by a couple of up-and-coming browsers that many internet surfers are turning to.  They are losing market share – so here comes their long awaited upgrade.

 

The look is different

We call “the look” the interface.  It is different than the previous version and you will have to learn where everything is placed on the toolbars.  Here’s some neat new changes in the interface. 

  • The History Button is a pull-down menu right next to the back and forward button.  This really hasn’t changed from the previous version – still a convenient way to hop to a previously visited webpage.
  • The Home Button is in a new location and can be customized to actually accommodate more than one home page.  You can have as many “home pages” as you want now.  When you start IE, it actually opens up as many websites (homepages) as you want using Tabs (more on Tabs later on).  So, you can have the weather, see the news headlines, and have a search engine opened each time to start Explorer. Very neat!
  • The Print, Page , and Tools Buttons also have drop-down menus that offer even more options.  These options are still available in the Menu Bar, but they are much more convenient to access through the icons.  How many times in the past have you been frustrated because the webpage doesn’t fit on the printed page?  Well – no more of that - you can now print webpages scaled to fit on the printed page.  The Print function also offers a Print Preview with many ways to customize your printing task.
  • The Zoom Icon in the lower right-hand corner allows you to zoom in on a webpage – a great feature when you come across those web pages that have microscopic font sizes.
  • The new Search Box in the upper-right hand corner can be customized to include any search engines you want.  Uh-Oh - move over Google.  Simply type in the term you want to search for and choose one of the search engines that you have added to the list to do the search.  And it’s easy to add search engines to the list.  Try this one – you’ll love it!
  • OK – one thing that they did not improve is the “Find in this Page” feature.  This is the feature that allows you to search the current webpage for a specific word or phrase.  It is still available through the Edit pull-down menu, but it is cumbersome and you’re not likely to use it.  So I guess I am keeping my Google Toolbar, 

Tabbed Browsing,

If you weren’t impressed with any of the above (although I know you were), you will be with Tabbed Browsing. 

 

But first let me say this - Microsoft has a way of looking at the competition and developing their software with similar features – only making them better.  Does it sound like I’m still disgruntled about Microsoft copying the Macintosh interface (20 years ago), being sued by Apple and prevailing in the lawsuit?  Not me!

 

Well, they did it again.  Firefox and Opera, two up-and-coming browsers have been using Tabs for a while.  Internet explorer incorporated Tabs in this new version only making it even easier and more user friendly. Here’s how it works:  When you open Internet Explorer, it is opened in a TAB.  If you want to go to another website but not lose the first one you just opened, you click on the new tab button just to the right of first tab.  You can continue creating new tabs – or new browser windows – for as many websites as you want.  Right now, I have 10 tabs – or webpages open.  And I can go to any of them with by just clicking on that Tab. 

 

Another neat feature of Tabs is that you can click on the QuickTabs icon and get a “slide” of all open webpages – similar to a PowerPoint presentation.  Or you can click on the Tabs drop-down menu and see all your Tabs in a list and choose which one you want to visit.   Tabs are very cool!

 

Favorites and History

These 2 features have been combined into a single very short toolbar with 2 icons.  One icon is the Favorites Center and contains your Favorites, your Feeds (RSS Feeds – more on this in a bit), and your History. The other icon is the Add to Favorites feature that allows you to more effortlessly add websites or Tab groups to Favorites list. 

 

These 2 features can be floating or pinned.  When you click on one of these icons, it starts out as floating.  You will then see a button that allows you to “pin” it if you so choose.  When it is not pinned, it disappears when you click the mouse.  When it is pinned, it becomes a panel on the left side and will stay until you click on the Close box.  Well, you’ll have to try this to see how it really works.  But it’s cool and convenient.

 

RSS Feeds

For the first time, IE includes RSS Feeds into the interface.  This is a new way of accessing information that now exists on the world wide web. Instead of the user browsing websites for information of interest, the information is sent directly to the user.  You can now use IE to read the various feeds that you subscribe to.  You can read and learn more about RSS Feeds at this website:

http://www.epolitix.com/EN/News/200506/1d731db6-ba52-4c6c-b114-1a0fb90c86a6.htm

 

New Improved Security Protection

There are many improvements in security – too many to cover fully.  Things like Phishing Filters, Active-X opt in, Protected Mode, Parental Controls, and the list goes on.  Suffice it to say, you are more secure and safe from hackers and malware than ever before.

 

Read more

You can read more about IE7 at the Microsoft link below:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/ie7/about/features/default.mspx

 

System Requirements

Here are the system requirements for Internet Explorer 7.  The chances are, you have a system that will be able to handle these modest requirements.  If you don’t, it may be worth upgrading.

  • Pentium processor running at 233MHz or faster
  • Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP3) or better.
  • 64 MB of RAM if you have Windows XP Service Pack 2 or
  • 128 MB of RAM if you have Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  • Super VGA (800 x 600) or high resolution

 

Should I get it?

Yes – definitely!  Internet Explorer 7 is a huge improvement over the previous version.  It was a long time in coming – but there are many great features that will make your internet use more fun and productive.  You should definitely download it and install it. You won’t regret it!

 

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Lyon County Government Center  •  607 W. Main St.  •  Marshall, MN 56258  •  (507) 537-7046

E-Mail:    Marshall Adult Education

HOME | MISSION | SCOPE AND SEQUENCE | STAFF INFORMATION |SITE SCHEDULES | TECHNOLOGY
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