Browsing the Web

The Internet Explorer 8 web browser is among the world's most popular browsers. Learn how to browse the web with it here.

Introduction

Video: Address and
Search Bar Features

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Internet Explorer 8 makes browsing the Web easy. In this lesson, we'll talk about using the address and search bars. You'll also learn how to use tabs, access your browsing history, and view your downloads.

If you don't have a lot of experience using a web browser, you may want to review our lesson on Browser Basics, which covers the basic points of web browsing in more detail.

Address and search bar features

Internet Explorer 8 has improved the Address Bar and Search Bar to make them function in a smarter way. Have you ever forgotten a previous web address or the full name of something you were searching for? The Address and Search bars now provide suggestions to help you find what you're looking for.

The smart Address Bar

The Address Bar assists you in recalling previously entered websites. As you enter your address, it will search across your History, Favorites, and RSS Feeds for matches. It highlights the matching characters in blue, making it easier to identify results at a glance.

Smart Address Bar Smart Address Bar

Search Bar features

Search suggestions

Internet Explorer 8 has search capabilities that provide suggestions as you enter your search terms. If you see a search suggestion you like, you can click on it without having to finish typing. This can be quite convenient.

Search Suggestions Search Suggestions

Some search providers like Bing, Amazon, and Wikipedia will show visual suggestions for you to choose from. Visual suggestions can offer you previews and answers all on their own.

Visual Suggestions Visual Suggestions

Customize search providers

By default, the search provider in the search bar is the Bing search engine, but additional search providers can be added or changed as you desire. Maybe you prefer searching with Google or Amazon for shopping, or ESPN for sports news.

  1. Click on the drop-down button to the right of the search bar, then select Find More Providers.
    Add Search Providers Add Search Providers
  2. The Internet Explorer 8 Add-ons Gallery will display. Here, you can browse and select search providers to add to your search bar.
  3. Select a provider, then click Add to Internet Explorer. The search provider will appear in your Search Bar list.
    Add-ons Search Providers Add-ons Search Providers
  4. Once you have added the search providers you desire, their icons will appear when you click in the Search Bar. Simply select the provider icon you desire to conduct a search.
    Select Search Providers Select Search Providers

Browsing Options

Video: Browsing Options

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Internet Explorer 8 includes several features to make browsing the Web more convenient, such as tabs.

Navigation buttons

Internet Explorer uses four buttons for navigation: the Back, Forward, Refresh, and Home buttons.

Next to the navigation buttons, Internet Explorer has a convenient Recent Pages drop-down button that lets you choose which page you want to recall. This eliminates the need to hit the forward and back buttons numerous times before you find the page you want. It also has an option for opening History to search further back in your browsing history.

Recent Pages Recent Pages Button

Browsing with tabs

Like all browsers, IE allows you to open new windows to view different pages. In addition, IE allows you to open multiple websites in the same window using tabs. Tabs are usually more convenient than opening several windows at the same time.

Browser Tabs Browser Tabs

To open a new tab:

  1. Locate and click on New Tab.


    New tabOpening a New Tab
  2. The What do you want to do next? page will appear with several options you can choose from. Otherwise, you can enter a new address or search to open the page you desire in a new tab.

    New tab pageNew Tab Page Options

To make navigation easier, you can preview your tabs by clicking the Quick Tabs button and selecting the tab you desire.

Quick tabsQuick Tabs Preview

Tab Groups

The Tab Groups feature color codes your related tabs and arranges them next to each other. In order to use Tab Groups, you will need to open a new page by right-clicking on the desired link and selecting Open in New Tab.

Open New Tab Open in New Tab

Related pages will be grouped and color coded for easier access. You can see a list of the tabs by clicking on the Tab List drop-down button.

Tab Groups Tab Groups

Find on this Page

Find on this Page is a useful tool that allows you to locate search terms on a page.

To access Find on this Page:

  1. Click the drop-down menu in the Search Bar, then select Find on this Page. Alternatively, you can press Control+F on your keyboard.


    Screenshot of IE8Accessing Find on Page
  2. The Find on this Page tool is located above the page. In the Find: field, type your search term. As you type, matching characters will be highlighted in yellow on the page.
  3. Scroll through matches by clicking Previous or Next in the toolbar or by simply pressing the enter key.


    Screenshot of IE8Find on Page Results

History features

Like all browsers, Internet Explorer saves your browsing history, which includes details and cookies from the sites you visit. You can search your history to find a previously viewed page or delete your history for the sake of privacy.

Accessing History Accessing History
Browsing History Options Browsing History Options
Search History Search History Option

Delete browsing history

There may be times when you want to delete your browsing history for safety or privacy reasons. Perhaps you do not want others to view the pages you have browsed on your computer.

  1. Click the Safety command, then select Delete Browsing History from the drop-down menu.


    Screenshot of IE8Delete Browsing History
  2. The Delete Browsing History dialog box will appear.
  3. Review and select the options you wish to delete from your browsing history. The most common are Temporary Internet Files, Cookies, and History. Internet Explorer 8 allows you to preserve the files and cookies from your Favorites sites while deleting those you do not want.
Delete Browsing History Options Delete Browsing History Window

You can go to the Tools command and select Internet Options to access Browsing history. From here, you can select Settings to customize options for your browsing history, including what details to record and how often to delete the history.

Browsing History Settings Browsing History Settings

How to download

At times, you will want to download files or save images from the Web to your computer. The process of downloading a file varies from site to site, so it may require some trial and error. Sometimes when you click on a link, it downloads automatically, but other times it just opens within your browser.

A good practice for successful downloading is to right-click the link and select Save Target As. By doing this, you will be able to choose the folder where the file is saved.

Downloading a file Downloading a file

To save images

Saving a picture Saving a picture

For various reasons, many websites do not allow you to download content. For example, YouTube does not offer a way to download its videos.