Sunday, October 26, 2008
Surviving Internet Explorer
I normally use Firefox for browsing, but for the past week I've been forced to use Internet Explorer 7 on a different machine. What's more, this machine only has an 800x600 display, so some of the web sites have been a bit weird.
I don't have permission to install Firefox, so I did the next best thing: IE7Pro. It's an add-in to IE6, IE7 and IE8 that allows you to do a number of really useful things that IE doesn't normally do. The most important of these is to block ads, but the other is to do tabbed browsing properly.
Many of the sites I visit have been opening multiple IE windows, which gets incredibly confusing after a while. IE7Pro has a useful option under "IE Settings" called "Always open popups in a new tab" which effectively stops multiple independent IE Windows, and keeps everything more organized so you don't have to go searching for windows using Alt-Tab. This has saved me considerable time and frustration.
Another useful goodie is the weather plug-in, which gives a 5 day forecast when you hover over the icon on the status bar. There are also some useful user scripts and safety features, and a download manager. It's amazing how a few small things like this can make a huge difference to my productivity. If you use IE a lot, check it out!