Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Be a better browser+Goodbye Coach

Once again, I am reminded that the simple things often make the best topics. I showed my screen to a client during a support session, and they asked me “how do you do that?”

I didn’t know what they meant, and was startled to learn that what they wanted to know was how did I have Internet Explorer “pre-set” to several of my mailboxes, and Google’s search page. To be more specific — they didn’t know about tabbed browsing, and weren’t real sure what Favorites were either.

Tip of the day: Stop repeating yourself, get the hang of IE 7’s features. New to IE (but not to Firefox, Opera, Netscape, and others) is a feature called “tabbed browsing” which allows you to open multiple websites within a single window, and quickly switch back-and-forth between them. In this screenshot you can see how my IE usually appears.
ie-tabs.jpg
As you can see, I typically have five “tabs” open: my Google home page, an online dictionary, Tech–for Everyone, Hotmail (now “Windows Live Hotmail”), and my ISP’s home page. When I shut down at night, I click IE’s red “X” and am presented with this window– (You may see “You are about to close multiple tabs. Do you..?” Click on the “Show Options” link.)
opentabs.jpg
and I select (check) “Open these tabs the next time I use Internet Explorer”. This option allows me to skip having to open five tabs and navigating to each of my regular websites each morning.

To open a new tab, and this works in every browser I’m familiar with, hit ctrl+T. Depending on your Settings selection (under “Tabs” in Internet Options) this new tab will open to your current Home Page, or to a “blank page”, as shown below.
blankie.jpg

Now I can type “http://www.mychoiceofsite.com” (no quotes) into the browser bar, and there I am. Or I can click on the gold star for my list of Favorites, and launch (open) a site from there.

“Favorites” is Microsoft’s word for “bookmarks”, and in the world of PC’s the two words are interchangeable. If I stumble across a particularly interesting and/or useful Website that I know I will be returning to frequently, I can “bookmark it” by clicking on the green + on-top-of-the-gold-star icon and select “Add to Favorites”. My mailboxes, my favorite tech websites, Google, and an online dictionary are in my Favorites list, so I can launch (open) them with a click — which saves on my typing.

Today’s free link: (You knew this was coming … right?) An application that has gained quite a name for itself is the “alternative” browser called Firefox. If you haven’t tried this powerful, free program, nor learned about its nifty “Add ons”, I suggest you give it a test drive now. Click here to download Firefox and then click the Tools menu and then Add ons. I suggest you start with NoScript and AdBlock Plus, and then explore the vast assortment.

Why? Because Firefox is not as (globally) popular as IE, it is less targeted by hackers.

Not “Tech”: Today was the memorial service for Coach Bill Walsh, which I had to listen to on the radio. Amazingly, here in the heart of Silicon Valley, it was not aired on our local television stations. I was born and raised here, and have lived here all my life. I am a 49ers fan. Need I say more?

Copyright © 2007 Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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August 10, 2007 - Posted by | advice, computers, how to, IE 7, PC, searching, tech, Vista, wildcards, Windows, XP

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