Internet Explorer
Microsoft Internet Explorer is a browser used to surf the net. It is very much like Netscape Communicator. Many people prefer IE over Netscape Communicator. I think both the products are about the same. The graphic user interface (GUI) is a little different but there functionality is the same. If you have Microsoft Outlook for e-mail, you will find IE to be more practical to use. I will be discussing IE 5.5 since it is the latest edition to hit the market

If you have Internet Explorer installed on your computer and are connected to your internet service provider, start the browser by doing the following. 

Programs Internet Explorer

I am going to discuss the Navigation toolbar first as there are fastest way to work in Internet Explorer

Navigation Toolbar:


This one is used to go back to the web page that you just viewed


This button is used to go forward to the page that you just viewed. Only works if you use the Back button and then want to go forward.


This one lets the browser stop downloading a page. Sometimes it is better to stop a page from downloading and try it again using the Refresh button.


This one lets you reload a page that did not download properly.


Home lets you go back to your home page that you have set under the options. More on this one later


This button lets you do a search on any topic. It will open up a little window on the left side. You can enter something in the text box and click Search. It will give you a list of retrieved item. You can then choose to see the detail on one of these items


This one gives you a list of all your favorites web pages that you can store using the options. We will talk more about this one in the next section.


This is a nice feature that keeps track of all the web sites that you visit in one session. All you have to do is click on it once. You will get a list of visited sites in the window on your left. You can click on any of them to go directly to the page.


This one is useful if your mail is configured with the Outlook. Instead of using Outlook, you can use Internet Explorer to connect to your mailbox.


This is self explanatory and will let you print a page from the web

Lets take a look at the Menu Toolbar next. 

File Menu

Edit Menu

View Menu




File Menu:
This menu options lets you open a new Internet Explorer window. It also lets you perform actions like open, save, print  and close documents. A few of the important sub-menu options are

New Window

This menu opens another browser window so you can look at more than one page at a time


This lets you open a web document (.htm, .html) from the browser


You can edit a web page using this option right from the web browser. Depending on what you have on your machine, you can edit a page using Microsoft Word or FrontPage


This one lets you save the static web page to your hard drive


You can print an HTML page if you want to keep the information on hand


This option lets you close the Internet Explorer.

Edit Menu:
Edit menu lets you copy and paste text in your web browser. Another useful option under this menu is Find which lets you search a web page for specific text

The options under Edit are just like the standard. 

The Edit Cut combo lets you cut a section from the web page. 

The Edit Copy lets you copy a section from the web page. 

Finally the Edit Paste lets you paste the previous item from the clipboard. 

The clipboard is where the computer stores temporary information for edit operations.

Select All

This option will highlight the complete web page that you are on


The find option lets you search for text on any web page.

View Menu:
The view menu lets you customize the internet explorer according to your needs. You can change the layout of the windows, hide the toolbars and change the size of the text in addition to other functions. Lets go through a few of the sub menus now


This option lets you select the standard navigation buttons among other things. If you select the Toolbars, you will get a fly out menu with the options listed below. 


Status Bar

The Status Bar is at the bottom of the web page and shows you if the page is downloading and who is logged in if using the FTP services

Explorer Bar

The Explorer Bar gets its name from Windows Explorer. Some of the options under the Explorer Bar like Search, Favorites and History can be accessed directly from the standard buttons.

Go To

This option like the previous one can be accessed from the standard buttons also. If you click on it, you will see options like Back, Forward, Home and also a list of pages you have recently visited.

Text Size

The Text Size option is a useful one as you can change the size of the text in the browser. You can make the text bigger or smaller depending what you like


I use this option a lot especially when designing web pages. It gives the underlying HTML code for any web page. A good way to learn from others code examples

Full Screen

This option gives you maximum viewing area by shrinking the toolbars and the standard buttons.

Favorites Menu:
The favorites menu lists all the web pages you have selected to be your favorite. If you like a web page for future reference, this menu lets you add it to the list. All you have to do it

Favorites Add to Favorites

Click Ok to select the page. Once you have a list of favorite web pages, you can organize them by

Favorites Organize Favorites

Under this option, you can delete a favorite page, create folders, move folders and organize the list

Tools Menu:
The tools menu lets you configure the Internet Explorer. If you have access to mail and news services, you can set that from this menu option. Also you can set the home pages and perform house keeping from the Tools menu.

Mail and News

This one lets you configure the mail and news services via your internet explorer. I use Outlook for mail and when I click on an email address on a web page, it takes me directly to Outlook.

MicrosoftN Messenger

This is a nice utility that is part of Internet Explorer. If your friends or family have a MicrosoftN account, you can chat and talk to them for free using the Messenger. You have to be logged into the internet simultaneously to be able to use this service

Internet Options

This is where you can setup your home page. When you click on it, you will get a new dialog box that looks like this

You will notice that I am using Yahoo as my home page. Another useful feature is the Delete File under the section Temporary Internet Files. It is a good idea to delete these files now and then since they take up a lot of space on your machine. 

Help Menu:

This menu is like other help menus. If you want to know more about any feature in Internet Explorer, you can use the Help menu to find information on it.