Monday, March 2, 2009

Introduction to the Internet: Web browsers

Browser:Short for Web browser, a software application used to locate and display Web pages. The two most popular browsers now are Windows Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Both of these are graphical browsers, which means that they can display graphics as well as text. In addition, most modern browsers can present multimedia information, including sound and video, though they require plug-ins for some formats.


Browser basics

With Windows Internet Explorer, a Favorite is a shortcut to a page you’ve seen before. When you are looking at a page you would like to come back to, you can make IE save the ‘location’ of that page for you. Select Favorites from the menu bar and choose Add to Favorites. You can now go directly to that page by choosing its name from the list under the Favorites menu. IE allows users to organize these “favorites”. Clicking on the “Organize Favorites” button gives you the option of creating folders within your Favorites folder to better organize your saved sites.
Similar options are provided on Firefox under the “Bookmarks” menu.

Find command
Allows you to search a document to find a particular term or string of text.
  1. Click the “Edit” menu at the top of the page.
  2. Then select the “Find on this page” (IE ) or “Find in this page” (Firefox).
  3. When the dialog box appears, enter the term you want to find and click enter.
  4. Click the “Find Next” button to locate the next occurrence of the term in the page.
Home icon
Takes you back to the page that appears whenever you start the browser. For Internet Explorer you can set your own home page as follows:
  1. Start Internet Explorer
  2. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  3. Click the General tab.
  4. In the Address box, type the Web page that you want for your home page.
    NOTE: If you want the page that you are currently viewing to be your home page, click Use Current.
  5. Click OK.
Alternatively now when you’re browsing the Internet through IE you can click the drop-down arrow next to the homepage icon on your browser and select the option Add or Change Home Page. Click Yes on the dialog box.
The process in Firefox is similar.
  1. Start Firefox.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  3. Choose the Main option if not already chosen.
  4. Type in the desired homepage or click Use Current Page. There is also the option to choose a page from your bookmarks.
  5. Click OK.
Cache (Temporary Internet Files)
Internet Explorer keeps a record of web pages (known as cached pages) which have been viewed recently. Whenever you “surf” the Internet, your browser temporarily stores images and pages on your hard drive. This is done to speed up your download when you revisit pages – the images are already on your hard drive, so you don’t have to wait for them to download again. The place where the information is stored is called the cache. The cache also tells you and others where you have been online, showing the pages and images that were viewed during your last visits.
To clear the cache in IE:
  1. Click on Tools in the menu bar.
  2. Click Delete Browsing History.
  3. Under Temporary Internet Files click the Delete Files… button and click Yes on the confirmation dialog box
Internet Explorer automatically keeps track of pages that have been visited in the current session, which forms the history. This history is accessed by clicking through the button on the IE toolbar, or by viewing the list of sites visited under the File menu.
Keyboarding shortcuts
Cut certain material (must be highlighted) Ctrl + X
Copy certain material (must be highlighted) Ctrl + C
Paste certain material Ctrl + V
Find certain information on the current page Ctrl + F
Additional resources
Cohen, Laura. Using Internet Explorer 6.
Internet Explorer.
A tutorial covering navigation, menus, using favorites.
net.TUTOR: About Web Browsers
Interactive tutorial from Ohio State University
Surf the Web: Web Browsers

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